Hauling It In: Summer CSA Week #20 – 10/23/19

 In CSA Newsletter
I can happily say that the list of things remaining to do in our fields this season all fits on a single sheet of paper.

The season began in late February when we fired up the heaters and began seeding onions. We were in full greenhouse nursery mode throughout March.

The first big ramp up began in April. We were managing thousands and thousands of greenhouse plants at this point, and then we started direct seeding and transplanting into the ground. May kicked up a notch as we began to need to keep the weeds down in what we’d planted while also continuing to plant more and then beginning to harvest by the end of the month.

June and July were, and always are, the absolute most intense times at the farm. Another way to think about it is 4 weeks before and the 6 weeks after the summer solstice. Just nutty. We were starting plants, direct seeding, transplanting, cultivating, and harvesting that time of year. Lots of things to juggle – and to juggle around the weather. Always around the weather.

August was our first pulse of relief. The weed intensity chilled out a bit and the vast majority of what needed to be planted or seeded was in the ground. We still had long hours to work this time of year as we harvested and harvested and harvested, but the stress was definitely less. Same thing went for September.

By the time we hit October, the end was in sight. While we were keeping ourselves and our staff busy through the end of the month, there’s a clear drop-off of work ahead. It’s like a big finish line that we’ve all been working toward since April.

And so here I am with my one-page to do list. Most of it entails getting food out of the ground and into storage. Remaining crops include: leeks, rutabaga, storage kohlrabi, parsnips, carrots, beets, purple top turnips, and daikon radish. We have some hours left yet to take down our tomato trellis, and in a couple weeks we’ll need to mulch the strawberries. And then, that’ll be it for the field season.

Most of our staff will either end work or drastically downsize their hours over the course of the next week or so.  I will shift to part-time in November to enjoy my last winter with a child at home.

We’ll pack our fall shares until mid-December – a mixture of washing, bagging, and moving things around. And Mike and I will shift to planning and maintaining around the farm. But after these next 10 days, everything will pretty much be done out in the fields.

Overall, it has been a successful season! Just like we see in any CSA year, it was a great year for some crops (go peppers, go!), and less great for others (oh muskmelon, how I wish we’d had more).  But overall we enjoyed this season. We had a great crew, less rain than the year before, and made a huge transition to new farm land. Thank you for joining us in this journey.

Enjoy your veggies!
Farmer Cassie