Abbe Hills Farm CSA

  (Mt. Vernon, Iowa)
[ Member listing ]

growing food in spite of drought. Pickup is 4:30 until 7:00

Greetings shareholders,
This week, we'll have lots of lettuce, more marvelous bok chois, garlic scapes, a few small onions, kohlrabi, spring turnips, daikon radishes, kale and collards.  The Monday people will get more peas, and I think the Thursday people will get broccoli.  Beets, chard, onions, garlic should begin next week or the one after.
We're watering non-stop, or at least as much of each day as I can keep the pump up and running.  I'm sure glad I have a big pond. This is exactly the purpose for which it was built (although it hasn't been as dry as this since 1988, the year we built it).  Where we've watered, the crops look pretty OK.  Where we haven't, the soil is dry and too hard to be tilled with any equipment that I own.  We finished planting tomatoes last week, got the plastic down for the winter squash, set out most of the peppers, plus beans, herbs, and summer squash.  We've started melons and cantaloupes in trays hoping that it will be easier to get transplants to establish successfully than it would be to start from seeds.  We hope to get all the winter squash direct seeded into the field this week.  Not sure how it will work, but we'll soon find out. 
We got .2" rain Saturday night.  That's "point two inches".  Not very much, but enough to wash off leaves at least.   There was dust on my road by noon Sunday.  We're expecting a hot and windy week, so I'm not going to push my workers as hard as I have for the past month.  Gotta keep everybody healthy.  And maybe I'll have some time in the house to finally look at all the checks and registration forms you all have handed me.  I'm embarrassingly behind on my paperwork. 
I know you are anxious to get your vegetables each week, and I really appreciate your enthusiasm, but I have to ask for your cooperation to maintain our opening time.  It's crept a few minutes earlier each pickup this season, and I'm worried that if we don't get a handle on it, you'll be watching me eat lunch pretty soon!  Remember, our pickup times are 4:30 until 7:00, Mondays and Thursdays.  It would be hugely helpful to everybody who works on the farm in the afternoons getting everything organized if you could please delay getting here until 4:30.  We're usually hectically moving machinery and tractors and putting out parking signs, going the wrong way on one-way roads, and generally hustling around the yard, driveways, and shed right up until the last minute.  None of which is very safe for our shareholders.  And we don't take the vegetables out of the cooler until about 4:25. Then, we need room to calculate and figure out the set up, and it's hard to do without making mistakes when there are people hovering.  So, I know you want to get in and out of here early, but please, remind yourselves and your drivers  - give us at least until 4:30.  We need that much time to make pickup nights work smoothly for everybody.  Thanks.
Despite the drought, things are going well this season.  Weeds don't grow very much in a drought, and we haven't had to leave the field because of lightening.  My workers are marvelous. The vegetables we've had so far have been tasty and lovely.  Parking is working perfectly, we've had lots of food to donate, and shareholders seem to be happy.  All in all, it's good. 
See you this week.
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