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North Star Farms
P.O. Box 164
Carpio, N.D. 58725
(701) 720-2635

gardendwellers FARM

Marv's Blog
What an August
Written by Marv Baker   
Saturday, 28 August 2010

My goodness, has it been a summer here in northwestern North Dakota.

In my last blog entry I mentioned that we were probably going to close in on 500 pounds of produce for the week. That week, we actually picked 932 pounds, which I thought was amazing for the two of us in one day.

Last week, we eclipsed that by several hundred pounds and picked 1,300 pounds of produce. I don't exactly know what we harvested on Thursday, but it's going to be close to 1,000 pounds again.

In the world of organic produce, farmers' markets and CSAs, I don't know if 1,000 pounds of picking in one day is a lot or not. It sure seems like a lot. But keep in mind, we're not using any machinery to harvest. We haven't taken that plunge yet. 

We are still using scissors, potato fork, shovel, Army knife and sometimes machete to get the work done. I suppose if we had a digger for the roots like potatoes, carrots, turnips and radishes, we'd probably get a lot more, but this is the best we can do in a day on 2 acres.

Regardless, this is way more produce than we picked last year. In fact, we've already picked as much in the month of August as we picked all of last year, and we thought we had a great year, pulling in 3,300 pounds on less than 1 acre.

August has been crazy and if we have a good September, we'll more than double what we did last year. But, we can't get an early frost like sometimes happens in northwestern North Dakota. I'm truly hoping to get through three weeks in September without frost and then I'll be satisfied.

If not, I'll be screaming because we have a lot of watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatillos, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash and sweet potatoes still out; all that most likely a good portion of our total weight anyway.

August has been a surprise. Normally we don't receive a third of our summer rain in August, but this year that's the case. That really made everthing grow in the summer heat and now we are scrambling. 

On Aug. 4, the interesting weather spawned a tornado about 30 miles north of us and although Carpio was never threatened with a tornado, strong winds wiped out one of our high tunnels, leaving a mess over the top of the sweet potatoes. 

Now, with all the produce, we don't have time to make the repairs, in fact, our big greenhouse isn't done yet because we don't have time to do any more than harvest vegetables.

It's really an interesting problem to have and I've been telling people I can't wait until we get our first frost so the workload will slow down a bit. Seriously, frost will come soon enough and we'll get to it and get it repaired. 

We've had this luck and despair at the same time in a transition year. I wonder what 2011 will bring? 

More produce

More shareholders

More garlic

More work

More satisfaction

 
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