Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Much Rains Makes for Muddy Harvest

We've had some awesome storms here in the last few days.  Hot, humid weather seems to make the clouds boil then burst forth with waves of rain followed by high winds to push it along.

All total, we've had over three inches in the last three days.

This photo is the one I took, just before I did this...

Just goes to show that chubby old ladies like myself that move at less than 2 miles per hour should not try to out-run storms moving at 35 miles per hour.  We're hoping it's just a bad sprain but if it is not better by Monday they will do an MRI to see if I did more damage than the awesome storm photos were worth.  Look out world, I might be selling 'awesome storm photos' in color, glossy, 8X10's  with descriptions on the back to make money for the doctor bills.  (Some of you may notice a slight reference to Alice's Restaurant in that last sentence!)
Yesterday when we came home from the doctor (for the aforementioned issue) the rain was coming down so hard the fields were literally running like little streams.  My heart was in my throat as I looked at the herbs in the field laying so flat and wet, hoping that some sun today would show me a better picture.
And, for the most part, it has.  The Spearmint took kind of a hit with some of the new tender leaves sustaining tears or rips, but most of the rest of the herbs survived their immersion just fine.  Luckily we have a high tunnel and the very tender basil, lemon basil and precious rosemary were inside - they look GREAT!
It has made for a muddy mess today and with it being harvest day, there is no time to just sit around and wait for things to dry out.  You still have to call customers, take orders, and then begin harvesting.  It means washing the herbs more times than normal to ensure they are clean and being careful to only pick those you know didn't take too much abuse in the wind.
It also means very special footwear, or lack thereof,  for our harvest workers:

As for me, I'm sidelined today.  Just sitting here icing my knee and wondering if there was any way I could play in the mud too!
Until next time - Live Life Well Seasoned!

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Another Year of Harvest

Last week began our first harvests for 2015. 

Unlike conventional large farmers, our harvests are weekly and start in June and end hopefully in October.  It's a stressful time.  It's tough to wait to hear from your customers that the product they received is what they expected.  You work really really hard to plant, water, weed, then water and weed some more, and then harvest, package and deliver a high quality product.

This year, some of our product is being delivered to a grocery warehouse where it is then shipped to stores in Minnesota and North Dakota that we just can't get it to ourselves.  That was REALLY nerve wracking...to put your product in the hands of someone else and hope that all went well.

When we called for orders this week, we found that indeed our herbs had landed in the grocery stores safe and sound and everyone was happy.  Our Minot customers especially, who have been with us for many years, were happy to have us back.

We were glad to have our summer help, Amber, back again.  It meant that we finished harvest and packaging yesterday in record time and even had time to go out last night and pick some of the Carmine Jewel cherries that were ripe.  Having time to do anything else on harvest day is almost unheard of here, making it an especially nice treat.

The one worry we've had lately, how dry it was, is not an issue anymore with two inches of rain soaked into the soil in the last three or four days I'm confident that we're ready for the heat wave coming our way in the next week.

We've got some busy times ahead with groups visiting and touring the farm and taking classes here and the Farm to Table Dinner and Social to prepare for, we'll have our hands full.  We love hosting people and teaching them about herbs and we still have a few open days, so if you have a group that would be interested in visiting or having a class, please contact us.

For now, remember to Live Life Well Seasoned!