Winter Happenings on the Farm
The Greenhouse Gets a Makeover
Spring is nearly upon us, and as you long for your first share to arrive you can rest at ease knowing we are already busy preparing for your shares out at the farm. Before many of your crops set their young roots in the fields, they take-in their first rays of light in our greenhouse. At Sauvie Island Organics we have one 20ft x 100ft heated greenhouse that we use for all our vegetables starts that we transplant out to the fields in the spring. Up until this winter the watering system for the greenhouse was completely manual, meaning someone had to water everything by hand. For 2010 we decided to take the leap and install an over-head watering system. The new system (pictured above) includes uniform misting nozzles that are attached to the top of the greenhouse and run along the length of the greenhouse tables. You can turn on one or all of the tables for watering with just the turn of a switch, and even set and automatic timer to turn the watering system on and off. With this new system we hope to save several hours a week from what used to be the long process of watering the greenhouse. In addition to the watering system, SIO also expanded the capacity of our greenhouse heat tables. Some plants prefer the soil temperature to be a little warmer than what it might be naturally in the spring and fall, and so in order to create those soil conditions we use a hydro-thermal tubing system on the tables. The new heat tables also include a valve controls (pictured below) so that certain tables can be isolated for heat or no heat.
Sauvie Island is home to the nearly 12,000 acres of preserved land know as the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. This network of wilderness area provides habitat for deer, beavers, foxes, and large populations of migratory birds. While Sauvie Island Organics values its close and harmonious relationship with the wildlife in the area, from time to time we still have to take precautions to protect the fields and your crops from damage. As seen above, a silhouette of a wolf cut from plywood and painted black is one method SIO uses to keep large flocks of migratory geese from settling and eating all our winter cover crops from our fields. Thanks to the smart thinking of Field Assistant Brian Wood, SIO tested the wolves last season, and since placing them out we haven’t seen many geese land in the fields to graze. We also use flags (pictured below), metallic mylar ribbon, and other distraction methods to deter wildlife from settling in our fields.
Shares Still Available for 2010!–Sign-up Now
Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, its not to late to share in the harvest for 2010! As we are busy planning and preparing we want to remind you that sign-up for the 2010 season is open and we still have space available at all of our pick-up sites. Signing up is quick and easy! Just complete the Community Farm Agreement and submit on-line, then send in your $100 deposit to reserve your slot for the coming season.