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Posted 3/17/2014 4:33pm by David Paulk.

All the talk among market farmers this year has been wondering just how long winter will last. Most of us who "push" the season, that is, grow outside the typical planting time, are three weeks behind schedule. "Normally", we would have a lot of plantings completed but not so this year.  In an effort to get caught-up, we took advantage of this weekend's brief period of beautiful weather to get a lot of work done and done quickly.  In the mad rush, we were able to get into some of our fields to add compost, till soil and transplanted mesculin, braising mix, scallions and directly seed radishes, beets, peas, kale and raab.  We also managed to squeeze in a harvest for our friends at Woodberry Kitchen, The Good Earth Natural Foods Store and Blue Heron B & B.  

Overall, we made a lot of head way in three short days especially seeding crops even though it's a bit risky to be planting in cold weather. But that's what makes vegetable farming challenging and rewarding.  Hopefully warmer temperatures are coming soon.  

Photo of the week: Farmer Dave preparing to seed

Your Farmers, Dave and Jen

Posted 3/9/2014 3:08pm by David and Jennifer Paulk.

What’s been going on!

Well, the coldest winter in several decades and soggy ground.  Thankfully, the large flock of Canada geese that have been camped out in our fields moved onward yesterday - a sure sign spring is (almost) here.  Like everyone else we have really been looking forward to the warm and sunny weather so we could get caught up on planting in the fields.  As it is, we have delayed planting many of the direct seeded crops like kale, peas and beets because the soil temperatures have been so cold that we would potentially have really poor germination especially in wet soil.  So we're happy to see the sun this weekend to help dry things out.  

We did manage to transplant leeks in between snow storms last Sunday on previously prepared fall beds and have a back log of onions ready for transplants hopefully this week provided we can get into the fields with the tractor.  

Otherwise we have been busy interviewing new employees, working in the high-tunnel, and updating our annual organic certification application.  We've also been selling some nice produce to our friends at the Good Earth Natural Foods Store in Leonadtown.  

Last, our first market day will be Saturday, April 5th at the HomeGrown Farm Market (just south of Gate 3).  We look forward to seeing you all there in a few short weeks.  

Photo of the week:  Spinach

High tunnel spinach

Your farmers Dave and Jen

Posted 2/6/2014 4:09pm by Sassafras Creek Farm.

 That's right, we're looking to hire for a few good women (and men) to help us grow delicious vegetables, small fruit and herbs for the 2014 season.  What could be more rewarding than learning how to grow organic produce in southern Maryland.  We farm March through December, but we take folks throughout the season.  Please see "Opportunities" for more details.  Your Farmers, Dave & Jen 

Posted 1/29/2014 7:08am by David Paulk.

STARt members

Farmers Dave and Jen are proud members of START (Starting, Transitioning And ReTurning) Farmers' Network, a new program here in southern Maryland for new, young and beginning farmers. The program provides assistance and resources from technical training, mentor matching and access to farmland.  Formed in 2013, the group meets approximately monthly to network, discuss challenges, hear from experts and guest speakers, tour successful farms and more. 

Posted 1/23/2014 2:42pm by David Paulk.

It's easy for farmers, to have a boatload of New Year's resolutions.  There are so many areas to make improvements from one year to the next.  But we decided it's best to pick just one.  This year's resolution is to improve our crop planning skills.  So, we decided to step-up our game for 2014 by using a new software application called AgSquared.  AgSquared is an online cloud based tool to help small diversified vegetable farms do crop planning.  Farmer Jen was a beta tester a while back.  Farmer Dave was…. well, you get the idea.  So, Farmer Dave has been spending more hours than he cares to admit learning this application and entering the data for our farm. Truth be told, he’s a pencil and paper kind of guy and a tad skeptical about using this app because it's tedious work!  But he’s good at keeping his word.  And having a Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA close-at-hand doesn't hurt.   Cheers!  Your Farmers, Dave and Jen 

Posted 1/19/2014 5:59pm by David Paulk.

This weekend we attended the 15th Annual Future Harvest CASA farm conference at the University of Maryland College Park.  

Farm conferences are really important events. It's when we get to see farmer friends, meet new ones, attend workshops ranging from how to grow veggies; to secure micro-loans; animal nutrition to policy support.  But most importantly, it’s a chance to validate why we all collectively work so hard.  This conference was particularly noteworthy, as we celebrated the newly agreed merger between CASA and PASA.  Both organizations are dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship.  The merger will bring together all of the major Chesapeake Bay states under one association with one voice.  We think this is a great move to help bring locally produced food to our region. 

The other news is we've got the greenhouse fired-up with onions, scallions, shallots, tomatoes and peppers. In a few short weeks, we'll be transplanting these crops in our new high-tunnel with the idea that they'll be ready for the farmers' market in May.  Your farmers, Dave and Jen.

Posted 1/11/2014 1:01pm by David Paulk.

Sassafras Creek Organic Farm is hiring for the 2014 Farm Season

- Full-time Assistant Farmer

Part-time Team Members

- Farmer’s Market Assistants

Please see "Opportunities" tab for details.

