Sunday, July 5, 2009

Come see for yourself

A break in the clouds!
Join us for a week of weeding. After a month of rain and clouds we have had precious few days to take care of crops. Under ideal conditions the garden should be weeded once a week. But when farming is concerned, any statement that starts with, "Under ideal conditions..." should immediately be disregarded.

We try very hard to work with nature, to be flexible, and to be diversified enough to avoid losses. We plant with a wide margin of error-- 240 seedlings go out with an expectation of harvesting just 100 of those plants. We are more than willing to put in 11 hour days, some of us logging all of the daylight and a few night-time hours to the business of keeping the farm from sinking. And finally we drag others into the struggle with us: (that's you-- our CSA members). And still, a struggle it is... Sacked out with Mac and Cheese dinner. Harvest:
New Potatoes
Fresh Garlic
and the Pick Your Own Strawberry field is open for GLEANING! There are still some good berries in there. CSA members only!

This week is not a grand harvest. Usually our third week of harvesting starts to yield some quantity of produce: more substantial greens, still berries, beets, the first of the summer squash, and more. One other thing we try very hard to do: stay positive. So I am not going to get into the details -- you can read about it in the news in case you missed it. (For early crops, a wet blanket, Will it be rain-sodden fields forever?, Agencies urge gardeners to check for blight, and most recently, Crops in crisis) (yes, that is chronological order, getting more and more dire.)
All plants need sun and heat to grow, so it follows directly that this season is way off the usual mark. That is one thing that we can not do anything about. The many other problems that follow leave us with perhaps (if everyone is willing and able) some more options. Like pulling weeds! That is where you come in. We propose TWO weeding work parties. One on Wednesday afternoon, lasting from 1:30 until 5:30. And the second, Sunday morning, from 8 AM until lunchtime. Come for just a few minutes of either, or for hours of both. Whatever time you can spare. We need the hands that much! Bring tools if you have a favorite, but there is plenty of hand-pulling as well and finger pinching, to do without tools. Oh and need it be said? Rain OR Shine!
With some help weeding, we can hopefully stay on target getting transplants into the field as we did during another break in the rain two weeks ago.
There is one more thing that as a community you can do to help out the farm: If it is sunny and beautiful for the rest of the summer and into the fall, just don't forget this month of weather. With a short growing season some crops require every day of growing the summer offers, and so far there have not been too many. Cross your fingers and knock on wood that the late blight stays away, the cut worms are finished eating, and the last frost is a late one.

Blessings on the meal
--John and Stacy

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