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Market Season Begins!

June 5, 2018
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One of our new NOVOgen girls.

Just a few posts ago, I was writing about the end of last year’s Kenton Farmer’s Market and here we are, the beginning of this year’s market season! Where does the time go?

This spring we have been doing our usual things: waiting for the rain to stop, planning, seeding, prepping the fields and planting. Now, we harvest the bounty from our work.

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The Bethel Farm Stand

Last Saturday, we opened our farm stand, just down the road from our farm. It is a pretty small affair, but we have enjoyed meeting our neighbors. You can find us with produce from our farm on Saturdays, from 10 am to 2 pm, in front of the Bethel Community Church, at 7575 Bethel Rd. in Rickreall.

Tomorrow starts the Kenton Farmers Market. We are excited to be back for our second year and are looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones.

Here are some of the highlights of the winter and spring on the farm:

Work on the packing barn (formerly called the pole barn) continues. Being a civil engineer who worked on sewers/storm water, the first project for Steven was the drainage/storm water management system. Then, he perfected his construction skills by building out the interior of our new packing barn. He framed the walk in cooler rooms, bathroom and space for the wash area. He did some work to facilitate the electrical service installation and we now have electricity! The rest will have to wait until work in the field slows down and he can slip away, back into the packing barn.

We have a new flock of hens. In mid-February, we picked up a new flock of laying hens from Jenks Hatchery in Tangent. We went with the NOVOgen Brown Egg Layers again, because they are calm, friendly and productive. We bought thirty hens, but we noticed fairly quickly that one was different. Instead of the orange/red color, it was white. For quite a while, we thought maybe it had a little more Leghorn than the others, or was some aberration. After a few months, we started thinking, could this be a rooster? Not too long ago, we got our confirmation, when it started crowing. We learned that sex-link chickens are not foolproof.

In April, we had our inspection for organic certification. It was earlier than in previous years, which was nice for us. It is a little more hectic to have the inspection in the middle of the summer. All went well, and our organic certification continues.

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Celeriac seed is very small, or I have a huge hand.

We also refurbished one of our hoop houses in April. We took off the plastic and let the rain wash through the soil. Salts built up and needed to leach away. Our peppers won’t have to contend with high sodium levels for a while!

We are entering a new market this season. A few weeks ago, we heard that the Salem Farmers Market was starting a new market in West Salem. We thought it would be great to be in a market so close to home. So, we applied and got in! The market will be on Thursdays, 10 am to 2 pm, starting in July.

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Our artichokes survived the winter for the first time!

Lastly, we got some new phones and got ourselves on Instagram! We’re a little late on the scene, but we thought we would give it a try. If you’d like to see what’s going on (we only have a few posts so far…we are just beginning) you can find us here: bethel.springs.farm

It is going to be a busy year, but we are looking forward to all the good food on its way!

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Who doesn’t love a beautiful bed of spinach?

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