Let me say first that we love what we do. And Robert and I are both optimistic people. One cannot attempt to grow anything and not be both optimistic and a gambler! I do not mean a gambler as in taking chances. I mean a gambler as in there are so many variables which one cannot control that one must realize up front that all of one’s work may produce only 25% of what one had intended.
Farming is difficult. Gardening is difficult. Mother Nature is in charge at all times no matter the amount of effort and labor one puts into the challenge. I feel sorry for all of those people who are attempting to garden for the first time during this 2022 Harvest Season. This year has been nothing but trouble! The damage from that early storm that came and dumped inches of rain is still showing up in the garden. You heard me say we lost our Asian greens. We were able to strip off the yellowed leaves and get an extra few boxes, but we lost the majority of those crops. Some of our CSA Members may be happy to hear this! You have seen the broccoli “heads” which are just “stalks” thanks to the rain; however, we hope to harvest a few broccoli florets from those plants. Very few peas were produced. The cauliflower and cabbages are badly stunted. And now you can see from the photo below what our beautiful potato plants are producing.
Can you see the splits? Not all, but the vast majority are splitting. This is due to the heavy rain and their stage of growth at the time. Oh, they will be delicious to be sure! I am willing to bet the most delicious potatoes you have ever tasted; however, the crop is compromised and they will not last through the winter months. Some will not last more than one month. These are from the “good” section of the potato patch. The potatoes in the “bad” section have rotted in the ground. It cannot be helped. Too much water is too much water and there are not enough ditches to keep it all drained away! Bottom Line: Enjoy them while you can! And keep a close eye on them for spoilage!! You will see potatoes in your next CSA box/bag!
Are you ready for some more uncomfortable news? Last night a herd of deer broke down our deer fence and enjoyed all but three of our red lettuce heads! They simply went down the rows taking one bite out of the top of each head. Fortunately, we had harvested several green and red romaines the night before so there will still be some of those. It is enough to make a farmer cry or have venison for dinner!!
We know the deer are ever present. This is why we plant clover close to the mountain side praying they will stay near the woods where they can quickly run and hide. But they know we are growing yummy edibles inside that fencing! This is why Robert grows clover in all of the ditches which are not mowed. For the most part, the deer will stay out of the gardens and in the ditches eating the clover. The older deer in particular are appreciative of the clover we plant. The younger ones, however, are more adventurous and those are the trespassers.
So what will be in the near future CSA boxes? The last of the romaine, some escarole and endive. Deer are not as fond of the “bitter” crops it seems. Bitters are good for you and said to reduce sugar cravings. There will be a few broccoli florets. Some kale which I recommend either “massaging” before adding to salads or making into kale pesto! There will be the first ugly potatoes–but they are oh, so creamy and flavorful. Finally, the first of the zucchini and summer squash and patty pans will start to appear as we enter this second week of summer. We feel fortunate and blessed to have what we do and trust you will be happy enough with what we have to offer even if it is not exactly as we had planned!