It’s hard to believe we are nearly halfway through the 2019 CSA season! So much has happened and there is so much still to come! I wanted to take a moment and share some updates on how the season is going from the farmer’s perspective:
Mechanical Mishaps: At the beginning of the season, two of our three tractors were having trouble starting. After multiple visits from several knowledgeable individuals, they are finally up and running. The main downside to this was that we had a hard time keeping up with the weeds – it’s impossible to catch up completely, but we are close!
Back in May, our utility tractor – the one we use to prepare the fields for planting – was doing well until the rear tire rim got a hole in it and the tire went flat. This is a complicated fix since tractor tires are filled with liquid to increase traction. In places that get below freezing, tires are filled with calcium chloride. Eventually the calcium chloride corroded the rim from the inside out.
The tire had to travel to multiple locations to remove it, then have the rim fixed (since no one makes the rim of our model tractor anymore), return to get the tire on and finally over to a company that could fill it with liquid (Did you know: companies are now filling tires with beet juice as a more environmentally friendly, non-corrosive alternative!). Unfortunately, all these repairs meant we were unable to use our tractor for nearly two weeks. As a result, our field tomatoes were planted about a week later than usual. But don’t worry – the plants are looking fantastic and are loaded with fruit.
Terrific Tomatoes: The tomatoes in our greenhouses have never looked so wonderful! Kerry has put in countless hours making sure the tomato plants are pruned and trellised so that they remain happy and healthy for a long time this season. As you can imagine, working in the greenhouse in July can become extremely uncomfortable during the day. As a result, Kerry has had to endure some intense heat in order to get the job done and I am so grateful! Please thank her when you see her.
Pesky Pests: As some of you may have heard, the groundhogs are out of control this year. They have reached a level of intensity that I have never seen before. These critters ate our entire first planting of beets (which is why they are so small) and beans (which is why you didn’t receive any) and have done a number on our kale and lettuce. They have now moved on to our fall kale and broccoli plantings, summer squash and cucumber plants (I had no idea they liked cucumber leaves!).
I know the best long-term solution is to get a farm dog but I’m unable to commit to one at the moment. However….maybe you can help! If any of you have a well-behaved dog that likes to go on walks – and sniff out groundhogs – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the possibility of walking your dog around the farm on a regular basis. Their scent could possibly discourage the groundhogs from being so bold and feasting on our crops!
(Somewhat) Regular Rainfall: Compared to the drought in 2016, the rain this season has been pretty good! The fields have become very dry in the last couple weeks, but we have been able to irrigate small seedlings if they desperately need it. This last storm, however, gave everything a refreshing drink of nearly 3” of rain!
Supportive Sharers: Lastly, I’d like to thank all of you for being so kind and supportive throughout this season. I couldn’t ask for a better community to grow for – You are all so positive, enthusiastic and helpful! Thank you!
Until next time,