Throughout the season, many people mentioned how the farm has been a bright spot in their lives this year. I couldn’t agree more. This year was trying in many ways, but the farm kept me going and gave me purpose. Growing reliable, organic food for my community is one of the main reasons why I started farming in the first place. Each season is challenging, demanding and unpredictable. And yet at the same time, each season is extremely rewarding, meaningful and beautiful. This year was no exception.
March and April were cloudy and cold, which gave our seedlings a slow start in the greenhouse. Our tractor tire needed repair, and we thankfully got it fixed just before the bulk of our spring planting began. By April, we knew we had to move our seedling sale online so people could order ahead of time to reduce the amount of foot traffic at the farm. Your support this year was amazing! But since nothing goes as you want it to when farming, we had a frost during the first weekend of the sale and lost many plants. And again, your understanding and support were incredible.
May and June went as expected, though it was warmer and drier than usual. We had irrigation out in the fields earlier than ever, and we lost a lot of our spring bok choy because it began to flower in the heat. But on a good note, we were able to control the groundhog and deer pressure early, improving the overall yields of our crops. The start of CSA pick ups went really well and we began collecting beautiful rocks and prayer flags to decorate the farm. In order to eliminate more surfaces that you would need to touch (and we would need to clean), we decided to pre-bag a lot of the loose items you would normally weigh yourselves. This has added many more hours to preparing for pick up days, but we were able to get some extra help this year. I am so thankful to all of you who helped us with bagging this year!!
July and August were HOT and DRY. We irrigated constantly and were able to keep up with most of the weeds that threatened to take over our fields. The flowers kept blooming, despite the lack of rain, our cucumbers went wild, and our tomatoes were plentiful! The lack of rain helped to keep certain diseases away but made it difficult to plant new things. The dry soil put stress on the small seedlings as well as the farmers who felt pressure to irrigate immediately after planting. But we kept on truckin’ and pushed our way through many tomato, bean, pepper, eggplant and cucumber harvests.
September and October have still been dry but the heat has thankfully subsided. Our beloved greens are back and our fall carrots are looking big and beautiful. The groundhogs and deer have stayed away but the smaller rodents are plentiful. Our cover crop is looking big and healthy and our garlic is planted and waiting for leaf mulch.
I want to thank all of you for being the best CSA members a farm could ask for. You have all been so kind and patient while we did our best to make you feel safe at the farm. I am so grateful for your willingness to adapt and follow new rules and guidelines. You have shown your support in so many different ways. Whether you donated popsicles when we needed help getting through the hot, dry days of July, offered to come and volunteer even after completing your work hours, gave us kind words of appreciation and support, or just patiently repeated your names every single week (sometimes spelling it out because we can’t hear through the masks) – you are all amazing! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I look forward to some rest, and then can’t wait to get to planning your shares for 2021! Take care and be safe this winter.
Until next time,