Farm 2 ForkShaker Gardens

Winter Update from Shaker Garden

by Stacey Cooper, Co-op Farm Manager

For the last week I’ve been mostly back to the office to dive into garden planning for the 2016 season.

My main projects have been:

Crop planning and crop map development. Running several scenarios in order to determine and balance the best use of the land, potential yields and labor needs.

Developing seed orders based on these scenarios. I am also in the process of sourcing root stock and transplants for perennials crops that we aim to establish this year such as strawberries, asparagus, rhubarb, horseradish & turmeric.

Budgeting for this seasons expenses as well and trying to generate estimates of yields.

Tractor repair: I’ve replaced a flat on the Cub and drained the old fuel from the Cub and walk behind tiller.

Growing Shoots & Sprouts and preparing for workshop. Tomorrow will be the first of the 3 workshops I will be hosting in partnership with Canterbury Shaker Village. I’ve been soaking, rinsing, growing, seeding and harvesting shoots and sprouts 2 or 3 times a day for the past 11 days in order to have samples and examples to share tomorrow. In addition, I’ve been working on the presentation, talking points and sequencing of the workshop. Tomorrow I will dedicate to last minute preparation, making sample dishes, packing supplies and reviewing notes.

Today Shane (Co-op Grower Liaison Manager), Nick (Co-op General Manager) and myself met with Stephanie of Micro Mama’s to discuss what crops we can provide for her next season for fermenting. I will be working on a list for her today and I’m happy to be able to create a nice agricultural loop where we will grow produce, Stephanie will process it and we can sell the end products to our customer.

Next week I will be finalizing crop maps, placing seed and seedling orders and hopefully getting a start on the organic certification 2016 application and preparation for the next workshop.

Best,

Stacey Cooper

Co-op Farm Manager at Shaker Gardens