This Week’s Harvest
Gold Rush (tart, yellow), Ida Red (mellow flavor), Downing Land (sweet, red and pink, smaller)
This week marks the end of our regular CSA season. We hope you enjoyed this culinary adventure of seasonal CSA eating! Our hope is that you discovered and enjoyed new vegetables, expanded your skills in the kitchen, feed yourself and loved ones some delicious and nutritious meals, tasted some of the best vegetables you’ve ever had, and maybe even had a chance to put some vegetables up for the winter.
This season marks our 10th year offering a CSA! We started the CSA component of the farm in 2008 with 30 members and promised them vegetables for 20 weeks. We struggled through that first year and I remember at the time wishing we had only taken 20 members and promised 15 weeks of produce. Over the years we’ve learned, invested in equipment and infrastructure, and tweaked our systems. Now with 9 seasons under our belts, we have 250 members and delivered on our promise of 24 weeks of produce. Additionally, we are able to offer our extended season for the 3 straight year!
Even has we have improved the farm over the years, I feel far from a seasoned farmer. We have struggles every year and they always seem to be different! A new pest or disease shows up or a variety that did wonderfully for us in the past is suddenly the worst. And the weather is becoming increasing difficult for us to navigate and we feel the effects of climate change in a very real way. Between Sept 1st and Nov 1st we got 11 inches of rain in just 3 rain events at 2 inches, 5 inches and 4 inches. This means that this fall our soil has either been too dry or too wet! It also means disease spread like we’ve never seen most notably effecting our fall carrots, beets, chard and broccoli. Additionally, in the spring the time frame of optimal temperature for spring crops to mature seems to be shrinking into an ever narrowing window. Likewise, the fall window is shrinking resulting in disappointing broccoli and cauliflower yields. The uncertainly that the weather brings and possibility of crop failures makes the CSA partnership between farmer and consumer all the more essential.
We appreciate your season long support and hope the rewards far out weighed the risks! Some of the highlights of the year for me were the multiple successful sweet corn plantings, growing Salt and Pepper cucumbers, a most delicious and new-to-us variety of cucumber, the variety and yields of the winter squash planting, planting every single planned planting (that’s 25 weeks worth of weekly greenhouse seeding that made it into the ground!), and a successful 4 ton sweet potato harvest!
We hope that you believe from garlic to cabbage to potatoes our produce tastes great! We hope you discovered you actually like something you previously thought inedible. We hope you increased your vegetable intake in a way that was easy and enjoyable. And we certainly hope to have you back, if not for the extended season, for next year!
Your Farmers, Emily and Ben