Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Farmer John Answers - Part 2

Here is the second of our two part series on Farmer John answers.  Again, as a rookie farmer I can't guarantee any of the answers to technical questions are correct. But of course I will tell you what I do know and make up the rest....

Of all the stuff you grow, how much do you eat/preserve yourself, how much do you sell, and how much goes to the chickens/pigs/compost?
A. Alesandrini

I would say the majority of crops we grow we sell at Farmers Market. We've grown the gardens large enough now that I can't imagine the two of us making a dent on the produce supply. However, we do preserve a fair amount of food and some crops are only for us. We only grow dry beans for ourselves because they are so time consuming to shell. I have recently learned to pressure-can so I can put up more of our low acid vegetables. The chickens and pigs usually only get the produce that is too blemished, old, or funky for us.

Should fresh tomatoes be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for best flavor?
Uncle Tom

I can't stand tomatoes that have been refrigerated. They get all mushy and aren't worth eating. If you want to preserve them a little longer than they last at room temperature find a cool dark place such as a cellar or basement. This will keep them longer without making them mushy. In fact, green tomatoes picked before frost will continue to ripen in a basement or cellar, although they won't be quite as tasty because the sugars won't fully develop.

How often do you have to recruit help to get things done?
A. Alesandrini

I had lots of help this summer/fall with our market garden. I felt very fortunate to have so many friends and family willing to pitch in to pick beans, dig potatoes, bale hay, and split firewood. They would show up and help without me ever asking. I do know however, as I continue to grow the farm I will have to get better at asking for help and maybe hire a few willing high school laborers to help with some of the farm work. It will eventually be to much work for just Mollie and I to do on our own.


  1. Good to have some thoughts from you again, John.
    "Time-consuming" is an understatement when it comes to the dry beans! Fun, just the same. And you figured out a clever method using a feed sack and a fan!

  2. It's the best thing since fresh snow (and I love fresh snow) that you are back on here blogging away. I'd like to ask for the next set of questions ... what about a solar roof on your barn or for your fences? Or, can you somehow use the creek to generate electric for your barn needs? Love you!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...