Okay, folks, we have made it. The end of the 2015 CSA season is upon us. It’s always a bittersweet time of the year for me. I truly enjoy growing food for you all and the weekly conversations that we have around the share. I absolutely love how food brings people together. At the same time, it’s a long season and at this time of the year my body is feeling it, both mentally and physically. I look forward to things slowing down so I can recharge a bit and start thinking about the next growing season.
I know I mentioned this last week but I am grateful and appreciative of all of your support this season. All in all, I think it was a pretty good year for us. There’s always ups and downs, I think that’s just the nature of farming. I think the strides we made this year were great and the pluses definitely outweighed the minuses. For those of you in your second season as CSA members, thanks so much for sticking it through that lean first season and coming back for another one. For the first time members, I hope that it was an enjoyable experience for you. I hope to see you all back next season.
There was definitely a fair share of weather to contend with during the season. A wet wet start led to delays in getting ground ready and crop failures. A brutally dry stretch in late July and all of August where there wasn’t a drop of rain led to many crops ending before they should have. But we ended the season with some great weather so I guess it balances itself out. But as I said before, I think the pluses outweighed the minuses. There were lots of successes this season, I’m not exactly sure where to begin. I think the one that I’m most proud of is that we introduced a new item to the CSA share each week over the course of the season. I know we distribute a lot of the same vegetables week in and week out but diversity is important to me and being able to always have some thing new is an accomplishment. Some other highlights from the season are that we harvested close to 3000# of tomatoes out of the greenhouse and 1 hoophouse this year. That allowed us to distribute tomatoes for 15 straight weeks. Another important highlight for the season is that our production increased enough that we were able to start a successful farm stand, sell to AFV, Coltivare and other area restaurants. Not too shabby for year two. Definitely looking forward to what year three brings.
Alright, some highlights from this past week on the farm (besides the amazing weather). We started to clear out the tomatoes in the greenhouse. The plants have really started to peter out and we have some lettuce that is ready to be planted as well. In addition to the cleanup work we did in the greenhouse a theme for last week was visitors. Over two days we had folks visiting the farm representing 5 different countries. It’s pretty cool to share with our international partners what is happening on the farm and how we integrate students in the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems degree. Speaking of students, we also had the opportunity to host potential students during last week’s Open House. We did a unique little field trip for folks interested in all 4 of the degree programs that are part of the Farm to Bistro initiative. We started at the farm and did a quick tour and then went down to Coltivare to see the facility. I definitely think it will help with our recruiting for all the programs but we shall see.
Ok, drum roll please. It is time to reveal the last CSA share for the 2015 season. The new item this week are one of my favorites, shallots. There will still be tomatoes, both green and red. The last peppers of the season. Potatoes, garlic, kale, carrots, celeriac, onions and delicata squash. The return of scallions and cabbage and I hope to have one last week of parsley. I think this week is perfect for roasted veggies and adding the shallots instead of garlic or onions would go great.
I hope you all have a great week and be sure to swing by our Thanksgiving Market on 11/24. Cheers!