Field Notes From the Farm

From Riverdog Farm, courtesy of Capay Valley Farm Shop

image courtesy of Riverdog Farm

In 1990, Riverdog Farm began as a 2-acre organic vegetable garden in Napa County. Currently, the farm is located in Guinda in the Capay Valley where rich creek bottom soil, intense summer heat, and winter frost make exceptionally tasty fruits, nuts and vegetables. Annually, the farm grows over 100 types of fruits, nuts, and vegetables on 300 acres. Partners Tim Mueller and Trini Campbell, with their daughter and 50 full-time employees, keep the farm going year-round. In 2007, Riverdog Farm began raising pastured chickens and hogs. We’re proud to have Riverdog Farm on board and their produce is a staple of FarmShares. Each week, the folks at Riverdog write up a summary of what’s happening on the farm. Here are some of the recent notes from the field.

Feb 13th, 2011
What fun to be getting into the Spring groove of warm days, not so frigid nights and gentle showers every few days! Now that the days are stretching out we can really transplant in earnest. We started last Friday with chards and will roll into cabbage later this week with kales to follow. Last week’s 0.55 inch of rain was perfect and would love another shot at the end of this week. The cold December and January slowed and dwarfed some crops but less to pick right now is ok as we have so much hoe work to do. January direct seedlings are popping up in beautiful lines of carrots, spinach, beets, kales, chards, turnips lettuces and more, all in need of their beds weeded and cleaned with some hoe work. The greenhouses are full to bursting with almost ready to transplant spring brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kales) as well as the first rounds of the summer bounty of peppers, tomatoes and soon eggplant.

Feb 20, 2012
As of today, we are still transplanting along, emptying the greenhouse of Spring veggies so we can continue filling it with seedlings for Summer’s bounty. Roberto Manuel, who does most of our direct field seeding has been very busy this past week, seeding 6 varieties of spinach, various braising mix ingredients, cilantro, six varieties of carrots, five varieties of beets and much more. All of this Spring deliciousness will be harvested and eaten before Summer Solstice, just four months from now. With the continued dry weather we’re renovating fields as soon as we harvest them, readying them for the next crop. We are still irrigating our cover crops until the summer fruits are ready to be transplanted. Asparagus is just starting to push out so we are making a final cultivation pass before the real March asparagus push, which we are all looking forward to. In between all the field activity, we are cutting seed potato, for the potato field is ready, too. We almost never get to plant them this early and normally have rainy days to cut seed potatoes to maximize the eyes. Almonds should start to bloom in earnest next week or so with stone fruit to follow closely. This is a time of promise, hope and plenty of work on the farm!

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