Sometimes a task is small, but the longer you wait to do it the more important it gets – or at least the more of log jam it creates. A few years ago Jeremy joined a farmer journey-person program through the Land Stewardship Project. During one weekend, they brought up the idea of “weak links” and “log jams” – those things, little or big, that block production or slow things down.
As we settle into the new farm, there are plenty of weak links and log jams we know about and others we’ll undoubtedly discover along the way.
One small one is that the only place to wash hands was in the house, so people had to walk all the way back to the house from the pack shed or high tunnel or wherever they were. We always wear gloves when picking and sorting mushrooms, but we still want to wash our hands. Jeremy picked up a little hand washing sink last week and got it installed in the packing shed. Yay! That will save a lot of walking.
One task that has grown larger and larger in importance over the months is electricity. Jeremy ran an extension cord out to the high tunnel and that’s all the electricity we’ve had out there for over a year. Finally this last week we got a sub-panel out there which gives us more power for running lights, drills, and, most importantly, our big 30-inch agricultural fan. Basically a giant box fan, it sits at the top of the high tunnel and draws the warm air out. This helps us regulate the temperature in there so it doesn’t get too hot for the mushrooms. In fact, there are so many issues around making just the right environment for happy mushrooms, I think that will have to be the subject of next week’s update.
Here’s the giant fan. Stay tuned for a video next week!
Yet another project we’re working on is how to keep the humidity at the right level. Jeremy dragged out a system he had from way back when we were in Maplewood. It was set up for a different space and for sprinkling instead of misting, so we need a bunch of new parts. That particular solution is on hold until we get those parts. For now, Jeremy has installed some sprinklers that have a moisture senser and timers. This saves a lot of time as farm workers don’t have to go out to the hoop house a couple times a day and spray down logs by hand.
Laying out the misting system, looking for all the parts! And below, sprinkling the logs.