Late July is an important time on the farm. Our spring crops – the hardest ones to grow – are mostly finished. We had a great spring on the farm. Lots of greens and carrots and rhubarb marked our first CSA month. And despite some pretty terrible weather, we got lucky on a few plantings and weedings too. Our crew jelled quickly. We even – I can hardly believe this myself – found time for a game night on the farm.
Then June came. Hmmmm…how can I put a positive spin on this? I’m not sure but it was rough. So much rain fell (almost 9″) that we had a very difficult time with pretty much every farm task. We could not plant or seed as the fields were too wet. Seedlings that we started back in April were left to the compost pile. Harvesting was a ridiculously muddy mess which made picking and washing incredibly challenging. We lost quite a few crops to weeds including plenty of squash and cucumbers. We lost some crops for good and it’s going to be a sparse season for peppers, eggplant, and watermelon. We lost other crops entirely and folks who love Brussels sprouts (me!) and celery are going to be disappointed. How about this for a positive spin: June ended.
We are working to get back on our feet this month. Just last week, the weather turned in our favor. We put in lots of fall broccoli and cabbage and cauliflower. We planted radicchio and more beans. Our third planting of carrots went in and, if we get some rain (I know I can’t believe that I just said that), the crop should be really good. Right now, Ken and Rebekah are getting the tomatoes in line and the first harvest goes out this week. And while we lost the first and second plantings of cucumbers, our third planting is growing strong. Lots of those – hopefully – lie ahead.
Organic farming is a struggle. There’s no two ways about it. And while I try to look on the bright side of things, I am often faced with some pretty bad news that I have to confront. I’m still figuring out how to do this and keep my sanity. I know at least a few folks who would say I lost that battle a long time ago. Anyway, we keep going and we keep thinking the next big break is right around the corner.
And that’s where our Community Supported Agriculture program comes in. As you know, we’re not just trading vegetables for money. We’re asking folks to bear the good times and the bad times. We’re asking families to enjoy the carrots while we have them and look forward to the broccoli when, and if, it comes too. Some years will be great. Others not so much. We know that joining a CSA is not the most lucrative investment you can make it but you do it anyway. We’re on to something good here and every one of us can be proud of playing our part. Thank you for supporting the farm.