January is the best time for summing up the old year and looking forward to the new year. As for 2012, it is gone. Some good and some bad just like every other year. We were challenged by the drought just like every other farmer in the Midwest. We were challenged by a family illness and death, but that is the unfortunate part of everyone's life. On the plus side, the new high tunnel came through with flying colors. Mike has decided that the tomatoes in the high tunnel were so superior to the ones in the field that all the tomatoes in 2013 will be grown in the high tunnel. We are still working on the irrigation project though. That project seems to start and stop so often that is seems like it will never become reality. But it will. Eventually.
The highlights of 2012:
Who could forget the giant broccoli plant? In case some aren't familiar with the story, Mike and our farm workers were out picking broccoli for one of our customers. These plants did produce some really nice heads of broccoli, but then there was this one head. It was the only one out there that reach this mammoth size. Not quite sure what happened here, but I ended up blanching and freezing the entire head (which weighed around 8-10 pounds).
As usual, Countryside Conservancy Farmers Market in Peninsula, Ohio is always on our list of highlights. It is such a well run market and has such a variety of vendors. Not only do we sell produce there, but we shop there too. Mike buys a loaf of bread from Great Lakes Baking Company nearly every week and I will sometimes put an order in for some cheese or raspberries or whatever else we don't grow here on the farm. And the Countryside Conservancy market is where we met up with Chef Rusty Hamlin and sold him the produce used at the Zac Brown Band's Eat and Greet at Blossom Music Center this past September.
We were thankful once again to be part of the supply chain for Fresh Fork Market. Mike was very thankful for the loading forks he bought when he bought the front end loader for one of the tractors. Now we have an ever rotating supply of pallets in our barn as well. Sure beats the old method of loading one box at a time on to the truck for things like boxes of eggplant or even better, one head at a time for things like broccoli that are loaded in bins.
And this kind of flows into this year, but when you live where the winters are cold and snowy, you kind of appreciate global warming or whatever weather phenomena is causing some milder spells in the winter. The cabbage patch lasted well into December and even in the last two weeks we sold 900 whole Brussels sprout plants wholesale and 30 quarts of Brussels sprouts at last week's farmers market. The Brussels sprouts patch in the garden was a bit snow covered last week. It was a balmy 15F degrees outside the day that Mike picked the sprouts for the farmers market. Bless is hands because mine would have been frozen in about 3 seconds.
But the end result was some quite nice looking Brussels sprouts.
So onward into 2013 we go. We have some great new and exciting things in the works for this year. And I am ever hopeful that I will remain motivated to keep the blog more up to date than I did last year. Time will tell.