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May 14, 2014

We had a wonderful outpouring of interest in our CSA program in the last couple of weeks. Over 40 families signed up, pushing us much closer to our goal of 100 more shares by early June. The crew at Montalbano Farms is working hard to make this another successful year and we truly appreciate your interest and financial investment.

We know that you can spend your produce dollars at Jewel or Whole Foods or Aldi. We even know that, sometimes, they advertise their produce as local. The best way to support local farmers, however, is to buy from farmers. Check it out and ask questions. There are lots of ways to buy from farmers but you have to be an inquisitive buyer. Grocers that buy local will light up when talking about their farms. They’ll know names and what came in just this morning. We appreciate the efforts that each of you make regarding healthier and fresher decisions.

This week’s rain has come at an interesting time for the farm. Our early spring crops need a weeding badly but we cannot work the soil while it’s wet. Our summer crops are itching to get planted but, again, we cannot plant them while the soil is wet. It’s one of the most difficult parts of farming like we do. Since we plant every week, we are always on the lookout for good weather conditions. On top of planting, we also weed every week too and the soils need to be just right to make that happen. We spend so much time and effort and money weeding and it is such hard work. Sometimes, I think it would be so much easier to just spray a bunch of poisons around and be done with it. It’s frustrating to know that is how much of farming is done. It’s one reason why you can find such cheap produce in the stores. Anyways, that’s not our style and never will be. Christina and I decided a long time ago that we are going to farm the way we think is right or we’re going to get run out of business trying. Because of you – don’t look behind you or to the side or at your neighbor – because of you, it’s going to be the former. We’re all farmers and we’re all farming and it takes all of us to make this farm happen. And it is happening.

The cool weather has been a surprise too (I thought this was an El Niño year?). As you know, some plants love cool weather while others like to bask in warmer temperatures. Each year, we create our crop plan expecting normal temperatures and conditions (even though there is no “normal”). We expect spring to be cool, summer to be hot, and fall to chill out again. One of our strengths is that we have so much diversity on the farm. We have any number of plants that will thrive under varying conditions. Some years are great for broccoli while others reign for tomatoes. That’s what eating local and seasonal is all about. We’re honored to share the experience of the seasons with you.

The whole crew at Montalbano Farms hopes that your week is fantastic!