Vantage

 Double rainbow, all the way.

Double rainbow, all the way.

Expected Harvest

Greens
Chard
Lettuce
Sorrel

Storage
Beans, Dry
   - Carolina Crowder
   - Kenearly Yellow Eye
   - Midnight Black Turtle
   - Quincy Pinto
Onion
Popcorn

Sweet Potato

Fruit
Strawberries, frozen

Medicinal Roots
Ashwagandha
Burdock / Gobo

Culinary Herbs
Basil, Italian
Basil, Holy / Grapao
Basil, Thai

Cilantro or Dill
Garlic, Scapes
Mint, Chocolate

Hot Pepper, Dried

Flowers -- just a few

The Pickle Pile
Parsnip
Radish, Winter
Turnip, Winter

2018 Week 23, Summer CSA Pickup 1 of 26

Eleven inches of rain fell on the farm these last four weeks, and it really did feel like a mountain in cloud here at times. But even when it was worse than this -- with hurricanes transporting greenhouses or turning riverbanks into rivers, and farm beds into riverbeds themselves -- it has always felt to me that the worst thing about the rain is that it stops. Aside from a delay in fieldwork -- too wet to weed or mow or transplant or seed or prepare beds, or to do anything out there, in fact -- all the soil is still with us, and so far it looks like the only real casualties are the strawberries, which have turned to mush. Before the rain, I gathered 200 pints for the freezer, which I hope will do as blender berries for this late spring.

If you have followed the last few months of updates, you will know both that farming is a dance -- and new to this state and land, there was some stepping on feet -- and that we had a cold, dry, and at times quite windy spring. Which is to say, we are running a few weeks late. The broccoli, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi died-out several months ago in that two-week stretch of 15-30mph wind, and their replacements are a month+ behind. As I noted before, rather than delay the start of the Summer CSA, I will just accept a lighter start, and make sure we all average out on top by the end. If the numbers don't add-up come Thanksgiving, there will be a discount on either the Winter or Summer CSA. Depending upon the crop, there may also be some early limits; as, for instance, chard can't fully bear the total absence of kale.

All that said, the summer looks great at the moment, with baby beans, squash, and tomatoes all out there and waiting for a little more sun. And we also have the last fat of winter to push us into summer. Can you believe -- I can't -- that three weeks from now, the days get shorter? It's enough to make one just sit on the porch and watch the rain, and enjoy the farm, green and a little late, but there nonetheless.

Some notes for members new and old:

  • The CSA pick-up is every Wednesday, 3-7pm -- with the first one this Wednesday, June 6th. We are running an hour later this year, but will also be packing-up on-time. Please note that I mentioned to a few neighbors that they could come by, 6:45-7:00, to peruse the remainder like a typical farmstand. I really hope that one day I can have Thursday as an on-farm CSA back-up, and farmers'-market-replacing-farmstand-for-the-neighbors. For now, this is their option.
  • The driveway, after the storm, might remind you of an aerial flight over the Yangtze. Pretend you are a bird if you like, but do go slowly, as the excavating crew is waiting until things dry out to make improvements.
  • The "super free choice" model of the CSA depends upon everybody having signed-up their whole household for the farm. Exceptions are permitted, but only after discussion. Please and thank you. Because I watch the $ Out and $ In carefully -- principally to make sure you all get what you paid for -- not signing-up your whole household only raises the future costs, which unfairly punishes all. I'm pretty sure you all understand this, but I just need to make sure it's out there.
  • The "limit" on what you can take this year is "what you will eat this week." (Exceptions will arise when particular crops present them -- early tomatoes, late spring, etc.) This means that sliding all the cucumbers into your bag to pickle for late summer, or winter, won't do. However, there will be a "pickle-pile" whenever we have excess from the week before, or, in this week's case, the winter prior. Please avail yourself of it, as composting the old onions is so much less fun than seeing you run off with a bunch to pickle. Last year, I called this the "bonus bench." If there is huge demand to pickle, I will obviously have to limit it to our year-round members ... though I suspect it won't come to that.
  • So how do you pickle an onion, or other veggies for that matter? To make a live ferment, smoosh all your chopped veggies in a glass jar, add a brine of 3 tablespoons salt per quart water, set it on your counter. Done. If you get one of these super-easy gas exchange lids then you don't even have to worry about it exploding amid the forgetful rush of your life. Perfect!
  • It's summer, which means I will be at the pick-up and available to you for 4 hours every week. Because there is a numbers asymmetry -- one of me, many of you -- I generally don't respond to email or voicemail, though you can count on me reading it within a day or two. If you have questions, comments, thoughts, dreams, etc., I want to hear them and you to speak them, and the pick-up is the place to do it. Thank you so much for understanding.
  • We have one year under our belt here, and this land is still old pasture we are together turning into garden soil. Things look better this year already, and I have several prongs pushing it toward awesomeness ... but I know it's not there yet, and sometimes the veggies show it. If there is a hole in the kale, here's a million dollars that hole never tastes bad. :)

Happy spring!
See you on the farm,
Austin

 Not only the lettuce is growing on the farm this spring. Our bike helmet babies. It took many words and the closing of doors to finally get them to stop their attempt at building the nest in the farmstand.

Not only the lettuce is growing on the farm this spring. Our bike helmet babies. It took many words and the closing of doors to finally get them to stop their attempt at building the nest in the farmstand.

 Tomato stakes go in -- so easily -- in the 1st and 2nd plantings, while we wait for some drier soil to mow the clover down beside them.

Tomato stakes go in -- so easily -- in the 1st and 2nd plantings, while we wait for some drier soil to mow the clover down beside them.

 Alas, poor Galleta, we knew thee well. But I got a freezer to keep the berries frozen until now. A nice close to the Winter CSA, though. Lettuce, pea, & strawberry salad ... with a few nuts later popped on top.

Alas, poor Galleta, we knew thee well. But I got a freezer to keep the berries frozen until now. A nice close to the Winter CSA, though. Lettuce, pea, & strawberry salad ... with a few nuts later popped on top.