Although, I must admit I enjoyed the cooler temps. The perennials absolutely loved it. Forgive me for not having an end of the year plant sale, but life became very busy. Instead, I have been transplanting everyone into even larger containers. With the rain we've been having (3" yesterday), they are growing very well and will be healthy, ready to go, mature plants for next year.
Right now, the 3 season greenhouse is full of culinary herbs that embellish those grown outside. Seeds have been started of the herbs I grow inside the 4 season greenhouse over the winter. When much cooler weather sets in, the 3 season greenhouse herbs will be the mainstay of fresh herbs until the seedlings mature in the 4 season greenhouse. When the snow really sets in I am set. I sell freshly cut herbs to a few area restaurants, the Marquette Food Coop and Rock River Farm sells them for me at the Marquette Farm Market.
The busyness I mentioned above is preparing for the GGAP certification. This a monstrously long story. So just the facts:
* The USDA passed a FSMA law (Food Safety) called Good Agricultural Practices Good Handling Practices aka: GAPGHP, I'll shorten it to GAP. It is intended to minimize the contamination of foods.
* I'm pretty sure those who developed GAP had no idea, at all, how small and very small farmers work. Others in the US recognized this and the USDA did listen. There are 8 focus groups in the US, Marquette being one of them, comprised of very small farms (less than 20 acres) who volunteered to go through the newly formed Group GAP process (GGAP). The Marquette Food Coop has been proactive from the start and has taken the lead with our group of 14 farmers. This group of farms has an umbrella organization that oversees the individual policies and will hopefully get a Group GAP (GGAP) certification.
* I don't know how many are left in our group, but we have all had two internal inspections. Four of the farms, RRPG being one of the four, just had and passed a full blown USDA audit and all farms will have "surprise" visits. If we pass all of this, ALL farms will get their GGAPGHP certification for one year. Yup, just for one year then we do it all again.
Enjoy the fall, it's almost here.