Anyone remember last summer’s drought? It seems like a distant memory, but less than a year ago irrigating the fields was our number one priority. These days I can’t recall the last time I turned the water on, but I do know how much energy has been devoted to keeping ahead of the weeds, and to taking advantages of what few dry spells we've had to tackle tractor work.
Yet things are moving along well, in spite of the rain. Conventional farm wisdom holds that you shouldn’t work wet soil, to avoid compaction, but we’re able to work around this by seeding grass pathways between long-season crops such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, chard, and kale. The pathways make harvesting pleasant for the crew, they outcompete the weeds, and they provide a critical buffer in wet conditions. Even after a night of heavy downpours, we’re able to keep busy.
We’re wrapping up our fourth week of harvests. The spring crops loved the cool, wet weather, and everything looked great coming out of the fields. Now we transition into summer, and the onslaught of fruit crops—zucchini, beans, eggplant, and more. The garlic appears to be dying back later this year, so we’ll delay the harvest by a week or two. Conversely, the blueberries are ripening early, so we’ll put the bird nets up next week and let CSA members know when they can start picking.
One thing Dan and I are really enjoying is watching CSA members work their way around the gardens and fields with greater confidence. Whether it’s harvesting lemon balm, munching in the “snack plot,” or trekking to the furthest field to fill up on spinach, we love seeing the farm buzzing with activity. When we explain and promote the experience of CSA membership, this is exactly what we mean.