Vegetable Farmer New Year

It’s Vegetable Farmer New Year and we want to thank you all for being part of our farm family at Pekarek’s Produce!  

I don’t know exactly when the Chinese New Year is, but it is almost Vegetable Farmer New Year. The farm doesn’t exactly follow the normal January to December calendar, so we consider the start of the new year to be when we finish delivering last year’s storage crops and begin planting anew in February. 

The last of the butternut squashes, spaghetti squashes, and sweet potatoes were shipped off last week, ahead of the major cold snap. There are a few bushels of potatoes and carrots that will go in the next couple weeks – but we have effectively wrapped up for the year!

Typically we would already have things in the greenhouse, but this year we will wait for late February, after the thermometer returns to double digits. We will begin by seeding what I consider salad crops; radishes, lettuce, spinach, turnips, carrots, and beets. These healthy veggies go directly in the ground in the high tunnels, then  – BOOM – salads in March and April.

Also in February, we begin seeding onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers in the greenhouse. These are grown into small plants that get “set” into the high tunnels. We don’t typically plant any food outside until early April. That is a lot of snow and many many degrees away. 

Most of the work now is in the office. Plans, maps, counts, taxes. I am slowly working on putting together a team of farmers to do all the heavy lifting around here. We employ about twenty people in some capacity between sales and production and packing. It takes a village to raise a meal. We are making website updates and getting ready for the weekly vegetable subscription!

Otherwise, I am trying to find some time to relax. Sitting by the fire place in the evening. Occasionally, a basketball game for one of the kids. It is currently too cold for much else. Most of the outside work consists of moving snow from point A to point B, flat on the ground to pushed in a pile and of course harvesting the lettuce, spinach, and kale from the high tunnels.

We look forward to providing you with good food. Stay warm. Stay safe.

Ryan, Katie, Jacob, Margret, Michael, Lukas, and Grace

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