Iteration

 Vermont Appaloosa beans -- so handsome -- get their microbial inoculant before seeding.

Vermont Appaloosa beans -- so handsome -- get their microbial inoculant before seeding.

2018 Week 21, Winter CSA Pickup 13 of 13

Good rainy-week on the farm, everybody,

It was quite a scramble to beat the coming rain, but the farm looks okay for the week-long delay it gives us. The 20 varieties of dry beans are up, the tomatoes are flowering, the peas are peaing, the no-till mulch is ready to roll, and the potatoes keep asking me to hill them. Before the rain, I managed to transplant 6000'ish plants of all kinds, including watermelons and hot peppers, two of my favorite crops on the farm. I also picked 50 lbs of we-got-rain-and-so-aren't-quite-as-sweet strawberries, which I will freeze for winter. Monday I will go through again, and though many of those might get tossed or frozen, we will have a lot of something -- sweet, rain-full, or frozen -- come Wednesday. :)

'Iteration' has been on my mind lately, as I note how much time I spend working on the 2019 plan ... when 2018 has hardly begun. It takes a year to enact sometimes even the tiniest detail, and it seems the farm, at high magnification, is nothing but deeper and deeper levels of detail. Which I love! But the great ideas -- like seeding summer lettuce in the off-rows under corn, for shade, for instance -- excite me much more than you right now, because the farm is a puzzle, and it takes a year to get the new pieces. Which is all to say, I'm really excited for the farm this year and in the future, but I don't know if this particular excitement translates. :) If you ever want to see the plan, though, just say, and I'll show.

This is our last pick-up of the Winter CSA! A long, long bow to all you wonderful members who endured -- might I say it? -- the alpha version of this Virginia farm. See above for the fact that I have been working on making it better. Frozen fruit, way more greens, polenta / grits, and fingers-crossed for healthier roots. Please let me know what else I can do to improve. I have a proposal in mind to have our excess summer produce pickled/fermented, but am still wondering at ways to reduce that cost.

The Summer CSA starts Wednesday, June 6th, 3-7pm. We shall all find out what's growing after this long cold'ish spring. I had contemplated putting it on a 2-week hold, but as everyone gets what they paid for in the end, even if it means going longer, we will all just start on time.

There are still spots available! Remember that you get 10% of every dollar you refer into the CSA. If we sell all our shares this summer, I can almost certainly finish installing the orchard -- peaches, figs, pomegrantes, hazelnuts, and blueberries remain to buy and plant. I'm hopeful!

I hope you all are well,
enjoy some warm tea or ashwangdha,
and don't forget about those great Indian simmer sauces that go so well with our winter roots,

See you on the farm,
Austin

PS: Fireflies on your end of the world? Whenever I worry about a thing at this time of the year, I find that I don't ... when I also find myself standing in the fields at night with the fireflies turning on and off all around me. A seasonal gift maybe even better than the tomatoes.

Expected Harvest

Greens
Lettuce

Veggies
Dry Beans
   - Carolina Crowder
   - Kenearly Yellow Eye
   - Midnight Black Turtle
   - Quincy Pinto
Popcorn - Cherokee Long
Winter Squash
  - Long Island Cheese
  - Seminole

Roots
Beets
Carrots
Celeriac
Kohlrabi
Onion
Parsnip
Potato
Sunroot
Sweet Potato
Radish, Winter
Rutabaga
Turnip, Winter

Medicinal Roots
Ashwagandha
Burdock / Gobo

Culinary Herbs
Chives, Garlic / Chinese
Hot Pepper

Tea Herbs
Anise Hyssop
Basil, Italian
Catmint
Chocolate Mint
Lemon Balm
Lemongrass
Peppermint
Shiso
Spearmint
Sunset Hyssop
Thai Sweet Basil / Horapa
Tulsi / Holy Basil

Flowers

 It felt a little morbid -- in a mercenary kind of way -- keeping the dead trays in a stack this week as I went through them. But still I did it. I managed to plant over 50 trays of seedlings -- at 120 per tray, that's 6000 plants that went out -- including corn, tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, watermelons, hot peppers, sweet peppers, okra, eggplant, basils, husk cherries, summer flowers, annual herbs like lemongrass and ashwagandha, perennial herbs like sage and chocolate mint, kale, kohlrabi, cabbage, lettuce, celery, and celeriac ... and probably some others that I'm forgetting. The farm is filling-up!

It felt a little morbid -- in a mercenary kind of way -- keeping the dead trays in a stack this week as I went through them. But still I did it. I managed to plant over 50 trays of seedlings -- at 120 per tray, that's 6000 plants that went out -- including corn, tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, watermelons, hot peppers, sweet peppers, okra, eggplant, basils, husk cherries, summer flowers, annual herbs like lemongrass and ashwagandha, perennial herbs like sage and chocolate mint, kale, kohlrabi, cabbage, lettuce, celery, and celeriac ... and probably some others that I'm forgetting. The farm is filling-up!

 The no-till mulch ready to roll -- the cereal rye did not germinate well in the hot-dry end of summer, but the hairy vetch and crimson clover were great. We wait until rye anthesis -- or pollen shed, which you can just make out -- and then roll, scythe, mow, smoosh, or otherwise mechanically terminate.

The no-till mulch ready to roll -- the cereal rye did not germinate well in the hot-dry end of summer, but the hairy vetch and crimson clover were great. We wait until rye anthesis -- or pollen shed, which you can just make out -- and then roll, scythe, mow, smoosh, or otherwise mechanically terminate.