Patchwork Green is a hillside and ridgetop farm overlooking the beautiful Canoe Creek Valley several miles north of Decorah, Iowa. Our family grows five acres of vegetables on a farm near Decorah, Iowa. We grow a wide variety of high quality, chemical-free vegetables using sustainable techniques.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Farm Updates
Staying indoors this week, I have been catching up and working ahead on paperwork.  When June rolls around, check out our new produce signs at the market.  They are bigger and contain more detailed information we hope you find useful.  I’ve still got a few supplies to order this month, including electric fence upgrades, cover crop seed and new drip tape parts.
The exciting purchases last week included sweet potato slips (set to arrive in late May) and a snazzy new cultivator.  Look out weeds!
Word just in today that Luther College is subsidizing employee CSA memberships this year.  The first 100 employees will get ½ of their membership reimbursed (up to $100) when they sign up for a CSA by May 1st.  There are two other farms offering subscriptions in the area in 2013 in addition to Patchwork Green Farm.  Check out Luther’s policy, and then sign up at our website,!  This sort of wellness action is being tried by banks, colleges, hospitals and other large employers across the Midwest in an effort to encourage better employee health.  Garlic, kale and cherry tomatoes make for great preventative medicine!
Please check out our website for our 2013 CSA details, contact us if you have questions, and send in your membership soon.  Spring will come eventually!

What Farmers Worry About

What Farmers Worry About
Onions plants grow slowly, and they need to reach a respectable size by mid-April when they are transplanted.  Once they take off in the field, the plants must reach almost their full size by the summer solstice in June, after which point they begin to form their bulbs.  The bigger and healthier the plant on June 21, the bigger the bulbs will be when we harvest them in August.  So, I stress about our onion plants in February, March and April.  If I start them too early in February, I’ll pay a lot for propane to heat the hoop house during cold months like we have just had.  If they get a later start, they may not be ready to transplant when the soil warms in April.  This year, it is both cold and cloudy, and the onions are pretty small!  Our fingers are crossed that growing conditions will improve in April.

Waiting for Spring

Waiting for Spring
With the nighttime temperatures nearly at zero, we are desperately searching for some significant signs of spring.  Here is today’s list of cabin-fever-beaters:
• Today is the equinox, and the days are noticeably longer. 
• The sun melts the snow and ice off of our solar panels much more quickly than it did a few months ago. 
• The crab apple tree in our yard that holds its fruit all winter long is this week attracting robins, deer, turkey and squirrels. 
• We think that a pair of bald eagles may be sitting on eggs in a new nest down the valley from our farm.