Farm News- June 1, 2014

Circle Brook Farm
Circle Brook Farm

Hello Everyone, I hope you all had a pleasant Memorial Day Weekend. This second pre-season update is a little late going out because we have been working long days in the field trying to get caught up on the planting schedule after a late start. I can report that we are just about back on track and even a little bit ahead on some of the warm weather crops. We have been getting a fair amount of rain so crops are growing well. The first planting of peas are flowering, so we should be picking peas in about 2 weeks. The spinach crop is gorgeous and much of it is ready to be harvested. I am a little worried that it won’t maintain good quality until we begin deliveries. I will be keeping a close eye on it, especially if it gets hot this week, and we will begin cutting it a little early and keep it in cold storage if necessary. We generally try to harvest your veggies the day before we deliver, but there are times when produce will hold better under refrigeration then out in the field. In any case expect copious amounts of spinach with the first several deliveries.

In the past couple of weeks we have planted 4 acres of potatoes, over 15,000 brassica family plants, 5,000 tomatoes, 3,000 eggplant, 4,000 peppers, 1,000 cucumbers, 2,400 summer squash and over 10,000 lettuce family plants (including escarole, endive and radicchio). The squash is growing beautifully under cover of an Ag fabric, which buffers it from the cool nights. We should be picking zucchini in about 3 weeks. The beets and carrots are growing well, and we have radishes and turnips coming along for the early season deliveries. The garlic, onions and leeks are growing nicely in spite of late emergence of the garlic (fall planted) and late planting of the onions due to the interminable winter. The one bummer I have to report on this front is that for some reason we lost most of the elephant garlic crop. I am at a loss to explain it; it has never happened before, but I suppose that maybe the severe winter was just too much for it.  In any event, there will be no elephant garlic in the shares this year.  The other minor problem we have been having is with the arugula, I have planted it twice now and it has germinated poorly both times. The first time was back in April just before several days of rain which ended up totaling 4”, so I assumed it got buried to deep.  The second planting did not have these difficult conditions to surmount and still came up poorly. I am beginning to suspect I have a bad batch of seed. I have some seed of a different variety and source and will be planting again this week, even though it’s a bit late for this cool weather crop. Arugula as well as all the mustards grows better in the fall and it will be abundant in the later season shares.

I hope to see and meet many of you at the farm visit picnic next Saturday. At present the weather forecast looks promising with mild temperatures and no rain.  The farm is looking beautiful and I love to show off the results of all our hard work. So come on out with family, friends and pets and see how your food is grown!         Best Regards, Farmer John

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