Hello Sharers! We are so excited for the first pick up of the season tomorrow!
The first few weeks of CSA are always greens-heavy, but this one will particularly so! Shouldn’t be so much next week, as we’ve got peas (snap, shelling, AND snow!) and summer squash on the way. The heat this week will be just the thing those crops need to get going.
You may have noticed that everything is really dry! As I write this (Monday morning) I find myself crossing my fingers and hoping for the some rain to come in with the cold front that is heading our way. Ember and I have spent several hours in the past week or two setting up drip irrigation on most of the farm. It uses less water, but takes a lot of time to set up and re-set-up every time we want to water. It makes such a difference, though!! Here is my favorite plant irrigation themed cartoon from Sesame Street: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEip_OoF4dY
Finally, I’ve got some news to share: we do not have strawberries on the farm this season. The primary reason is space. As many of you know, we lost use of an additional 3-4 acres of field (down the street) last season. The method that we currently use to grow strawberries creates a situation where we’ve got three generations of berries in the ground for about half of the growing season. This is equivalent to 20% of our little farm, which is a little less than two acres in size. Growing organic strawberries is particularly labor intensive and the crop is relatively unreliable given the resources (mainly labor, but also water, and space) that they require to thrive.
We spent last season trying to squeeze crops in around the strawberries and struggled a lot to stick to our planting schedule. We have already felt the relative ease of having a little bit more space at this point in the growing season as a result of our decision. We view what is hopefully a temporary change as one of many we have made in response to that field being taken away. We feel that all of the changes have been positive and we appreciate your patience as we continue to keep the farm running smoothly, sustainably, and profitably.
I know that this will be sad news for some of you. We’ve had strawberries for years (but again, we also had more land.) I want you to know that we are researching our options for growing strawberries that don’t tie up quite so much land so early in the season, and those options are looking hopeful. We *may* have them back as soon as next season.
Again, I appreciate your patience and understanding and encourage you to support the other farmers who are growing strawberries in the area! In Concord, Hutchins Farm has pre-picked organic strawberries and Verrill Farm has pick-your-own. If you have any questions about the nitty gritty of growing strawberries, please reach out! I just didn’t want to bore you with the details.
I am so excited to see all of you under the tent this week!