Farm News – November 16, 2020

Circle Brook Farm
Circle Brook Farm

Hi Folks, we have reached the end of the CSA season.  I hope that you have enjoyed the produce we were able to provide this year.  Every farming season has its unique challenges, mostly weather related.  This year we had both the latest spring frost ever – May 18th – and the earliest fall frost that I can remember – September 18.  The September frost took us a bit by surprise as the forecast was for a low of 38 degrees.  The cold snap in September was even more unusual since it was not a single night, but rather four night in a row of sub-freezing temperatures.  This gave us only four months of frost-free growing season.  A long summer drought followed by excessive rain added another hurdle.

This year, in addition to the normal weather issues, the pandemic added more challenges.  We were stymied by a lack of manpower, as 4 of my regular workers were unable to arrive from Nicaragua (no flights).  My crew of 12 worked close to 80 hours per week for most of the season and did a magnificent job.  I am extremely grateful to my staff;  without them I could never have been successful at farming.  They work tirelessly and conscientiously and are always cheerful.

The final share is a bit heavy on roots and tubers.  The cold nights have damaged many of the greens, except for the spinach and the kale.  The squash will be butternut, or a variety called Autumn Frost, which is similar except in shape.  We are finishing up the long, complicated rotation with the brassicas.  If you did not receive Brussel’s sprouts last week, you will get them this time.  Ditto for cauliflower.  A few groups received both last week, and some neither.

Thanksgiving won’t be the same in this weird year, but it is still a time to give thanks.  I want to thank the volunteers who came out to the farm, some multiple times, to lend a hand.  I also want to thank the site hosts and core group leaders, who work so hard to make the program work with no or only meager compensation.  And finally, thank you so much for your participation in the program and supporting our farm and local agriculture.  Stay safe and be well!

The share for this week will be:  Rainbow carrots, kale, cabbage, sweet potatoes, spinach, garlic, scallions, salad turnips, parsnips, lettuce, butternut squash, and daikon.  Premium shares will receive either escarole or endive (frisée) and a second bunch of spinach.

The final ½ fruit share will be Jonagold apples.  (The Staymans I was waiting for were apparently lost to frost this year).

Enjoy!  Farmer John

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