Welcome to our 2012 CSA shareholders. Mark and I would just like to say how grateful we are have you all be a part of the farm this season. I hope you are as excited as we are about this spring and the weeks to come. The CSA is now closed to signups for the spring and summer season as we have reached our limit. Now to get down to business… allow me to walk you through the next few weeks for us here on the farm. As we now enter our crazy busy early spring schedule trying to get these cool season weather vegetables planted. We start each season by turning over the beds in the field and giving them all a good layer of compost. You will find around this farm our compost is key to how we grow all these wonderful vegetables, herbs and flower and it is as precious as gold to us. Next we do a little doctoring to our planting beds testing and amending each one. After a season of intense planting like we do here on this farm most of the beds need some sort of mineral or even extra nitrogen amendments. We run a 3 year crop rotation in each bed or I should say we try to rotate the crops never growing the same type or family of crops in the same beds as the last two seasons…sometimes we push our luck when growing space is at a premium. We grow most of our crops in raised beds which allows us a little better control as well as keeping the field walkable for farm visitors who want to cut their own flowers. We have about 50 4×40 ft beds so this takes a lot of time and effort. All the bed clearing and composting is done by hand. There are no big tillers, huge tractors or nasty black plastic in these beds just pure fresh hummus soil that is filled with microbes and worms! I can tell you this is a chicken’s dream day when we start turning over these beds…they are in worm heaven! Once the chickens see us working those beds they all come running for they know a easy meal is just waiting.
Now this being a small farm we have to keep our labor cost down and that requires all family members to help out. Lucca our son is not much on wanting to farm but giving the fact he does like to eat it somehow brings him around…for now anyhow.
As far as work goes Mark and I can get an hour or so out of Lucca…but it is 10 minutes more then last year:) This is a real family farm and just having all of us together working doing something we love really shows up in the product I believe. Even Joe our lab gives
Lucca a little encouragement. Once the beds are ready to plant that is when the work for me really begins. All these seedings that have taken over the farmhouse get put into the soil and row after row gets a little talking to about what I expect for them…yes I am a little touched…as my mother would say. I do talk to my plants, my chickens and my bees often. The kicker is I believe they understand me:) Some of the first crops we put into the ground is Kale, mustard greens and broccoli. Lot of lettuce mixes and romaine lettuce, radishes and cauliflower follow. All the above will all be planted this week along with some other early spring things. We have several beds that need repaired and replaced this season and Mark is adding a few new beds to the field. Our honey bees were all out and about today making my weeding of a clover bed precarious at best…after a while I moved on and left the bees to do their thing…i don’t want to get in the way of their sweet honey making nor be on the end of their stinger! From here on through the season I will be updating the farm’s news blog (here) every week keeping you updated on all the happenings here on the farm as well as getting you ready for your first CSA pickup date sometime in April. I have asked one of our CSA shareholders who is a writer herself to help me out this season by writing some posts as well. I will be introducing you all to her in the coming weeks.
I hope you all have had a wonderful winter and again thank you shareholders for taking part in the CSA program…Peggy