It seems we ask that question every year – where did the summer go? But this year, for some reason, summer has been even busier, passing more quickly than usual. It’s also been a very satisfying and fun summer – that’s what counts!
I can’t believe I last posted in June. The family descended on the farm at the end of June, and we had various members here until early August. What great family time! Since then it’s been quiet, but we miss the extra farm hands (and mouths!) So here’s what happening these days on the farm:
- We continue to vend at both the Saturday and Wednesday farmers’ markets in Columbia City. Thank you to our regular customers and to many new folks! Glad you like Old Loon Farm!
- Our sorghum plots are growing well – so tall and the plants are heading out already. We expect that harvest will be earlier than planned – originally early October. Chuck and I still plan to make a visit to a sorghum farmer in KY to see how sorghum’s done there. Our local sorghum celebration event is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, October 12 and 13, at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center near Wolf Lake. Plan to join us for pressing and evaporation, learning about sorghum and sorghum syrup, and tasting fresh sorghum!
- We didn’t plant potatoes this year, and I miss having those delicious tubers! Next year, maybe we’ll rotate them into this year’s sorghum plot.
- We’re raising 30 meat chickens – red ranger breed – and should have these birds ready for sale (frozen) on the farm after September 15. Per pound price to be determined after processing.
- After adding new drainage tile to our hayfields, we’ve chisel plowed and disked the soil, will be fertilizing and seeding new hay next month.
- We are also reworking the entrance to the farm after the county replaced a major drainage tile last winter. Working with The Watershed Foundation, we’re engineering the area for improved water flow and storm water retention to keep erosion and nutrients out of Loon Lake, which lies just across the road from our entryway.
- As always during this time of the year, we’re canning and preserving the vegetables from our garden and fruits from our small orchard, as well as planting for fall harvest. New lettuce, tat soi, and other greens crops are coming up alongside the tomatoes, peppers, okra, squash and other summer crops. Tomatoes are winding down very quickly this year. We are hurrying to can, dry and freeze as much as we are able.
- We harvested HONEY in mid-July and mid-August. As ever, it’s delicious and also limited. The July harvest was very small, we think due to the heavy rainfall in the spring and early summer. August harvest was better, and honey is available at our farm store and at the farmers markets, as long as it lasts. Several hives are not as strong as we’d like them to be; we will see how they fare through the remainder of the summer and into the fall. Beekeeping has been a challenge for everyone around this area for the past several years!
We’ll be back with more news soon!