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U-pick update for Monday June 22


We are opening for u-pick strawberries tomorrow morning (Monday June 22) starting at 7 AM. This heat is ripening them fast. Picking conditions will be very good with an estimated 3,000 + lbs of berries ripe. If I am reading my patch right this week will be the peak week and it looks to me like the conditions are set to have an intense, short strawberry season.
Will we have picked berries on the stand tomorrow? We will be picking what we can and I expect intermittent availability of picked berries at the stand.. The chances of having lots of picked berries at the stand for purchase is much higher on Tuesday afternoon when we are not dealing with u-pick. The price for picked berries is $6.50 per quart or $40 for 8 quarts (when supply allows)

There are some changes to allow for better social distancing-* read this information all the way through.* During busy times there will be an outside express checkout option for berries that are being bought by volume.
Hours for u-pick are Monday starting at 7 AM; Wednesday, start 2 PM (no morning picking on Wednesdays); Saturday, start 7 AM. This repeats through out the whole season. The patch closes when the berries are all picked or at 6 PM.
When you arrive you do not need to stop at the stand to weigh your containers if you know the empty weight already. Also you do not need to stop if you are picking into standard Quart or gallon containers.
You have the option of bringing your own containers or buying empties from us.(Quart boxes 25 cents each or $20 per hundred. Gallon buckets$2.50 each.)
As you walk out to the patch you will be expected to walk on the right side of the field roads. Same when you are returning. We will do our best to spread groups apart in the field. I expect family/friend groups to stay together as much as is reasonable to allow for social distancing where it matters. NO DOGS in the field or stand areas.
Pricing (u-pick) $3.50 per Quart; $24 for 8 quart tray and $10 for 4 liquid quart buckets, water pitchers, bowls and other similar sized containers. All containers are expected to well filled but not heaped. We will adjust prices up or down as needed for over or under-filled containers. By the pound price is $2/# (limited to bigger containers or larger amounts); By using volume rather than weight when it makes sense we can bypass the stand for most of the berries and reduce congestion. Daniel

Open for u-pick Saturday June 20


We are opening for u-pick strawberries tomorrow morning (Saturday June 20) starting at 7 AM. This heat is ripening them fast. Picking conditions will be very good with an estimated 2-3,000 lbs of berries ripe. This is an unusually quick start during a year that is unusual in many ways.

There are some changes to allow for better social distancing-* read this information all the way through.* During busy times there will be an outside express checkout option for berries that are being bought by volume.
Hours for u-pick are Monday starting at 7 AM; Wednesday, start 2 PM (no morning picking on Wednesdays); Saturday, start 7 AM. This repeats through out the whole season. The patch closes when the berries are all picked or at 6 PM.
When you arrive you do not need to stop at the stand to weigh your containers if you know the empty weight already. Also you do not need to stop if you are picking into standard Quart or gallon containers.
You have the option of bringing your own containers or buying empties from us.(Quart boxes 25 cents each or $20 per hundred. Gallon buckets$2.50 each.)
As you walk out to the patch you will be expected to walk on the right side of the field roads. Same when you are returning. We will do our best to spread groups apart in the field. I expect family/friend groups to stay together as much as is reasonable to allow for social distancing where it matters. NO DOGS in the field or stand areas.
Pricing (u-pick) $3.50 per Quart; $24 for 8 quart tray and $10 for 4 liquid quart buckets, water pitchers, bowls and other similar sized containers. All containers are expected to well filled but not heaped. We will adjust prices up or down as needed for over or under-filled containers. By the pound price is $2/# (limited to bigger containers or larger amounts); By using volume rather than weight when it makes sense we can bypass the stand for most of the berries and reduce congestion. Daniel

Info for 2020 u-pick strawberry season


The strawberries are growing nicely. This cooler weather is really good for them as it slows ripening and allows time for sizing and for the plants to make sugars in the leaves which then move to the berries as they ripen. We are faithfully watering them as there has been way to little rain to please strawberries. At the moment I am seeing a bit of color on a few berries. I judge that we should be ready for the first u-pick day on Monday June 22. There is a slight chance that I can open a few limited spots in the patch on Saturday for a moment.
There are some changes to allow for better social distancing- read this information all the way through. During busy times there will be an outside express checkout option for berries that are being bought by volume.
Hours for u-pick are Monday starting at 7 AM; Wednesday, start 2 PM (no morning picking on Wednesdays); Saturday, start 7 AM. This repeats through out the whole season. The patch closes when the berries are all picked or at 6 PM.
When you arrive you do not need to stop at the stand to weigh your containers if you know the empty weight already. Also you do not need to stop if you are picking into standard Quart or gallon containers.
You have the option of bringing your own containers or buying empties from us.(Quart boxes 25 cents each or $20 per hundred. Gallon buckets$2.50 each.)
As you walk out to the patch you will be expected to walk on the right side of the field roads. Same when you are returning. We will do our best to spread groups apart in the field. I expect family/friend groups to stay together as much as is reasonable to allow for social distancing where it matters. NO DOGS in the field or stand areas.
Pricing (u-pick) $3.50 per Quart; $24 for 8 quart tray and $10 for 4 liquid quart buckets, water pitchers, bowls and other similar sized containers. All containers are expected to well filled but not heaped. We will adjust prices up or down as needed for over or under-filled containers. By the pound price is $2/# (limited to bigger containers or larger amounts); By using volume rather than weight when it makes sense we can bypass the stand for most of the berries and reduce congestion.

U-pick Strawberries starting in about 10 days


The strawberry plants have lots of green berries on them and are sizing now. I expect harvest to start in about 10 days give or take a bit. We will be open for u-pick when that time comes. I will write again in a few days with more strawberry u-pick details.
The asparagus is abundant at the moment. Now is the time to get your fill as asparagus season will be ending early next week.Lettuce and scallions are also plenty.
It does not look like we will have beef beyond a tiny bit of stock that was left from last fall at the stand at least during the early part of the summer because it appears that the few USDA plants are doing processing for small farms are booked full into next year. (another example of regulations helping to crush small farms).
We butchered several beefs early this spring and we have several hundred lbs of hamburger beyond what we need for our own table. This is available from us privately (not at the stand) It is not approved for human consumption by the government but would be good for pet food etc. I would like a $4 per lb donation to help cover the costs of growing these animals.

The fields are very dry here. The rain in the past weeks has been very hit or miss in the area and for us it has been miss. From March 1st till now we have had a total of 3.1 inches of rain. (25% of average) Irrigation is the difference between crop failure and not with these local semi arid conditions. Just a few miles away toward Parishville it has given near 4 inches just in May alone. Our irrigation ponds are alarmingly low and this is still June. Pray for rain for those of us that need it.. Daniel

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