From Scott Cratty
Friends of the Market,
Greetings. Isn’t winter supposed to be the time of year when things are relatively slow? Not this year. So, I’ll keep this brief.
The drawing for our 2nd Winter raffle basket will be held at about noon this Saturday. We have not done such a great job selling tickets this time … so the odds of winning are even better. For a $5 ticket the winner will get a great deal with lots of local hand-crafted items plus some goodies from our local farms like some olive oil, beef, cheese, honey and more. So far your raffle funds have purchases a small propane heater (that we use on the bitterest of Saturday mornings and one tank refill). Who know what wonderful things we can do with some more funds …
You are the first to know … by a sizable majority the winter market vendors voted to accept the invitation for the winter market to join the county farmers’ market association. So, come next November, the Ukiah winter market will be part of that venerable 30 year old institution. To make things a bit more uniform year round we will probably shorten the winter hours so that we still start at 9:30 but end at noon, the same ending time as the regular season.
If you are quick enough that Saturday you may become one of the first people at the Ukiah market to try the eggs from Shamrock Artisan Goat Cheese.
Hope to see you at the farmers’ market on Saturday.
[Appropriate info for our current water shortage. -DS]
By BARNABY J. FEDER
Published: April 9, 2000
The Rodale Institute’s 330-acre research farm here got something it prefers to a bumper crop when a record drought struck eastern Pennsylvania last year.
Rodale plants crops with the goal of harvesting evidence that organic farming should be the wave of the future in agriculture. After the drought last summer, Rodale’s parched organic plots yielded 24 to 30 bushels of soybeans an acre, well below the 40-bushel average of previous years for the research site, but Rodale could not have been happier. That was because yields on comparison plots just next to them that had been doused year after year with synthetic fertilizers and conventional farm chemicals had plummeted to 16 bushels.
”These are very significant findings for farmers around the world,” exulted Jeff Moyer, Rodale’s farm manager. ”Our trials show that improving the quality of the soil through organic processes can mean the difference between a harvest or hardship in times of drought.”
The results last year also reinforced long-term comparisons, begun by Rodale in 1981, that document how organic farming can be more profitable for small farmers — even if yields are not always as high and, by some calculations, even without the premium prices that organic crops generally receive.