It’s hard to think we’re over half way through our farming season with back to school this week. But here we are nonetheless. As I write this we are in the middle of week 11 of our CSA. We like to keep everyone updated on how things are going on the farm and while we’ve been active on Instragram we haven’t been able to keep our blog updated. This seems to happen every year and really it’s just the reality of the prioritization of tasks on the farm. That said, we do have a mid-season recap and some news about what to expect for the fall.
Year of Plenty*
This season has been unbelievable so far. We’ve had better crop yields on nearly everything we grow and that surplus has been showing up in the CSAs this year. On average our CSAs this week contain about 15% more value of produce that last year! One of the things we love about the CSA model is that we all share in the successes and failures of the given year. With farming, it only takes one weather event to completely ruin a crop or group of crops and the CSA model helps us, as farmers, to withstand those types of events. The return for the risk that our members take is that in years of plenty we share in plenty.
Our tunnel has also helped us this year. We’ve produced more varieties of lettuce more consistently than we have in the past. It’s also an investment that paid for itself in the first year of use! We’re really excited to have taken the step into season extension and look forward to adding more tunnels in the future.
The asterisk is for a couple areas of failure on our farm this year. We generally always seem to have something that doesn’t work out for us in a particular season and this year it was two crops whose yields are lower than we were hoping. First is onions - they got over grown by weeds which drastically reduced their size and the quantity of onions we have available this season. The second is garlic - we lost about 25% of our crop from flooding in March and another 10-15% from our mulch being washed away which cause the weeds to get overgrown in the garlic. That’s not to say that there won’t be onions or garlic in your CSAs just that there will be a lot less of each than we intended.
What to expect the second half of the season.
Our late season crops like tomatoes, peppers and winter squash are looking good, especially our butternut squash! You’ll start to see tomatoes in your shares in the next couple weeks with winter squash to follow in September and October. Our melons look ok. We don’t expect a bumper crop of watermelon or honeydew melon but we do anticipate having enough to include them in your shares. We will also continue to have carrots, green beans, beets, herbs and potatoes. In addition, some of our spring favorites will be making a return; we recently seeded spinach, radish, cilantro, kohlrabi, and lettuce mix. If the weather continues to cooperate we’ll have a really nice selection of produce available this fall.
Year end pot-luck
In the past, we’ve hosted a CSA season end pot-luck at our home. This is a private event for our CSA members as a thank you and a chance to come together and get to know each other better. Also a chance for you to ask any burning questions you might have about our season and what our plans are for next year. We usually grill burgers (and have vegetarian options as well) and leave the sides up to you. Those of you who pick up on Mondays know we’re a little tight for space at our home so we will likely have this event at an alternate venue. Stay tuned for more information in the weeks to come.