Week 8

Well, this is a wrap for Green Season – one of the most challenging ever. You have all heard the continuing narrative from here about the long delay to a real Spring; the impact continues to be rolled in to plans and what comes next. The challenge in any farming/gardening is to have the flexibility to manage the disruptions. For a CSA, that comes down to ensuring a delivery can be made each and every week…

The complexity lies in having alternatives that fit cold and wet or hot and dry extremes. In the middle of Green Season outside crops are established for both the early weeks of the main season and the last four weeks of Green. It officially seems to be warm enough now that the freezing that happened all the way up till the night of May 10 is really behind us. The consequences are still being worked out.

  • Tree fruit that is ‘early blooming’ was severely damaged. For example: no pears set fruit, half the apple trees have little or no fruit, and the peaches, already damaged from the heat dome event early in July of 2021 have very very few fruit set.
  • Major planting beds are still getting set up for setting out plants – in particular, the flowers, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are stunted and root bound in their plant cells – it is going to be a challenge to get them up and ready. In the plan, those three would be available for the first four weeks of main season. Nope.
  • Just mowing the garden row separation area – that grass is now about 18″ in some places. There is a choice: set out plants or mow. Setting out plants is going on now, mowing will happen.
Tomato Blossom – one of many!

The “plan” to recover is underway – covered beds protected and brought some plants forward. There will be cabbage (some) and snap peas, new potatoes are coming on, and the new planting of Bok Choi is going great. Those of you who like/love Arugula will be happy with a good supply. The new Tomatoes (remember, the first planting of Tomatoes got killed in a freeze) are blooming and starting to set fruit, and the herbs are in great shape. Farm Call allows direct discussion along the lines of “Would you like some Cilantro?” – The question has shifted to “Would you like a LOT of Cilantro?” Which is a fun question to ask. The Asparagus is doing what it should, although it is coming in slower than it should, and there are 6 more trays of Lettuce to set out. The most pleasing is that the frost damage to the summer squash has been handled, and those plants are back in the growing part of life.

Setting out plants – Onions in this case. 4 trays of onions!

It has also been made very clear that planting raised beds with a combination of quick and slow is a good way to leverage the greenhouse while the garden is a mess.

Tomatoes sharing with Bok Choi and Lettuce.

Now, the interesting thing is that there seem to be a lot of flower starts that can be purchased. They are very root bound and have to go out ASAP – but we have:

  • Stock: four different colors (64 cells)
  • Snap Dragons: 3 different types (32 cells)
  • Statice (32 cells)
  • Zinnia – 3 different colors (64 cells)
  • Calundula (32 cells)

These are all in trays, some with four-cell packs, some with 6-cell packs. A four cell pack is $10, a 6 cell is $15. If you are a delivery person, obviously drop and email and you can get a delivery – or you can do farm call and pick up here most days.

Extra trays of Calundula, Statice. The Celosia stays!

The flowers were originally planned to be set out right after April 15, the 95% sure last frost day. That did NOT go according to plan.

So – the “in the box” list.

Lettuce Winter Density, Winter Brown, some regrowth heads of Romaine might show up.
Brassicas Smaller Bok Choi
Roots Carrots are still available – also a very few beets. These are it for maybe two months, depending on June/July. Sigh. Will be starting some new Radishes when a place is available.
Greens Mustard … getting to the end of life – smaller leaf, plants are very leggy. Will be starting some new because of expected continued cold and wet weather – but outside.
Chard – Smaller leaf – will be starting more chard outside – some white chard coming on maybe in two weeks.
Spinach – Another cool season green which will be moved to outside.
Arugula – Lots of it available – trying to make sure the “lots of Arugula people” are getting, well, lots.
Vit – Nobody asks, so “farmer’s choice” is happening. Usually in a 1/2 pint till. Small, dark green leaf.
Herbs Mint, Oregano, Chives, Cilantro – lots?, Parsley, Mustard Flower, Basil – small this week, just set it out and it is doing great.
Misc Asparagus is doing fine – baby new potatoes for a few folks – trying to move it around.

Coming: Cabbage, Snap Peas (currently, Peas are blossoming), small bulb onions (“Crystal White”)

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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