Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Farm visits

We had a customer today ask if our farmers were growing all they sell. As it happens, we are in the process right now of making our second round of farm visits this season to verify just that.

We visit all our full season growers twice during the season - once shortly after the season begins, then again in August. Our short season growers, like blueberry growers, we visit as the fruit comes into maturity.

Last week Marilyn and I visited our farms to the southeast - the McLaughlin, the Lee and the Yang farms, plus Fredrickson's in Carl Junction. Above is a photo from the Fredrickson visit showing some of their mums which will soon be at the market.

At each farm we take notes as to the crops currently in production and the quantity of both the plants and the harvest. We also look for food safety issues, pest problems and other opportunities to share solutions and improve operations. (Marilyn & I don't claim to be experts, but we know the people who are!)

Tomorrow, Marilyn and I head west and east, visiting our new birdbath maker in Chetopa, as well as farms in Galena, Bronaugh, Sheldon, Harwood, Stockton and Jasper. It will be a long day, but ensures the integrity of the market. (photos at supper right from Shoal Creek & Pate's Orchard are from the 8/27 visit)

Next week, we'll finish up with our farms to the southwest, which include the Troyers, Agees, Eichers, Ka Yang and the Chas.