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Agrarian Harvest

Wholesome. Organic. Experience. All about our farm, food, and small farm life.

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Wrapping up the Year

It was another busy year, as usual. We did not have an employee this year and adjusted our farm accordingly. We only sold at one farmers’ market this year and that was plenty. Farmers’ markets tend to take an inordinate amount of time.

It felt like an odd growing year with things ripening later than usual and not producing as abundantly. The heat of the season usually means summer abundance. But this year, we didn’t seem to have the heat early on and in turn a lack of abundance of anything. Some weeks this summer, we had a hard time filling the orders we had, leaving none or very little for the farmers’ market.Then there was the usual annoyances like aphids taking out the kale and squash bugs killing the zucchini and summer squash plants.

The drip irrigation system proved to work well, allowing us to harvest while we were irrigating. It took us two full days to harvest enough to fill orders for the Wood River Valley and to take to the Ketchum Farmers’ Market, then another two days for product for the Magic Valley. Since we were harvesting so often, the dip irrigation was very helpful. We can irrigate and harvest the same days and not be wading in the mud. Before we had to schedule our irrigation days at least two days before we had to go into the field to harvest. A challenging fete when we are in the field four days a week and half the time we were still harvesting in the mud. We still had lots of weeds between the rows because of the rain we had early in the growing season. But with no corrugates between the rows, it was easier to walk and mow between the rows also.

On to our solar power project, it didn’t quite meet our expectations. We didn’t calculate enough watts for our anticipated needs for the solar panels that were installed. So the solar isn’t generating enough power to cover all our usage to date. This means a power bill and a solar payment.  In the spring, it may be necessary to evaluate our production and possibly add a panel or two. This has not gone exactly as planned, but you never know until you try.

Overall, it was a good year. So far we are enjoying our slow, calm winter days. But maybe . .  just maybe . . the farmer has had too many winter days already. He is currently mapping out what to plant where and ordering seeds. By Spring, he will be planning on farming 5000 acres and planting every variety of every vegetable there is seed for. Somebody help me!

Gone Solar

We are getting even greener. We have installed solar panels, actually, we had a solar company install the panels. The farm and our home is now functioning on solar energy. Last year the farmer started investigating solar energy, but we weren’t planning to install it for a few more years. However, it just happened to work out that we stumbled across this solar company in the Spring. They got their bid right to us and we decided to go for it. We gave them the go ahead and a few months later, here we are, operating on solar energy. It is turning into a year of change for us and that is not what we intended for this year. We are experiencing lots of changes this first half of the year: solar, biodegradable row cover, drip irrigation, covered driveway in wood chips and making the house more energy efficient with siding, windows and insulation.

This switch to solar has definitely made our family more conscious of energy being used. We have changed all our lights to LED, unplug anything that is not in use and make sure lights are off as soon as we leave a room. It’s a new goal for the whole family to produce energy and not use it; that’s something we never discussed, it’s just happening. We are trying to use less and less energy everyday.  The real goal is to save money in the long run and not have to pay a power bill while producing our own clean energy . . . living off grid. In short, we feel we are doing a good thing for the planet, using less energy, producing clean and renewable energy, and being environmentally friendly. We’re living sustain-ably and that brings joy to our lives!

If you are interested in solar, ask the farmer about ours. He loves to talk about solar energy. Actually, he just likes to talk, so he’ll talk about anything . . . just ask him. 

DSCN9445
Our beautiful, black solar roof. We are still waiting for the siding to be put on, then the house will be picturesque.

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