Written By: Ellie Wilson, MS, RD Senior Nutritionist, Price Chopper Supermarkets
Though our spring has “taken the long way ‘round” to get here, every nuance of change in the weather is a signal to our farming community that there is work to be done. On April 22nd, I went out to visit two of the family farms we work with – Reeves Farm in Baldwinsville, N.Y., and Shaul’s Farm in Middleburgh, N.Y.
At Reeves farm, I spent the morning with fifth generation farmer Karin Reeves. Karin returned to the family farm after a successful career in human resources in Washington, D.C., bringing her National Guard husband with her. She earned an MBA while in Washington, which is serving the farm well – farms have a lot of regulations to navigate, and they must also manage expenses and sales, forecast business needs and challenges, and create business linkages like any other business.
The weather runs the show now – the field where I walked through rows and rows of tomatoes last summer was tilled for corn the previous Sunday. The season doesn’t know week days from weekends, and with the rain that was forecast for the entire coming week, they tilled on Sunday so they could plant. If they had waited until after the rain began, they might have been held up the whole week because it would have been too wet to till.
The real action right now is in the greenhouses. They have peppers, tomatoes, eggplant and cabbage all seeded and growing. They have separate greenhouses and fields for organic tomatoes – there are strict rules around organic planting and field management.
The corn is planted in the fields, under plastic in rows and rows in the fields around the farm. They rotate the fields each year, and they will have more than one planting of different crops – peppers will be planted three or four times!
Check out all the plant babies – it will be fun to see them grow and change through the spring and summer, check the blog regularly for updates!