Farm News – October 1, 2018
Hello Everyone, Thanks to all who have expressed condolences and support. I know I have rather gloomy and down lately; it’s been a tough year. Farming can be a frustrating endeavor since the principal factor in success or failure – the weather – is totally beyond one’s control. I like to give you all loads of nice produce, not excuses, and I think we did okay for the first 2/3 of the season. Now we are feeling the pinch of the problems that all the rain that began in August has caused.
There are 2 main aspects to the problems. The first is inability to plant. When the ground is constantly sodden, we can’t prepare beds for planting, and we can’t sow seeds. We make succession planting of many crops all through the season, and there is a cutoff point at which it is too late to plant especially for the frost sensitive varieties. The other aspect is disease. I’ve been telling people it’s been a rotten year, and I mean it both literally and figuratively. Alternaria, commonly known as early blight, affects many crops and is rampant this season. Then there’s powdery mildew and gray mold. I wanted to send the beets with their tops this week but they are too ugly! I’ve been hearing stories from other farmers — CSAs cancelling their pickups; pumpkins being brought in from Michigan; the Amish have lost many of their crops and there is very little for sale at the auctions where they bring their produce. The Amish are really good farmers, and most of them are not organic and will use any chemical available to them to save their crops. You know things are bad when the Amish are losing their crops.
It makes me feel a little better to know it’s not just my farm that is struggling this year, but I still have to worry about how to pay the bills. We’ve had so many really good years recently in spite of challenging weather; I always knew there would come a season when we would disappoint a bit. But we don’t give up on the season, and I’m not contemplating quitting farming. I get to live in a beautiful place and do what I love to do, and what I consider important work. There’s still a lot of good stuff to come. Hang in there with me!
The share for this week will be: potatoes (probably russet), lettuce (we have many mini varieties), beets, acorn squash, choice of arugula or mizuna, peppers, eggplant (in rotation), choice of kale, chard or dandelion greens (so get there early if you don’t like dandelion!), choice of assorted herbs (including papalo, a Mexican green, not exactly an herb). Premium members will receive either daikon or purple top turnips. For extras there will be some Lima beans, Cranberry shell beans, okra and hot peppers.
The fruit share for this week will be: Sweetie apples and Asian pears.
Enjoy! Farmer John