Greetings farm followers and fans! First of all, we are very excited to announce that we all got our first round of the vaccine last week! Hooray! The next round is in three weeks. Hopefully we'll start to have volunteers, interns, and employees who have been vaccinated so we can all dispense with wearing masks around home. No matter what, we continue to keep safety first whenever anyone new comes onto the farm.
We had a couple from Bayfield (up north) join us for a day last week to help move logs around and learn more about the farm. We almost (almost) roped them into helping us put the shade structure fabric up. But then we realized, 'Wait a minute! It's barely even April. We can't put the fabric up this early - it's bound to snow again... surely..." It has snowed in mid-April the past two years - so, better safe than sorry! With the temperatures in the 70s today and tomorrow I'm certainly ready to call winter over and get to all the spring and summer activities!
And we do have a LOT of activities that need to be done. The ongoing project of course is inoculations! Here's our trusty thermometer, inching up very slowly.
In real life, it looks like this!
If we could work 40 hours a week on this it would be moving a lot faster. That's generally what we've been able to do in past years. But this year, we've got our indoor fruiting chamber up and running so there is at least one full day a week of putting orders together for deliveries on Saturday - plus picking the mushrooms 2-3 times a day. With only Jeremy and our one employee right now, it's feeling like we're snowed under!
Here's what we've got on the to-do list for the next couple months (before the growing season starts):
Finish all these logs (3,750 to go now!)
Put the shade fabric up on the shade structure (probably in early May)
Move all the natural fruiting logs aside so we can auger holes and set up racks for them (which will make picking those mushrooms much easier) - and then move all those logs back again!
Stack all the incubating logs from last year into the main fruiting logs area
Move all the newly inoculated logs out of the high tunnel and into the shade structure
We ordered a bunch of baby pine trees that will be arriving the end of this month which we plan to plant in a line near the shade structure - this will eventually help with the amount of drying wind we get up there.
Finish the new fruiting chamber and get that up and running - hopefully by the end of June at the latest.
Then convert the old fruiting chamber into a second walk-in cooler
That's just the big stuff! We normally wouldn't have additional employees starting for another month or two, but we could definitely use someone right now. Or maybe a couple of giant crop mobs. =)
We do have our job postings up, as I mentioned last time, so keep spreading the word if you know folks who love outdoors work, and love a good exhausting day of work. Haha!
Production worker: There are more details on our website.
Farmers Market employee: Details on our website, and please reach out soon if you're interested - May will be here before you know it!
Picker/packer. Funny name - super important job! This person helps do all the packing and packaging of mushrooms every week. They also help with picking mushrooms. Generally this person doesn't have to help with any production work (moving logs, etc) unless we're in a bind. As usual, details are on our website, and we'd love to hear from folks who are interested in this position.
We know we'll get through this - we have every year before! We'd just like to do it with more of our sanity intact than has been usual!
Most of the firewood we sell from the farm comes pre-scratched. It's a big job, but Spore can handle it!