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Posted 8/17/2010 7:47am by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner.

Well, school starts this week and that means summer is just about over. As usual it went far too quickly. Shania will be leaving us this week to return home to Vermont. She has been a huge help and will be missed. Shannon will be getting back to BGSU and we won't be seeing her as much. Both gals have done a fabulous job this summer!

Honey has been selling like hotcakes! Red Raspberries have been hit hard by the heat and humidity. We're hoping that the fall production will be better. It's been a rough season all the way around for plants this year. The berries we have now are great for jam but don't hold up as well as normal after picking. Hopefully some cooler weather will help.

The fall garden for the CSA is almost finished. We're half way through the CSA 20 week program. This first year has been a learning experience. It has been a lot of work and a struggle with the harsh summer but we're trudging along and doing our best. The fall garden ought to do very well and I'm looking forward to the bounty of that harvest. Lots of yummy stuff!

I better get to getting and prepare for Tuesday pick up!

Posted 8/2/2010 8:39am by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner.

Seems like the "dog days" have been with us for quite some time with this hot weather. This is fair week, so it is bound to rain.

This past week, we've been busy prepping the garden for the fall plantings.  I love squash, cabbage and all those cool weather veggies. I'm really looking forward to the harvest in October!

Don has been getting the beds ready for beets, lettuces, carrots, onions, radishes, beans, turnips and the other crops. We've got a nice variety of some more unusual veggies for the fall.

We were fortunate enough to find a farmer with a massive amount of sweetcorn we could purchase for our members. We lost all that was left after the spring flooding to raccoons. Little stinkers only sample a bite then go to the next one. Oh well, we all have to eat!

This week we have some new volunteers starting, Megan and Tim. I haven't met with them yet, but Don said they are very interesting and delightful people. He was going to have them planting the beans this morning. We welcome them and hope they enjoy the experience.

This week is also Honey Harvest week. It will be a super busy week, not only in the garden but with spinning honey.

Posted 7/5/2010 8:29pm by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner.

Last Tuesday during the CSA pick up Schooner and I were chatting in the little tent when suddenly I heard this odd noise. It was like air coming out of an compressor or something. Schooner looked back and there was a HUGE bee swarm! I would have expected a buzzing noise but they were far enough away the sound was a bit distorted.

He and I weren't afraid but we were worried that a CSA member might get stung. All this happened when we were expecting members to be coming in for their veggies and pond customers coming in for their fish. Once all the excitement died down Schooner managed to capture the swarm and put them in an empty hive box.

It was really cool & thrilling to watch the entire scene unravel!!

swarm

Bee Swarm in center of photo

Gathering Swarm

Schooner Gathering the Swarm from off the Dirt Pile

into the hive

Getting Ready to dump the swarm into an empty hive body

swarn

Here's the swarm bearding out of the empty hive. Shannon has been keeping an eye on the our new visitors and so far they are liking their new home.

Posted 6/29/2010 12:02pm by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner.

Last night I got a little ahead of myself and sent out the CSA newsletter without the link to open it up. Yeah, real classy, Beck, real classy... I resent a new email with the link this morning. Sorry if I confused you - I could lie and say, hey, I was just checking to see if you were paying attention. which many of you were, so that's not an option... dang you for being so on top of things. I guess if that's the only thing I goof up today I have got it made! Nonetheless, I'm going to put the link here just in case you are still in a quandry and wondering what IS that goofy red head doing...

http://sfc.smallfarmcentral.com/dynamic_content/uploadfiles/881/week%203.pdf

Thanks!!!

Posted 6/23/2010 12:57pm by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner.

Hot enough for ya? Just imagine what August is going to be like????Eek!

Poor Justin and Shannon have been weeding the herbs and raspberries and both of them look like they were in the pond for a swim. I'm not getting too close to them.... We had a tiny little pop up storm but that seems to be over and they are getting ready to return to the sauna.

This morning we had two volunteers, Rosie and her husband Mark come out to the farm! They stopped in the other day and chatted with Schooner and asked if they could help out in some way. They showed up this morning and weeded away. I have to say , this CSA garden has really renewed my faith in mankind. We have come across so many wonderful people that want to be part of it. It's just amazing. We welcome Rosie and Mark and thank them for their efforts!

Week two of the CSA has been great so far. We have our Saturday pick up yet but Tuesday was fabulous. Our members are so much fun to talk with I enjoy it immensely.

I had hoped to get some new photos of the garden today but the rain and threat of storms has me inside... not to mention the heat! I'll try again tomorrow!

Posted 6/19/2010 5:32pm by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner.

Our first harvest was on the light side but was a nice variety of excellent produce. The distribution part of it went wonderfully! We got to meet everyone and talk with them. It really was a wonderful time. I have been a nervous wreck the past few weeks - all the rain, bugs, really super hot weather. After this morning's pick up I'm feeling pretty good.

Everyone seems to "get" that it's a risk and none of us can control the weather. We harvest what is ready when it's ready and that's the beauty of it - eating seasonally and locally. My fears have been somewhat quelled but I still fret over this and that.

Our first harvest had red leaf lettuce, spicy greens, breakfast radishes, swiss chard and some herbs. On Saturday we had just enough baby leaf lettuce to pick for the Saturday shares. I think we'll have plenty ready of that for the Tuesday shares this week.

The gardeners did a wonderful job and we are very grateful to them for their hard work and dedication.I have to get working on the Week 2 newsletter!

Posted 6/13/2010 12:50pm by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner.

Well, no major rain the past few days! WHEW! We're getting ready for our first harvest & we can't wait! This first week will be light but everything is looking great! We're hoping to inlcude a 1/2 pint of red raspberries too - no promises but maybe! I think we'll have enough to go around. We're keeping our fingers crossed! We let some of the rapsberries go to have some for the CSA shares and they are coming on strong. I have to admit I like the fall berries better but these summer berries are yummy too!

CSA GARDEN

Justin was a brave lad and sat in the tractor scoop as Schooner lifted him in the air for some aerial shots. He did a wonderful job. Now he wants my camera...

garden

Nice view of greens

 

leeks

Ground level view of Leeks

 

For more photos check out our CSA GARDEN JUNE slideshow - Just go the the Schooner Farms CSA Pull down menu on the homepage and it should be listed there!

Posted 6/10/2010 11:38am by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner.

Even though we had to delay harvest a week - it has been an incredibly productive week on the farm. Justin and Shannon have been weeding away. Matt was busy prepping beds and planting more root crops. I mowed and was so grateful for the chance to do so! It looks SO much better!

The blackberries are blooming and look beautiful! I hope we have enough to give each of our CSA members a 1/2 pint when they ripen! We're prepping for our first harvest & are extremely anxious to meet our shareholders! Our first harvest will be light but it's fresh, organic and they know where and how it was raised! That's the best thing! I hope next Tuesday is a nice day so they can walk on out to the garden and check it out!

We missed the BG Farmer's Market last night, we were all pretty spent by the end of the day. Our friend, Penny, is running it and does a WONDERFUL job! I need to be careful when we go as they have some of the best bakery goods for sale. Last time I bought WAY too many cookies! It's a great selection of vendors and what a wonderful way to spend an evening in BG!

Today, Justin is a weeding little devil and is busy on several rows of carrots and onions. What he has done so far, when I checked on him, looked good. He's anxious to meet the CSA members and takes a lot of pride in the veggies he is helping to care for.

I'll try and have some pictures this week - I keep forgetting my dang camera!

 

Posted 6/6/2010 9:16am by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

 

Dear CSA Members,

As you know we had hoped to have our first harvest this upcoming week – BUT – after inspecting the garden we have decided to put it off one more week. This means that our first Tuesday Pick Up will be June 15 – from 3-8pm and our first Saturday Pick Up will be June 19th from 8am till noon.

All of the rain and rotten weather has really set us back a bit. Everything for our first several weeks of the garden shares have been planted for several weeks – but aren’t where we were hoping the initial harvestable items would be by now. They are close but not close enough. We have been very fortunate, as only a few miles away crops have been ruined due to standing water. We have lost a few things due to the storms; some peas, part of the potatoes and many things that were looking fabulous got beat back with the hard driving rain but are bouncing back nicely. We’ve replanted several crops to offset several of the items we have lost.

 We planted over 30 flats on Friday of the later crops. It was very busy day indeed! The garden is looking fabulous and we are doing everything we can to bring quality, organic produce to you. You are always welcome to stop out and look around – we’d be more than happy to show you around and explain what we’re doing and how. Naturally, we’ll add on a week at the end of the season.

Don is in the process of calling each of you, as we wanted to explain why we were delaying and answer any questions you may have directly. I am just doubling up the effort in case we had to leave a message or can’t reach you.  We feel bad having to delay but we thought it would be better to wait rather than have you come out and be disappointed with a meager portion of the garden. It just makes sense to wait. Eggs shares will begin when the garden shares start.

If you could, please just reply that you have received this and that way I’ll know you have received it.

If you are sharing your share or would like your secondary person to receive our email updates just let me know! I usually only send out to the primary member unless I hear differently from you. Several of you have asked me to share info with others & I'm more than happy to add them to the list. I don’t like to get a bunch of email I don’t want and I don’t like to bombard others – so please just let me know & I will happily put them in the know!

We appreciate your patience and know you certainly can understand how the weather is beyond any of our control. We’re doing our very best for you. Thanks again! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call or email us! 419-261-0908

 

Sincerely,

The Crew at Schooner Farms

Posted 6/5/2010 9:38am by Don Schooner or Becky White - Schooner.

What a day was yesterday! WOW! We had an incredible team of helpers! They planted over 30 flats of veggies! We are so grateful for all of their help and dedication! With all the rain we’ve had we couldn’t get a lot of the plants Abbie had ready for us at the greenhouse in the ground. Which, in hindsight was probably a godsend – seeing that we had 10 inches plus of rain in the area the past week! We were very fortunate as several farms to our east are still underwater! Today there is yet another threat of severe storms and high winds. I now completely understand why some farmers seem grumpy.

I forgot my dang camera, I wanted to get some shots of all the helpers in the field. I'll try and get out there before the rain today and get some photos of the garden to put on the website.

We planted for our first harvests several weeks ago and were hoping to be ready by June 1st, that didn’t happen and now we are faced with having to delay another week. All plants for the first several weeks look wonderful and healthy but are still really small and there is simply not enough to harvest for our members. We certainly don’t want them to drive out only for a meager portion of salad greens and small radishes. We feel it’d be better to wait and have them begin on the 15th /19th as we know what we have will be full and lush by then. Better to be disappointed to not be ready than to arrive and be really disappointed with a tiny harvest. So we’ll be calling and emailing our members today to let them know. I’m certain the members will understand it’s just disappointing to have to put them off another week.

On the bright side – the garden is completely in except for the succession planting that gets done on a weekly basis. It really has come together beautifully and we are very confidant of a bountiful harvest! The irrigation is all in and running smoothly, this next week we’ll be adding an automatic drip that will allow for the compost tea to be added right along with the watering.

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