April Update

Welcome to the April update… Green Season is well underway; this is the second delivery week of the eight. Main Season first delivery will be May 26, a Wednesday (it made sense to move the first delivery of a week to actually be in the same week. Finally.).

Several of you on this email list have historically been members in the main season – but have not made any indication that you would or would not be in this year. The big deal here is boxes. There are usually 2x boxes per delivery member; the goal is 30 members (there are currently 18), and there aren’t 60 boxes. Yet. So. Out of the kindness of your heart, just give a hint. Hopefully yes, and what size box. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

There were several big things learned from 2020 beyond social distancing and masking. There were problems getting seeds, there were problems with new planting areas, there were massive problems with weeds.  The theory is that these are all resolved.  This picture captures most of the solution:

What you are seeing is a bed with hard edges, weed guard paper mulch, and floating crop covers on a nice start of Broccoli and Cauliflower. The weed guard paper is of heroic virtue – it suppresses weeds and actually kills the seeds; it traps moisture; and it decomposes. All the plants which are set out as starts will be planted through the paper. The floating crop cover keeps bad bugs from laying eggs and hatching larva that ruin crops.

The interesting challenge is getting early fruited veggies. Peppers, cukes and eggplant did very poorly last season; the idea to fix that is to triple the number of starts, which has been accomplished. Too much energy was spent on trying to get early Tomatoes; that worked but there was an expense. All four of these fruiting veggies are on track for June; in mid May they will be put in warm high beds with paper and floating cover, in some cases both outside and in the greenhouse. It is pretty exciting.

Perhaps the biggest change is an aggressive planting of heritage flowers like snapdragons from 2020. Zinnias, well, a lot of flowers. In 2020 a single large blossom (rose, snap dragon, etc) was in a box. It is possible that enough flowers could be provided for people who would like to make an arrangement. Stay tuned! In any case, the garden will be very scenic. You ought to consider a visit in the summer.

The other favorite from 2020 were peaches. The shift of management meant that a critical thinning was missed, and peach size suffered. That won’t happen this year; as well, the trees have matured particularly with regard to bearing branches off the trellis branches. The demand last year was a surprise. It was originally expected that non-CSA members would be able to buy boxes (8-10 peach dessert quantity). The reality was that the CSA members took all that they could. This is going to be the plan for 2021 – CSA gets first call for bonus boxes of peaches.

The other fruits, berries and apples, are on track as well. There is a new helper for the farm who will be working on keeping the orchard in shape. The Boysenberries that were amazing last year are now in their third year, and should be in good quantity. The Strawberry patch is still being recovered, so yield this year may not be great.

It would be awesome to have you join us for the main season. It is going to be a great year, with some nice fresh veggies and fruits.

By Doug

--- 'farmer doug' is the planner and heavy lifter for the CSA and the LLC. Loves to teach; "ask him the time, he'll tell you how to make a clock." Always has a new idea to try, some of which work. BTW - if you try and phone call, and you are NOT in his caller ID you will not be answered - just leave a message and you will be called right back.

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