CSA Week 14: She’s Back and Full of News

HELLO!

It’s me Leslie! I have returned from my blog hiatus – just past our half-way mark for the season and just in time to report out on our fall crops, the cooler temps, and updates from our end of the great farm search!

Before we get to all of that exciting stuff, let me fill you in on what the share will be looking like this week:

  • Summer Squash
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Shishitos
  • Hot Pepper
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Salad Mix
  • Spinach
  • Cilantro/Dill/Fennel Leaf
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Scallions

We truly truly hope you all are enjoying the spoils of this very bizarre season we’ve been gifted and we are interested to know how you feel about it! If you’re inclined to provide some mid-season feedback we’d just love to hear it -so please take this very short SURVEY to fill us in 🙂

Fall Crop Update!

Given the blazing heat this summer brought us, it’s been a real struggle getting our fall crops established! We spent a lot of time going back and forth between giving our limited water use to our tomatoes to lengthen their season or to our fall crop transplants. At the end of the day, this CSA supports the value of eating seasonally and that means that eventually tomato season comes to an end some years that’s not until October, but as we all know this season is different in almost every way from the last! So, because we are now focusing our attention to the fall you can expect to start seeing the tomatoes start to trickle out. However, of the tomatoes you are seeing, you’ll have noticed an uptick in your Green Zebra consumption – these babes have been a beacon of light in this tough tomato production year. Although they aren’t big and beefy, these little guys pack a salty zing that I find just perfectly suits any sammie you might whip up!

GREEN ZEBRA the heirloom tomato DARK HORSE of 2020

Despite our full attention, given the wild heat mid-summer, the fall crops continue to struggle. We hesitated to cover our brassica plants (broccoli, cabbage, kale) with row cover to protect them from pests at their time of planting for fear of them wilting away to nothing. So, as expected, they’ve taken a hit from the cabbage moth caterpillars that seem to be EVERYWHERE this season. But we’re juicing them up with our homeopathic nutrients (Fermented Plant Juice) to give them a boost as our days start to shorten! Some more less-than-swell news emerges with the potatoes as we began digging them up last week. These guys are small and few – we attribute this primarily to the drought and the priority our other summer crops (tomatoes squash cukes and peppers) took when it came to watering. But we have enough to store up for now and pair with the leeks when their time comes for soup season! We also started bringing in some squash this week and aren’t impressed with our yield so far. We have a hunch that the Delicata (pictured below) seed we ordered this year is a different brand from last year’s and may have odd fruiting properties due to cross-breeding. However, the squash patch is abounding with butternut squash to make up for any delicata deficiency we might experience!

Decorative gourd season just around the corner!

To bring this update to a close – take notice of the new items you’ve been seeing in the share! Lots more storage onions to come as they are curing up nicely and we have a whole heap to bestow as the weeks wind down. Additionally, garlic will coming weekly for the rest of the season. I for one have big plans to do some serious roasting – I like to mush it afterward, jar it and store in the fridge for an easy addition to dishes, dips and toast throughout the week! Also, our fall carrot varieties are bringing some new colors to your plate. This variety, “Dragon” is particularly stunning when thinly sliced!

FUTURE FARM FORECAST

After weeks of many long talks, lots of deliberation, plenty of headaches, land visits, farm visits, and calls to friends and family, we are still in the air with our plans for next season. Our hang up comes from the timing of this all as we have been consulting with a farm development project set for 2022 production- when we would then transition andtake on the role of farm management. This all making 2021 look very insecure for us. So, right now, we are stuck somewhere in between continuing to be part of this project we are excited about in a consulting capacity, looking for more secure management work elsewhere, and seeking out our own long term land. Sadly, none of these options make us your Second Wind farmers next season. While we remain optimistic and continue following the leads we find, our energy is dwindling and the idea of a season to reassess before pushing forward is sounding smart and safe. We still have plenty of conversations to have ahead so don’t despair just yet – just know we’ve been thinking about you all each step of the way!

I’m just glad to be back and feeling the sweet release of my weekly thoughts into your inbox 🙂 So as always THANKS FOR BEING HERE!

lots of love

❤ AL

PS – Davida has taken flight from the farm nest and we are sorely missing her bright energy and spirit. What a gift she was for the weeks she worked beside us -GOOD LUCK DAVIDA, hope you befriend lots of cows on your adventure ahead!

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