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Farm News - January 2018

Posted 1/11/2018 3:30pm by Gregg Keckler.

What's New at the Farm

Oliver and Juan have been working on a new cleaning, processing and packing room for all our vegetables.  Before we were cleaning and prepping produce either in a shed with only half a roof (The rest of the roof was usually flapping in the wind or we were processing on the back of a pickup truck.)  We now have a new addition for all the packing, cleaning, bunching, etc.  It is attached to our larger cooler.  (If you were here last spring - it is the building where we had all the food.)  This addition not only has a new stainless steel sink and storage area, but it also has a restroom for field workers and an area for the water tank and pump.  Now it will not freeze in the winter.  Oliver and Juan are putting the finishing touches on it.  This was our "capital improvement " project for the year.

Gregg has been making lots of jams and jellies.  He was caring for  the new batch of broiler chicks that we got around Thanksgiving. He has also been hauling wheelbarrow- loads of mulch to blackberries and boysenberries.

I have been pruning and generally cleaning up berries and currants.

The weather has been pretty good for winter time.  We are still getting lettuce from the high tunnel.  We have turnips and beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash stored in the big walk-in.  We have apples in the cooler.  The really cold weather killed the kale and parsley, but the cold is very needful.  Last year we had too many bugs because last winter was not cold enough to kill them.  Hopefully this year they will be eliminated.

Future plans for the rest of the winter

Oliver and Juan have already started on pruning fruit trees.  They will finish by mid-February. Gregg and Oliver are buying seeds and ordering plants. All the guys will be butchering broilers in a couple weeks for winter sales at markets.  They are also going to be butchering old layers so that we will have some stewing hens. 

I will be trellising grapes and raspberries and rejuvenating gooseberries and elderberries and also taxes.

We are still going to 2 markets each week.  Gregg is at NGS on Tuesdays and Oliver is at St Luke's on Saturdays.  Oliver plans to continue each week with no breaks.  Gregg will go until the end of February and then start up again in April.

CSA update

Thanks to all who have signed up for the 2018 CSA.  We got more shares signed up and paid for in December then we ever had before.  This is a testament to your faith in us.  We are alternately humbled and proud of your confidence.  Thanks so much!  We plan to be worthy of your trust.

If you are interested in participating in the 2018 CSA, please check our website for information or you can email me and I will send you information.

Family news

We are hoping to get a new family photo with Oliver and Lizzie and Isabelle and Gregg and I on the website soon. 

In other family news - In September of last year, Gregg had the unique opportunity to get his picture taken with five pregnant daughters at one time!  Lydia had her baby in October, Katie in December; Martha is having twins in March, Sarah in April and Virginia in May.  Wow! They are coming fast!

Isabelle is growing like a weed!  If you went to St Luke's in December you had the opportunity to meet her and Lizzie.  She loves smiling and "talking" - of course - she takes after her father.  



Oliver,Lizzie and Isabelle Keckler

Gregg and Louise Keckler

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc