The Weblog

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Bulk asparagus


It was cold and then it got hot. After a record late start the asparagus is growing quickly . In the past week we cut 52 tubs of asparagus with about 40 lbs in each one.
Now is the time to put asparagus by for the future by freezing pickling etc.if you are going to do it this year. It looks to me like the season will be shorter than normal with the ending time the 2nd or 3rd week of June just like is normal. We usually end asparagus just about the time strawberries start. The strawberries are in early bloom now. Judging by this the timing on the strawberry season is likely to be somewhere near the normal time. The plants are nice and healthy and in general all looks normal in the strawberry patch. We need rain though. We irrigate them as needed. Daniel

Asparagus is ready!


Asparagus season is finally here! I am enjoying not having cold wind blowing all the time! Yesterday we cut the first 100 lbs of asparagus and this morning we cut 400 lbs. To put into perspective how late this is for asparagus- 18 out of the last 20 years that we have been doing asparagus we cut the first week of May. Last year started around Mothers day. This year it is almost Memorial day. Last week we were worrying about if the plants would freeze in the high tunnels and had days of snow. Now the weather forecast looks like it just might be safe to put tomatoes, cucumbers basil and everything else out. A farmers life is not dull! Enjoy the summer weather. Daniel

Spring is slow!


This year is presenting challenges as we have never seen in our 20 years of growing produce here in the North Country. Last week’s return of winter temperatures and snow have slowed the asparagus growth almost to a halt. All asparagus spears that had broken through the top of the soil are no longer viable for harvest delaying the season again. There are many more pushing their way up to the sun and hopefully seasonal weather. I expect that asparagus harvest should start sometime late next week.

The rain was a welcome gift as it will continue to refill the ponds which normally would be overflowing at this point in the season. The strawberry plants and rhubarb are growing and with warmer weather will flourish.

On the stand, We have some very nice beet greens with beets, Spinach and Swiss Chard alongside garlic scallions and green onion scallions. Lettuce remains available on a limited supply. In addition, there is a plentiful stock of many kinds of potatoes. Potatoes for seed are available as well. Last falls rutabaga and beets are still available.

The ground is being worked as we move towards being able to plant seeds directly in the ground. With organic, untreated seed, we must wait for the soil temperature to warm or the seeds would rot before they can germinate. If you have noticed many trees are finally beginning to leaf out which is a sign that the soil temperatures are rising enough to support plant life.

This week we set out our first of many plantings of lettuce, herbs and onions out. There are more plantings growing which will be planted in a few weeks. This is the way we can continue to provide fresh, lush offerings throughout the season by staggering plantings of the same vegetables.

The bulk foods room is brimming full with many kinds of spices, sugars and flours available. We are preparing a list of the items we carry for customer to take home with them. It will help you prepare your shopping list at the stand.

A reminder: Stand hours have been adjusted to be* Monday to Saturday, 12:30 pm -6:00 pm. Please bring your own bags. Precautions are being taken on your behalf and ours to keep everyone as safe as possible during this pandemic. But, as always, we are striving to provide the best quality product and service that we can to everyone.

We are opening the farm stand on Monday May 11


We are opening the farm stand on Monday May 11 at 12:30 PM for the 2020 season. Note new farm stand hours which are Monday- Saturday from 12:30 PM till 6 PM. There are lots of garlic scallions out in our fields. Overwintered onion scallions are also almost ready. There is also a significant amount of young beets and swiss chard in the greenhouse all ready for harvest. Some of the overwintered spinach is also ready. Asparagus- not yet. The first spears are sitting half grown. I hope they do not freeze this weekend. With the weather forecast as it looks at the moment I am not really expecting asparagus till the late part of next week. We can not harvest what has not grown and we can not sell what was not harvested.
People need people and love in in there lives. This social distancing would not be a good long term life style. Daniel

When will the asparagus be ready?


Asparagus season usually starts (and the farm stand opens)somewhere around May 4th to May 12th. This year we are on the late side of normal. Currently the soil temperature is still cold and the asparagus is hiding down below until we have some warmth and sun or even better yet a good warm soaking rain. When the conditions are right asparagus can grow over 1/2 inch per hour!
The fields are exceptionally dry for the time of year. The big pond over at the old farm has not filled completely full over the winter. I have never seen it not running over in the early spring since I built it in 1999. We had a bit over 1/10 inch of rain last night. The fields are saying we need more. The farmers boys did not express much enthusiasm to the idea that we need to start pumping water already.
Yesterday we finished setting the last of the onions plants out in the field. With Gods blessing we anticipate harvesting lots of good red, sweet and hot cooking onions in about 100 days. The strawberry plants look good. (strawberry season is in the later part of June.)
We are preparing to open the farm stand for the season as soon as the asparagus is ready for harvest. I do not foresee major changes from the covid issue. We will not have any special rules beyond whatever the general expectations the government is saying such as stay home if you are sick, wash you hands, maintain distance between people etc.
Besides the normal physical stand we are taking online orders at https://martinsfarmstand.locallygrown.net. I have been researching ways to take online payment. They add significantly to the cost and for the moment we have chosen not to pursue it. We have brought the old drop safe out that we had at the old self service stand for people to place there payment in. (This helps minimize cross contamination issues from handling money and then produce). You can bring a check, cash (we can give change) or a credit card to the stand. You can also pay on account ahead of time.
For now we are not taking used bags. Bring your own bag and plan to bag the produce yourself. If you forget to bring your bags for any reason though we do have new bags in hiding and they are willing to give you service.
We plan to open for u pick strawberry season as normal. There will be a few changes in traffic patterns and check in and out areas to increase safety
We are changing the stand hours. The old hours were 10 AM- 6 PM. The open hours this year will be 12:30 PM- 6 PM Monday- Saturday. Closed Sunday These changes are to give us more time in the forenoon to get things harvested and online orders packed. This also should allow my wife to get the house in order in the morning and for us to eat lunch as a family. The advantage to you is that we should be less burnt out and be ready to give you all good service with a bit of love mixed in. Daniel

We are opening the online farmer market at martins farmstand!


We are opening this online farmers Market again in part as a response to this changed world. It is open to take orders now but we still have pictures and more product to add. We will be continuing to update this in the next few days. In about 3 weeks or so the asparagus should come up and we will also open the physical stand. For now you can order online.. You can order anytime of the week. Each morning a little after 6 am we will look at the orders that came in the previous day and during the night and early morning. These orders will be packed and ready for pickup at the stand from 12:30 pm till 6 pm. If you know about what hour you will come to pick up your order it is useful if you tell us that in the comments section of the check out. This schedule will be followed 6 days a week. On Sundays we will not pack orders. Monday morning I will deal with any orders that came since Saturday Morning.

We are exploring ways to process payment online but at the moment this is not ready. When you come to pick up your order bring a check or cash (preferable the correct change)or we can charge your card on the stand machine. We are planning to bring the old drop safe out of storage that we used years ago at the self service stand so payment can be dropped in there rather than having us touch it with the potential cross contamination issues that that raises.
We want feedback suggestions etc. If you have a question or something is confusing to you it probably is to others also. Help us make this all it should be. Daniel

Weblog Entry


Martin's Farmstand logo

Martin’s Farmstand Logo

Springtime


Hello everybody. It is almost springtime, the greenhouse is filling up with beautiful plants. I love to plant the little seeds and I love the mix of smells from the growing tomatoes along with all the rest of the plants. We are growing the normal mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zuchini, basil etc in the greenhouses. All of this is at the normal stage for the time of the year. Look for tomatoes and cucumbers on the stand starting in late May.

After the next cold snap is past it is time to remove the leaf mulch from the strawberries ans shred the asparagus fern. Look for asparagus starting around the first week of May and strawberries in the second half of June. I hope to have lots of good, delicious strawberries this year. They went into winter in perfect condition. We have added two more families into the group of us that is growing for the stand this year. There is about 35-40 acres of vegetables planned among us all so we should have an abundance of delicious fresh produce for the stand and also have ability to supply some more of the local wholesale needs for the best of our restaurants and stores. All of us that are feeding the stand are committed to growing by clean, non-chemical methods. One of our goals is to provide the best no-spray produce possible for the greater Potsdam area and to do this at prices that the ordinary person can afford so that you all can have an abundance of good food for your supper. Daniel

Beets and Fresh Eggs


We have lots of good, fresh eggs right now. The chickens are laying well (I think chickens like this warmer weather) and the eggs sell slower in the winter because there are a lot less people coming to the stand during the winter months. The feed cost has dropped some so we have dropped egg price back to $3 dozen again. It was $3.25. We have 300 more layer hens planned to come into production early next summer so there should be abundant eggs through next summer and fall.

We still have lots of beets, carrots, apples and potatoes left. One thing that we like to do sometimes is to cook a big kettle of beets and then slice them into jars and cover them with a sweet pickle brine. They can be canned or just kept in the refrigerater. After the beets come out of the brine one can pickle hard cooked eggs in the same brine. It makes the eggs a pretty pink and they taste real good. Daniel

Dried Apples


My dad (Luke) has about 4 acres of orchard over on the homefarm. In this orchard you will find all kinds of old heirloom apples growing along with pears, blueberries plums etc. He also has various fruit trees tucked into all sorts of corners and along fence rows etc all over the farm. All this orchard is manged without the use of any chemical fertilizers or sprays. Mixed into this is all sorts of wildflowers and in general a huge diversity of life.

In the winter I take some of these fine heirloom apples (mixed kinds) and dry them. They make a lovely snack food when you are driving or walking out to the field to work etc. You can also use them in the more tradional ways for pie etc. In bygone years dried apples were a major industry here in New York. Somehow in the rush for progress many of us have skipped past this fine, healthy snack food and now eat soda and chips instead.

I have a homemade apple dryer that I use to do the drying. After supper on winter evenings or first thing in the morning when the cookstove is going, we slice a batch of apples. (I need warm, dry air for the drier to work) It takes about 8 lbs of fresh apples to get 1lb of dry apples. The price is $2.50 for a quarter pound bag or $8.00 per LB. We also sell them in larger amounts (10lbs) for $6.00 Lb. Daniel