Summer CSA Pick up: 6/19-6/22

Farm News

Psst! I want to share a little secret with you. Did you know that one of the hardest parts of our job here on the farm is figuring out what the foundational vegetables are? Seems on the front like it would be a no brainer: find the veg, harvest, and send it to your good home, but the reality is, it involves way more math and expert guesswork then that.

That math starts way back in December when Sarahlee and Nat sit down and debrief the whole past growing season:
❓ What grew well? What didn’t?
❓ What were our CSA members favorite things?
❓ What do we wish we had grown more or less of?
❓ What new crops do we want to experiment with this season?
❓ How did the timing and rotation of everything feel?

They take the answers to all of those and many more questions and start charting out our growing season, bed by bed, hoop house by hoop house, field by field, day by day, succession by succession. Their planning includes numbers of seeds to order, starting and transplanting dates, direct seeding dates, probable harvest dates, bed flipping dates, all the details that make sure that there are vegetables for you from start to finish.

So there is the plan, set in December, and then there is right now, last week, last month, and next month. The general coolness of this spring. The lack of rain. The arrival of the summer heat. The day the irrigation district reduces our water allotment. All these factors affect the December plan in ways that we never know until the day we begin to harvest for the week. Each factor shortens or lengthens a particular crops growing season. Yes, we walk around and scope things out, but it isn’t until you get down and dirty harvesting, that the true number of vegetables available and harvestable becomes apparent.

Which brings us back to the fact that one of the hardest parts of our jobs here on the farm is figuring out what the foundational vegetables are each week. What do we have? How many bunches or heads or handfuls of each thing are available? How much variety? All these factors become a mathematical equation that results in your CSA share each week. The beauty of this math equation is a lot like farming: it is almost undefinable. Number of CSAs multiplied by the number of vegetables available divided by smalls/medium/large shares multiplied by some percentage of error that fluctuates each week.

I bet you didn’t realize how much math and planning goes into your weekly share

~ Alison & the Farm Crew

Photo Credit: Ray Hansen, Melissa Harmon

Top Pic: It’s garlic scape season! One of the shortest seasons on the farm! Grab yours this week. We might have them next week, but probably not.

Next Pic: Last week we put the shade clothes on the tomato houses. We have found that tomatoes need to grow in houses, but they also can get too hot which stunts and slows their growth. Right around now, we always put on the shade clothes to provide a little bit of sunscreen for the tomato in order to give us all our best shot at as many tomatoes as possible.

Final Pic: A peak into one of our hoop houses. This is one of our spring specials: peas and carrots. Each hoop house has three rows. In this one we have peas trellised up the outer rows in order to make harvesting easier and the center row is all carrots. Once the carrots are harvested and the peas have finished, we will clear this house and plant another succession of something. What do you think it will be? Hot peppers? Late fall greens?

Veggie CSA

Every week, we include this section with what we think will be coming out of our fields and hoop houses for the CSA pick up. Keep in mind, that we send this email on Monday just as we start harvesting for the week. That means this is a guess/estimation/extrapolation of what we think we are seeing in the fields. Sometimes we are spot on, but other times we are not.

Our CSA is market style, this means that it isn’t a guarantee that we have of all these things for everyone. Instead, this will be the variety of what we will hopefully (fingers crossed) have for you to choose from this week.)

A note on foundations: SURPRISE! You will learn your foundations and all the details of your CSA for the week when you pick up.

Harvest List will probably include:

asian greens
green onions
dinosaur kale
head lettuce, salad mixes
napa cabbage
radishes, salad turnips

thyme, lovage, lemon balm, parsley, chives, oregano, mint, marjoram
bulk potatoes & shallots

Meat CSA

Tune in next week for the Meat CSA.
Don’t forget, Meat CSA picks up every other week. Next meat CSA is 6/26

The clouds were particularly beautiful last week! And this week might be the apex of the red poppy bloom on the farm!
(photo credi: Ray Hansen)