Has it really been 15 weeks since I brought the first delivery of produce for the 2018 season? It has certainly been my most challenging growing season in ten years of farming. My biggest lesson has been the impact heavy rains have on crops when they are young as was our experience this April/May. I really believe it’s the same with humans – less than optimal conditions when young have a lasting, long term effect that it is difficult to overcome. A few things have done quite well with all the rain – cucumbers, lettuce and pole beans. Others such as squash and tomatoes produced smaller yields and a much shorter harvest window. Another reminder from this season is the importance of diversity – growing a variety of crops is an integral part of a CSA farm. Not only is growing a wide variety of crops better for our diets as each vegetable contains different vitamins and minerals but it also increases the resiliency of ones’ farm.
While we certainly have not needed to irrigate much at all this season, I decided to put drip tape out on the fall crops to give them a little boost. Peppers, okra and basil are all singing this evening as are the birds that dart through and collect drops of moisture. I moved Lola and Belle (aka the power eating and pooping machines) to the 30’x60’ kudzu patch at the farm. In four days they have already made a good dent in knocking it back. The plant is amazing in that it grows more than a foot a day! The patch showed up at the farm about 5 years ago and I’ve managed to keep it contained by mowing the perimeter and then an annual livestock grazing to remove the top growth. As I understand kudzu does not like to be messed with and if you keep knocking it back you’ve got a fighting chance to keep it at bay. To totally eliminate you also need to go after the mother root which can be found by following the vines back to their origin.
Farm Food Favorite: Sweet Potato Greens & Fingerlings!
Greens – Cut stems into one inch pieces and sauté in coconut oil for 5 minutes. Cut leaves into one inch strips and then add to stems. Sautee another 3-5 minutes, add salt and maple syrup. Enjoy!
Fingerlings – Roast with coconut oil in covered dish on 350 until soft. Enjoy!
Thank you again for all your support and encouragement this season! I will see you all tomorrow at the CSA pickup from 10-12 at the Rock House Park with a surprise new treat this season. Please bring a bag for your goodies.
Until next season…