December ’23 CSA monthly update

Hi you interested folks you….

Here’s the monthly update – a quick summary: planting and preparation for the winter season is underway – the longer lead items are up and growing. Target start is mid February, farm call only but not limited to Saturday. Now, the rest of the story… (Paul Harvey from a really long time ago)

Garden prep this time of year is opportunistic – that is, there are limited daylight hours, and there are episodes of Bad Weather, such as the pineapple express nailing the farm 12/4-6:

Let the Pineapple Express Roar! (about that garden pond…)

The main warm season garden is underwater for a week or so after these events – 3-4″ rain over a two day period. The upper garden does not pool at all, in fact you can see those two beds in the foreground are not under water. Not that that means any garden tasks are going to happen there for some time! Meanwhile, the greenhouse with the propagation benches is ramping up – there are three beds planted, and a couple of trays that will need to be set out to fill in the empty spots.

Green Onions yearning to be in a real bed to stretch out

This last year the green onions were not exactly a roaring success – so, starting early in the greenhouse, and starting often. The idiot spinach that insists upon not germinating is also getting the early and often treatment. The goal here is to make sure that the same problems don’t happen year after year – there are always new problems, so… root worms. Root worms are the bane of the greenhouse – it turns out that there are these flies that can survive in the greenhouse, and they lay eggs in the soil and those eggs hatch and start eating things like turnips, beets, radishes. They don’t seem to like carrots, which is nice. The approach being taken to stop that nonsense is to use a sawdust mulch that makes it really hard to lay eggs in the soil, or so it has been reported.

Lettuce nestled in the sawdust mulch – with quail bites!

If you look closely, you might observe this poor little baby lettuce has serrated leaves. That is courtesy of the neighborhood quail, who persist in coming into the greenhouse. So, not only is there sawdust for the root worms, but also floating crop cover to keep out the birds. Conveniently, the crop covers also block the flies from the beds. The next step is to hang the grow lamps – there isn’t much daylight from mid November till mid February.

The current crop list for winter is pretty heavy on greens. The plan is to have some root crops from the one heated bed, and the rest will be leafy greens. The primary leafy greens are lettuces, bok choi, mustard, spinach with possibly some asian mustard to complement the leaf mustard. Chard is not likely, and cabbages will not happen until green season in early May. The next real questions all hinge on managing heat, light, fertility and coping with the weather or other disruptions.

Just a refresher point – there are some nice farmcraft towels and cedar pots in the queue for the winter – if you look at there are pictures, but it is also feasible that you can ask for some specific image on the embroidery – some of which is on towels, but also is available stretched over a frame for hanging or setting out.

Help! I’ve been framed and hung! (feet are optional)
Pots. Cedar Pots. Long Pots or Round-ish Pots.

So – This is sent to the “interested” list – those who have been, might be and just like to lurk. Once again, feel free to ask off the email list. Or feel free to forward to random stgrangers… This is nominally sent out once a month, and is also posted on the web site and a link is on the face book group page. We here at Shilofarm are thankful for the friends we have gained through the CSA, and appreciate each of you – may you have a happy Christmas!

Doug (and Deb)

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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