Thank you!

David and Jennifer Paulk

Posted 1/3/2014 5:22pm by David Paulk.

Happy New Year!  I'm sure everyone is talking about the snow and cold today. Brrrr, it is sure cold outside. Best to stay by the fire with a good book and cup of tea or if you're a small-scale veggie farmer, work on those 2014 crop planning and year-end spreadsheets.

Photo:  Winter arrives on the farm

Believe it or not, in between the snow and ice, we harvested some nice produce yesterday from our newly built high-tunnel (unheated greenhouse) for the Good Earth Natural Food Co in Leonardtown.  It was delivered today, Friday.  Look for Salad mix, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Celery, Hakurie turnips, Arugula, and Cilantro. The high-tunnel creates a nice mico-climate for hearty winter vegetables that don’t much mind the cold but need some warmth.  Hence, the above goodies.  

Photos:  19 F outside, 67 F inside, going up to 75 F.  Solar energy magic

Speaking of produce goodies, we're starting to seed-up in our greenhouse tomorrow.  Yes, it's not too early for onions, scallions, shallots closely followed by tomatoes and peppers.   Yum, tomatoes....what's your favorite?

Happy New Year!  - Dave and Jen

 

 

Posted 12/22/2013 9:22am by David Paulk.

Well, we just finished our last farmer's market for the year; 33 Saturdays in all! As the year ends and winter officially arrived Saturday (at a balmy 70 degrees), we reflect back on the year and all of the wonderful support you have given us.  It makes us very appreciative and confirms why we are doing this.  Your support has helped motivate us to go out every day, throughout the year, rain or shine and make things grow.  If we didn’t get to say it in person Saturday, “Thank you and have an enjoyable holiday season!”

As we wind down our third year as new farmers, we are reminded just how challenging a season it has been.  All in all, we had just too much wet weather for optimal growing conditions.  The old saying “A dry year will scare you to death; a wet year will starve you to death” rings true.  We can recall thousands of plants in early spring trying to survive in standing water on our home farm.  A nearby farmer remarked that it was his most challenging season in his 30 years of growing vegetables.  The cold wet spring resulted in a tomato delay, multiple replantings of sugar snap peas, beans a shortage of lettuce and arugula for five weeks in mid-summer and more weeds then we'd ever seen.  We adapted to these challenges by growing more crops on our Leonardtown farm, which has sandy soils, allowing us to grow and harvest a bounty of diverse vegetables for the rest of the year.  Even though there were challenges the good thing about being a farmer is that there is always next year.

We will spend the next few weeks doing end-of-year bookkeeping, putting together our 2014 crop plan and schedule, ordering seeds, submitting our annual organic certification update, and taking a wee break before we start sowing seeds in our greenhouse next month.  If there’s something you’d like us to grow, send us an e-mail and we’ll look into it.  We enjoy trying new crops every season.  We’ll also be gearing-up for the big move soon from our home farm in Park Hall to our Leonardtown farm property and working on a number of home and farm projects including a new greenhouse and pole barn.

Before we officially close the year out, we need to recognize our amazing farm crew in 2013.  We clearly, could not have functioned without Joe, Priscilla, Kevin, Connie, Joe, Mindy, Jennifer and Amie’s help.  They each brought a unique spirit and energy to the farm and maybe, a few of them were inspired to become future farmers – we hope so.  For 2014, we’ll be looking to hire several full and part-time employees starting in late March, early April.  Please spread the word!

Lastly, thank you again for supporting our dream and help to bring locally grown food to the community.  We look forward to seeing you at the farmer’s market in late March and we’ll send out updates between now and then.  In the meantime, look for our produce at The Good Earth Natural Foods Company in Leonardtown - true friends of locally produced foods.  

Sincerely,

David and Jennifer Paulk

Posted 12/19/2013 8:20pm by David Paulk.

Happy Holidays!

It's offical; this Saturday, Dec 21st will be our last market for the 2013 season.  Yes, we will miss you all.  But we could use a few weeks off and we'll back before you know it.  So, come see us one more time at the Home Grown Market and stock-up on your holiday locally-sourced food.

We're offering:

- Arugula

- Beets

- Carrots

- Celery (New)

- Cilantro

- Garlic

- Kale

- Lettuce: Bibb and Romaine

- Radishes

- Salad Mix

- Scallions

- Spinach

- Turnips

Photo of the Week: Brilliant Winter Day on the Farm


Happy Holidays!


Your Local Farmers,

David and Jennifer Paulk

Sassafras Creek Organic Farm

   



BAE Farmer's Market is OPEN - Saturday, 9 am - 1 pm (UNTIL 18 NOV.)June 23rd, 2017

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New recipe: CapreseJune 23rd, 2017

4 medium tomatoes   Olive oil  Fresh basil leaves  Mozzarella (buffalo, if you can get it) Sea Salt, pepper Slice tomatoes and mozzarella. Alternate tomatoes and mozzarella on

 

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