It's snowing again

Last week the farm received 25 inches of snow on Friday, since then we've had a bit more here and there.  It's snowing now.  The roads are clear though.   

I have a beef brisket brining in my fridge for our own Corned Beef to enjoy next weekend.   

Tonight for dinner is Slow Roasted Herb Crusted Grass Fed London Broil with Mashed Potatoes from the root cellar and some garlic sauteed green beans (frozen from last years garden).   Pretty simple and it's in the oven roasting at 200F right now.  

The store was quiet today with on of my favorite customers stopping in for his 2nd brisket- this time for his son who intrigued about making his own Corned Beef too.   John gave me some good advice on Ginger Beef that a NYTimes Corned Beef recipe calls for.  

Still time to corn your beef for next week so stop in and grab one and eat good meat instead of that gross brined for months stuff from dubious origins in the stores.  ick.

I attended a FSMA training class in Liverpool this past week.  Food Safety and Modernization Act is the first ever of it's kind for vegetable production in the USA.  It's massive, it's been in the works for years and applies to just about every size of farm.   Different size farms have different levels of to comply with.   Size of farm is determined by income from vegetables and fruit not by acreage.  We fall under the very small farm at the moment due to vegetables currently on the lower end of production.  Well for a year or two more.   I have to say I've sat through meeting like this before or had to listen to talks and NONE really had a grasp on the facts.   This one did plus had representatives from NYS to answer questions.   Hosted by NOFA- NY and much appreciated.   Too bad few attended as many feel they are exempt or already know it all.  We'll see how it goes.   I know what we have to comply with and what records we need to have.  Lots to work on.  

Anyways, our hay mow is getting empty as the cows are eating it all!   We should have enough to feed them another month but may have to buy a few hundred bales or so if grazing is later this year.   Often we can graze around April 15 or 20th, but we never know how spring goes.  

I'm finally getting the seed orders done and ordered.   Green house starts up in 2 weeks so I best get all done fast.   We had alot of issues last year with cucumber diseases and the dreaded cucumber beetle not just eating plants but spreading the disease.  I plan to give that the heave ho and conquer the problems this year.  

I've tried many years to grow brocolli but we have another bad pest destroying it and I'm really finished with buying expensive row cover just to have it tear.  The organic alternatives are yes spraying it with organic treatments and honestly I hate spraying ANYTHING no matter organic or not.    No brocolli this  year until I come to terms with it all.   Yes, organic farms do spray things on their crops.  It's not a secret but for some reason people really do think organic is magical, like we dance around and wave a magic wand to save all our crops from disease and pests.  Not so.  oh man not so.    So Organics have many standards and any thing to be used does go through a pretty intensive review of the ingredients and those sources.   Any sprays that are especially effective and organic approved are very expensive. I have to make sure it's the treatment I want, is there something else to address first or do we grow enough of say Brocolli to make the spray worthwhile.  Right now.  No.   I've tried a clay based one and wasn't happy with it.   Row cover tears so lets in the dreaded wasp and then row cover is polyester and well.......    more and more not compostable products that go to a land fill.  I'm a bit sick of it.   This year will be more beneficial plants put in to bring in beneficial insects to go after some pests but also major fertility boost with lots more compost and lots of crop rotations.  

it means growing lots more of some things like tomatoes, beans, potatoes, carrots, greens, corn, spinach, lettuce, onions and less brocolli for one thing.   Sorry if you want organic it comes at a difficult price.  Luckily I know a few farms that grow it exceptionally well so we can all shop with them.  

It all has me wondering if the dreaded wasp that takes out brocolli (and other in that family) is just sprayed with one spraying of one chemical and it dies, is that so bad?   Because organic doesn't always have an effective treatment, so cost is up, harvest is way down and where are we?  We are left with massive infestations of pests too.   Huh....... It has me wondering if a little is such a bad thing?   Time to do some research and talk to my conventional growing friends on what they use and work on improving our land here maybe I'll find a better solution that we are all happy with.    Maybe but I will miss you Ms. Brocolli cut fresh with my own hands after months of nurturing you along from seed in the greenhouse to planting outdoors.  sigh........   

I'm headed out to help my men clean up an old nasty willow hedgerow that we are taking out so we can fix some drainage in that area.  No worries it will grow back but needed some renovation anyways.    The new shoots will pop up many feet in teh summer and by next year fill in nicely.   The woodchips are added to the cows bedding pack, which will be composted this summer then spread on the fields and gardens next year.   Pretty cool circle there.   

Take care all.  Come to the farm for good meat or let us deliver.   You need to eat and Eating well matters.   Or just be happy buying from a large company that ships in meat from literally a half a world away.  Sad.  

So be happy,  Choose local food first.  Your Health Matters and Your farms are doing good things that matter.