Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How Many Days 'Til Summer?

Our Potter County Farmers' Market group spent Sunday afternoon chatting, laughing, sharing a potluck dinner and planning for the 2013 market.
We determined that we would continue bringing our wares to downtown Coudersport every Friday afternoon beginning May 24. There has been a small change in the operating hours. We'll now begin at 1:00 and continue to 5:00 p.m. (We have found that there was little demand after 5:00 p.m.) Tentative Saturdays to be added including the Maple Festival, Memorial Day weekend, God’s Country Marathon weekend, Independence Day weekend, Woodsmen’s Show/Archery Show weekend, Labor Day weekend and the Falling Leaves Festival. Saturday hours are 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
We've also decided to explore an alternate location – the lot adjacent to the square (corner of North East and East Second Street) which is across East Second Street from the Potter County Jail. We feel that this site will be a bit easier to access for the public with more parking as well as less traffic noise and exhaust. Let us know what you think about this change for we want to preserve the option of moving back to the courthouse square if this location is not satisfactory.
If you're a grower, producer of high quality crafts, home baked goods, prepared foods, consider joining the Farmers' Market group. We have a set of guidelines that govern the Market and I'll be delighted to email them to you to see if you meet the criteria. Just send a comment via this blog and I'll get back with you.
As I type this, it's 50+ degrees and seems more like spring that late January. We enjoyed two January thaws this year. I can do without the mud, however!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


This is what -2 looks like on this Wednesday morning in January. I'm glad to see the sunshine today and, for now, the winds have stilled.
In the background you can see the new orchard with those winter-hardy trees standing at attention in this bitter chill. We've had quite a bit of rabbit damage this winter. Arthur was out there yesterday painting the trees with a bio-dynamic concoction that helps heal the damage.
We're having a meeting of the Potter County Farmers' Market group this weekend to put in motion plans for the 2013 season. Let me know your suggestions for improving the market. We're interested in knowing what you are looking for at the market, what days/times are best for you and any other thoughts you have.
Stay warm.

Monday, January 21, 2013

National Agricultural Statistics

The USDA is spending lots of money to execute the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Since receiving my packet in the mail, I have received a phone call and a post card to remind me to complete the Census.
According to a press release, "The 2012 Census of Agriculture, the only source of consistent and comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation, is currently being mailed to millions of farmers across the United States. All farmers should receive a census form by early January.  Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the census."
Under federal law, any information provided in response to the survey or census is to be used only for statistical purposes. (7 USC Section 2204g(f)(3)) The USDA will compile the information collected and release statistics on how many people farm, how many acres are in organic production, how many livestock are owned by different size farms, and much more. The information published is not connected to any person’s name or personal information.
One of the most important reasons to complete the survey has to do with our elected officials. Legislators often look to see what sort of farms are in their districts, so this information has an impact on how these elected officials view agricultural issues. Keeping close track of these statistics can help steer important debates over public policy on agriculture and food.
I will soon open the envelope and complete the survey with information from this little farm in rural northcentral Pennsylvania.
In the past couple of days, I've run into several folks who tell me they're regular readers of my blog. To all of you, I say thanks and I pledge to update a little more frequently. I've begun a list of potential blog topics so keep reading - and commenting!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Snow Melt

The thick fog has been a topic of conversation at the farm the past few days as we ride the roller coaster of high and low temperatures. It's all part of the "January thaw." According to Wikipedia, the January thaw is an observed but unexplained temperature rise in mid-winter found in mid-latitude North America. Son-in-law Jon ventured to the high tunnel yesterday to harvest a bunch of parsley for a family gathering. It was fresh and delicious.