2018 Week 9, Winter CSA Pickup 7 of 13
Hi all. This Wednesday marks the start of another four-week bunch. I am very eagerly watching the greens re-growth, and expect some lettuce shortly. Hip hip.
It has been so nice these last two weeks to get a bit of work done out in the fields. I mowed and weeded all of the raspberries for this coming fall, harvested another bed of carrots -- an emergency late fall planting that's somewhat tiny -- and moved the rhubarb. "Moving the rhubarb," it turns out, is something like a 25-hour job. It sure is nice to so poorly estimate a task at this time of year, rather than in a month when things start getting hectic.
The rhubarb got a new home because I changed my orchard plans to allow for better scythe-flow. They are now in-line with the orchard trees -- mid-way between the fruit-trees and the future nut-trees -- and part of a companion mix that might reduce disease, attract beneficial insects, balance root space, and correct a carbon dioxide imbalance that a grass sod would create. Comfrey, chives, mint, perennial flowers, some nitrogen-fixing legumes like white clover, some tap rooted 'weeds' like plantain and dandelion, and a small balance of clumping grasses get seeded next.
I also got some good-bad news from the small-engine mechanic. The good news is that my tractor won't start because a $1.50 compression spring snapped. The bad news is that he got the spring, and it looks like it will be cheaper to buy a new engine -- two CSA shares in value, ugh -- than get it back in place. So, while we sort this out, I will be prep'ing the beds by hand. Although the tractor being down is a definite bummer, the prospect of manual bed prep excites me ... actually. Much of the farm-design works toward a low horsepower agriculture, and this finally makes me walk the "well, in theory, one day, it would just require a wheel hoe"-talk.
I was at a pruning workshop over the weekend, and was all too easily convinced that proper orchard floor management can make a peach tree possible in Virginia -- which, heretofore, was an 'organic' impossibility. So, in the spirit of confirmation-bias, I am pencilling-in some peaches. There is a spot at the bottom of the farm I call the 'gravity point,' and it would love a ring of peaches. I won't guarantee them 6 years-out, but right now I'm rather looking forward to them.
In a total non-non-sequitur regarding the tractor and more trees: As always, if you know of any prospective Summer members, send them my way, and I'll send money yours. The farm breaks even at 25 shares, and we are up to 5 paid at this point, which, if my calculations are right, means we still have room. ;)
I forgot to show everyone the tomato book last week. If you missed it, we now have a book of the photos and stories behind the 97 varieties of tomatoes planned for this summer. Fun.
Be so well,
See you on the farm,
- Carolina Crowder
- Kenearly Yellow Eye
- Midnight Black Turtle
- Quincy Pinto
Popcorn - Cherokee Long
- Long Island Cheese
Burdock / Gobo
Thai Sweet Basil / Horapa
Tulsi / Holy Basil