News and blog

Current happenings on and around the farm!
Posted 3/23/2012 2:50pm by Jenna Untiedt.

We are all working away on the farm as they say "in the heat of things" and as you know, we actually are in the heat of things.  Sooo unusual for this time in March when we normally have 2-3 feet of frost and blowing snow.  Oh well, we will take it as it comes and many thanks to you all for your thoughts and prayers which have delivered bountiful rainfall these past few days.  If this is an indicator of your power, please keep it coming because in the growing business we just never know what tomorrow will bring.

Among the many focuses on the farm this past week are:

A.)  TOMATO GRAFTING-  Grafting of tomatoes continues this week.  It is a tedious, time consuming process, but worth the effort. 

B.)  HIGH TUNNEL TOMATO PLANTING-  We continue to plant tomatoes in our high tunnels daily.  A bit ahead of schedule, but why not?  The weather is cooperating and who doesn't want to enjoy the sweet taste of a homegrown tomato earlier than normal?

C.)  GREENHOUSE WORK CONTINUES-  We are still hard at work in the greenhouses with our flower production.  We continue to plant daily and trim and prune the plants as well.  Boy, does it feel good working in the greenhouses.  The sweet smell of spring is definately there.

D.)  MAINTENANCE WORK-  Ken and his crew work hard daily on making sure all equipment is up and running how it should be.  They have definately been busy with the early spring this year. 

E.)  CSA SIGN UP CONTINUES-  Megan and Terri continue to work hard on our CSA program.  They are signing up new and returning shareholders daily!  We would love it if you would consider us to be your CSA provider this season, but don't wait too long, spots are filling up fast!  Exciting news for our CSAs- You can now register online on our website! 

Spring continues unabated and this is actually causing a few hiccups in the maple syrup process.  Otherwise, our propane useage is down which is aiding our budgets!

On the nature front, Canadian Geese and Eastern Bluebirds along with the Sparrow Hawks all are busy nesting.  Our apple trees are all pushing their new leaves.  The North Fork of our Crow River is moving along nicely, but nowhere near the flood stages of the past few years.  Have you all had the opportunity to get out and walk during or shortly after the gorgeous rains to observe the nightcrawler congregations on the grass and roads?  It's been awhile since I have seen so many.  I truly believe this is a testimony to healthy soils and you can count on us to continue to strive for healthier and more robust soils.

By the way, if I can address questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us!  We'd love to hear from you! 

Please check out our photos we put up on our FACEBOOK page.  They show what we have been up to on the farm. 

Happy Spring,

Farmer Jerry

Posted 3/16/2012 2:52pm by Jenna Untiedt.

Well.... Is it an early spring in Minnesota or a cruel enticement from the "weather god" encouraging a painful and expensive early planting error?  If you have an idea, please let us know!!

We aren't quite sure which way to move, but we really are moving on the Untiedt Farm. 

Transplanting continues daily as we prepare for our greenhouse plant selling season.  We have been busy planting petunias, pansies, mixed baskets, pots and more.  Everything is looking great!  Color is sure coming!

We have been busy pruning and training the plants to grow how we want them to grow.  We love giving the plants "haircuts".  This makes them so much fuller during the summer time. 

Tomato grafting continues as does the actual planting of tomatoes in our high tunnels.  Our first crop of tomatoes went into the ground yesterday!  This warm weather will really give the tomatoes a jump start this season.

We have been out and about checking fields for moisture conditions, being tempted to start planting soon, but who knows if the weather will hold.

Our days are getting longer and longer with the increased workloads but it feels sooo good to be growing again.  I do need to mention that we are in the midst of a serious drought and we should all be thinking about using our water resources wisely and prudently.

On the nature walks, we are seeing so many bird friends return.  Among them are Eastern Bluebirds, Killdeer, Meadowlarks, Red Wing Blackbirds, Sandhill Cranes and many many types of waterfowl.  Oh how great it is to have the air filled with new sounds, sights, and smells.  It truly is a great life- LIVE IT!

Posted 2/28/2012 2:53pm by Jenna Untiedt.

Spring is coming, no matter what the weathermen tell us!  After such a mild and dry winter we are in need of some moisture, whether it be in the form of rain or snow.  We are a bit nervous with this storm that is approaching due to the fact it could be in the form of ice.  This leads us to worry about power issues.  If the ice does come we will be up all night setting up generators to keep power going for the heaters in the greenhouses.  Please keep your fingers crossed that the ice doesn't come and that we just get rain or snow.

With the mild winter we had we were able to get lots of outdoor projects done.  We constructed a new grafting house for our tomatoes and made repairs on existing greenhouses including recovering many.  We completed a new block of high tunnels which will allow us to grow more crops earlier for you.  Our crew has also been working intensely on our composting project to help improve our soil quality.  All these things were able to get done a bit earlier than planned since the weather was so unseasonably warm.  Our time this past winter was also spent learning.  We believe education is key to a successful operation and we try to attend as many conferences as possible in the off season to learn all we can.  This past winter we were able to attend some high tunnel conferences in Minnesota and Pennsylvania, the Michigan Fruit and Vegetable Grower's Conference and more.  Each conference is unique and we get something new out of every seminar we attend.  It is always interesting to see how other people grow.

As spring is approaching we have begun work inside the greenhouses.  We began planting on February 15, planting hanging baskets, flats, pots and more.  It sure feels and smells like spring!  It is so nice and green inside the houses and color will soon be coming.  Our first batch of tomatoes have been grafted and are growing as planned.  These tomatoes will be planted in our high tunnels as soon as the weather turns the corner, hopefully the beginning of April! 

That's a brief update on what's happening at the farm right now, never a dull moment here!  We are looking forward to the 2012 season and "growing for you"! 

Farmer Jerry