Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In the Share - Week 18

                                         mulching the fall brassica

POTATOES (F/P) Last of the “Irish” or “South American” potatoes for the year. Enjoy!

ONIONS (F) Probably the last of the onions too.

RADISHES (F/P) Oh my, we have a lot of radishes on our hands. Too hot for you, you say? Slice them up, dress with vinegar and honey, let sit and then eat without fear.

EGGPLANT OR OKRA (F) The eggplant has rebounded nicely from the summer heat and the okra will continue until the temps. get too chilly.

SWEET PEPPERS (F/P) Still got some ripe ones out there and hopefully will for a bit longer.

CHOICE OF GREENS (F/P) Rapini, Kale, Collards and Chard. See Tom’s post for more on enjoying your greens.

ASIAN GREENS or ARUGULA (F) We direct-seeded some bok choy and tat soi this summer after our greenhouse seedings wouldn’t sprout in the heat. Now there are lots of baby bok choy and tat soi in the field to pick.

HERB CHOICE (F/P) Basil, tarragon, parsley or a dried herb. Partial shares get a choice of an herb or arugula.

ALSO THIS WEEK: Parker Farms shares, Of the Earth fruit shares

NEXT WEEK: More radishes, eggplant, okra, greens and peppers. Hakurei turnips and O’Henry white-fleshed sweet potatoes.

On Saturday afternoon after a productive CSA harvest morning, the farm hosted the 2011 class of Growing Growers apprentices. Growing Growers offers workshops and farm tours to those who desire to start a career in local, sustainable agriculture. The topic of the September workshop was Pests, Weeds and Disease, or as the coordinator of the Growing Growers program and farmer at Blue Door Farm, Laura Christensen, quipped, “The Plagues.” Unfortunately for the students not a pest, weed or disease was in sight to identify at Fair Share Farm (ha ha).

After a stroll through the fields, a demonstration of the electric tractor and the solar-powered irrigation system, we headed to the wash & pack area of the barn. There we had a conversation about what the CSA membership means to us as farmers. The stats. are impressive: over 1,000 hours of on-farm labor provided, an active and engaged core group, money and support provided up-front before the harvest begins and endless hours saved schlepping to the farmers market.

Even more than these, the greatest benefit for us is the guarantee of a reliable income no matter what the season. This year is a good case in point. Too little rain and too much heat led to disaster in the Cucurbit patch, meanwhile the tomatoes flourished. Last year it was the opposite: lots of squashes, cucumbers and melons but few ‘maters. While no farmer wants to see a tenderly nurtured crop turn to dust, we sleep a little easier knowing that our balance sheet is not dependent on any single market favorite. Instead we are fortunate to have as our task to feed our member families well. The diversity of crops in our fields and the adventurous appetites of those who eat them is our crop insurance.

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