There is a first for everything.
Greetings all, As you all can tell, we've had a heck of a ride this spring. The weather patterns being unstable, along with unusual amounts of rain & cold weather has resulted in us pushing back the start of our CSA Season, something we've never had to do before. The first deliveries this year will be the first week of July.
We're hoping to still provide you with value by extending the season, God willing. We are planting more crops for the end of the season, in hopes that we get to harvest them before the frost. The frost usually comes with the first full moon in October, which varies. This year it's in the middle of October, so we are hopeful to get at least one extra week on at the end of our normally scheduled season.
I will be sending you an email next week to remind you of the start date for your specific pick-up location. We had to reschedule the deliveries for the first week of deliveries this season, to account for Independence Day on Thursday July 4th. Those details are already available for you and are included in the Member Handbook you received when you signed up. If you get your Share on Thursdays, your share will be delivered Monday July 1st that week.
If you ordered additional farm products, there were some that were intended to be delivered right away with your Crop Share the first week. You will also be receiving an email from me next week about what to expect with the deliveries.
Recap If you saw our last blog post, it explained how we just kept getting hit with more and more rain. For several weeks there was basically no where for water to go, all the drainage ditches were overflowing. We lost all of our kohlrabi, bok choy, onions, sugar snap peas, radishes and a few others. We knew the lettuces were partially underwater but there was hope that they would pull through. In the meantime, we reseeded 3,000 lettuces, just in case the lettuces didn't pull through. Well, we are sure happy we did that! Because then the storm a few nights ago put them back underwater, they're goners.
Where we Farm We do not live on the property that we farm. We rent land around us, and in total plant 3 fields. One in Zimmerman(10 acres), one in Elk River (3 acres) and one in Big Lake (3 acres). The Zimmerman field is heavy ground, it's very dark soil. We first broke ground there 3 years ago, but years before that it was a cow pasture so it was naturally fertilized. We don't irrigate there, ever. Although if we needed to, we would. Due to the heavy snow falls the field was already excessively wet to start this spring, and then on top of that we had very heavy rain.
The fields in both Big Lake and Elk River are very sandy, and there is very rarely standing water there. Sand is the most porous type of soil and therefore has the best drainage of all types of soil. We have to irrigate both of those fields because if we didn't, none of the produce would survive (maybe with the exception of the potatoes).
What we are doing about it. We have reorganized our field layouts for this season in response to the rain and cold weather. We planted every inch of the Big Lake and Elk River fields already, because the Zimmerman field isn't even ready to plant yet. Ben is working it up tomorrow with the disk but will need to wait a couple days to get the tiller in there because of how wet it is.
We have tons of pickles, watermelons, peppers, tomatoes, and so much more already planted. We have been re-seeding a lot of produce varieties for the last couples weeks, so if we needed to replant we would be ready.
Farming has so many variables from season to season that it is impossible to say what tomorrow holds. However, there are also a LOT of constants. We have a very strict schedule that we hold to; we have charts and calendars that show us when to seed, how much to seed, when to transplant, etc. so that we can offer our Members consistency. Unfortunately this season that will not be the case. This is the first time we have ever had to move our CSA Share start date back.
For us personally, this means that we have twice the amount of expenses for this year's start up cost. Twice as much on dirt, seeds, labor to plant, fuel to power the equipment etc. While that is disappointing, I can tell you the worst part of farming is this right here, having to tell you that regardless of everything we've done to counteract the crappy weather and variables, we still couldn't change the outcome.
This does NOT set the tone for the whole season. We still have a ton to look forward to, and we did adapt our planting to get the plants in the ground asap so they could get rooted! We can't wait any longer to get into Zimmerman, so we're pushing for it this weekend. I'm looking forward to our next chat being in high spirits, this too shall pass.
Thank you for your understanding,
~The Farmer's Wife