Membership meeting May 21, 2016

Well despite this morning’s snow we are still holding the membership meeting on May 21, 2016 from 3pm to 7pm. There will be a get acquainted farm tour so wear appropriate shoes or boots and a hat if it is sunny. We don’t slather ourselves with chemicals so if you use sunscreen and insect repellant please apply it before you get to the farm. Rich will be grilling Italian Sausage (from the farm hogs) and chicken (from the farm) I will make soup and a salad with homemade bread, butter and jelly (from the farm). Bring a dish to pass if you wish and we will have a simple meal and then discuss half shares, working shares and volunteering on the farm. See you there! I am expecting the members plus one if you will be bringing additional guests please let me know via email or snail mail by Thursday May 19th so I can plan for it! All are welcome but I want to have enough food for everyone. There is a large construction project going on the farm if you are interested in helping we are erecting a wash pack station. Rich and Greg are building a 26×36 foot deck to put a 20×30 foot carport on it. Ten foot of the carport will be enclosed for use as a team room, tool and bin storage. The deck should be finished before the meeting and we will be erecting the carport on memorial weekend May 28th and 29th. If we can get enough volunteers we can get the whole frame erected, roof and sides the first day. Sunday we will put on the finishing touches and move in the three position sink, hand wash sink, prep tables, picnic tables, hang lights, erect shelving, etc. This will be a multiuse agricultural structure which will serve the membership well for many years. Lets get together and get it done.
This week’s weather has been a roller coaster ride, Wednesday I got caught in the hoop during a torrential downpour and watched a river flow through it, no damage done thanks to the foresight of edging the perennial herb bed but we will have to sandbag outside the hoop and try to divert the water in the future. This morning we awoke to snow on the ground and the weatherman is suggesting that more is on its way. Incredible! The weather has had a devastating effect on our turkey flock. The fully feathered turkey poults were moved from the barn to the turkey Taj Mahal on Friday morning and they settled in nicely. Friday night an owl grabbed a free range rooster right in front of the turkey yard (feather evidence indicates). This terrified the young turkeys off their protected roosting bars and into the freezing rain where 28 of them died huddled together. We have reordered from the hatchery but we will only have a small offering of fresh turkeys this year and they will be smaller and mostly hybrid broad breasted whites. The royal palms were unaffected because they are still under heat lamps in the barn. So be sure to order your turkey early this year as we will sell out quickly. I had 100′ bed of radish, turnips, beets and carrots flooded and we may still have gotten some crops but after this snow its not looking too good. I will have to flame weed Monday, rake it out and reseed it Tuesday. So there will be a delay in receiving these crops. But this is what it means to share the risk of farming. The good news is the hoop is totally planted with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, salad mix, green beans, carrots, ginger, spinach, and now 96 strawberry plants! I had the foresight to delay planting many of our other field crops and the for the first time in my life decided to seed beans in cells and transplant my first succession this year. This will help assure the success of these crops for the members. This is what it means to share in the rewards of farming. I prioritize serving the membership, this is what it means to be a community shared agriculture project. Before the markets, before the wholesale accounts, before the farmers, the members get their share. I like it that way, welcome to Rising Vitality Farm. Well I have to go its snowing again and the sun is out. This is crazy weather.