I said I would write a newsletter when we got a rain break – so here goes…….
Today I am replacing the exhaust gasket on the old Ford tractor –working in the garage. I had to stop for a bit to let the oil soak into the threads on the bolts that hold the manifold onto the engine block. So I have a minute to write.
Last week we (my daughter Corine and I ) got all the early green cabbage and two kinds of broccoli planted –this was 75 flats (72 plants each) and filled about 1 ½ acres. We also put in 8 rows of red potatoes and 3 rows of white potatoes. This is a little over half the potatoes we had last year. The broccoli suffered some from the two frosts we had last week –I will check it latter today and see how it is doing now that we have had some rain.
After we got the transplanting done I had time to disc the remaining portion of the field across the road and plant more lettuce and carrots. I also put in some dill and turnips and a second planting of spinach. This rain came just at the perfect time for all these crops –they are seeded so shallow in the soil that they need water right away to germinate.
The lettuce I seeded in flats in the greenhouse is coming up and the Kale is about 3 inches tall already. Everything but a small amount of parsley and thyme has been transplanted into flats and the next job for the greenhouse will be all the vine crops. We will seed those at the end of April or first of May and are planning on filling the back greenhouse with watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, summer squash, pati pan squash, and a few specialty squashes. We also seed the late fall crops then too. We will seed late broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. (I am thinking it will work better to transplant kale out of the greenhouse than to try and direct seed it in the field).
Next week I plan on working all the fields over with the field cultivator to keep the moisture retained in the ground, and kill any small weeds that may be getting started.
We have a nice group of people that have subscribed for this year’s membership and we are reaching a point where we would like to be for size this year. We have enough New members to replace all those who have let me know from last year that they are moving or for whatever other reason will not be subscribing this year.
There are a few of last years members who have not let me know either way what their plans are for this year, and since we have passed the April 15 date, anyone is welcome to take their place as CSA member.
In addition I have decided that I would like to keep our total membership to around 80 shares. This is a reduction of about 30 members from last year. This size would allow us to do better job packing and provide better service to our members. I am looking at selling any excess produce we may have this year to other CSA Farms that might need it. We usually have quite a few people subscribe in the end of April and into May. If you have not already subscribed and are planning on doing so you need to let me know, we passed the April 15 date, and at this point it is first come first serve. We still have some room left, but should easily be filled by mid-May.
Subscription rates paid by check are lower than if purchased online through the localharvest store – this is due to the localharvest store commission. LocalHarvest charges us a commission for the service they provide, so we are passing on a portion of that fee in the online store rates.. The subscription rates by check are $250 for a Half share, $320 for a Basic share & $400 for the Full size share.
I think we will begin delivery on June 7 this year – there should be at least enough stuff ready to pack some veggies for the first taste of spring, then the following weeks there ought to be enough to fill the boxes fairly well. This start date will give us a 22-week delivery season. This is 4 or 5 weeks more than last year. Your first box may not be way full – but whatever is ready will go to waste if we do not make a distribution at that time.
Corine and I went over to the field and checked on the broccoli & cabbage, and it is doing well. Some of the rows that were planted earliest look a bit more stressed by the frost than the later planted rows, but they all look like they will be fine. The rain came at a very good time for these plants. We are very pleased with how these are doing and glad we got them in before this rain. Packman broccoli takes about 55 days from transplant date to mature – this puts our potential first harvest date at June 10. This would be in time for the second distribution box!
Have a great day!
Mark & Carolyn Walker