2017, September

Farm update – 9/24/2017

This was another peanut-centric weekend, and it seems like the same could probably be said for much of southwest Georgia. We dug nearly all of our remaining beds of peanuts, and the entire farm family, spanning three generations, sat around picking peanuts. While we were doing that, countless open-top semis, seemingly filled above capacity with recently harvested peanuts, drove by on their way to local peanut buying points. Of course, the fact that our entire year’s peanut harvest wouldn’t fill the smallest corner of a peanut trailer doesn’t make us any less proud of our crop. It just means that there is room for agricultural producers at all scales, and we happily continue to search for and refine our niche.

Being the numbers nerd I am, I had to figure out how our production compared against those bigger farmers. In our raised beds, which are teeny tiny miniscule fractions of an acre, we produced from 6,500 to 13,000 pounds per acre of peanuts. The Georgia Peanut Achievement Club last month honored the highest yielding producers in the state in 2016. In various categories, the highest yields were 5,600 to 7,100 pounds per acre. Even factoring in differences in moisture content, I’d nonetheless say we’re doing pretty good at teeny-tiny scale peanut farming!

Our other main focus of the weekend was to finalize our preparations for the fall crops. We took out all of the remaining eggplant, many of the peppers, and anything else that won’t continue into fall. Once that was done, we weeded all of the empty field rows, and prepared several of them for planting by tilling in our top-secret formula soil amendment: one part composted chicken manure, one part composted vegetable scraps, and one part raised bed soil mix. Oops, I guess the secret is out! But it’s a pretty basic mix to try to add back needed nutrients and organic matter at the start of each season. We planted carrots and radishes too, which is not everything we originally intended to plant this weekend. However, seeing low-to-mid 90s in the forecast all this coming week made us reconsider, and push much of our planting to next weekend, when hopefully it will have cooled down considerably.

 

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