Howdy folks. If you’ve been a member of the TC3 Farm CSA for a couple of years now, you know that I have two themes that recur often throughout the growing season. The two dubious “W’s”, woodchucks and weather. Well, this week I’m going to focus on the weather because it’s been so wonderfully wet, that the woodchucks have not felt the need to wade through our fields and wonder which one of our wholesome veggies will wind up in their bellies. Phew, that was a lot of w’s.
Seriously though, it’s been a challenging start to the growing season. Late winter/early spring was fairly normal from a precipitation standpoint. What really set us back a bit was the unseasonably cold weather. I mean, I get it, we live in the Finger Lakes/Central NY, but there was a serious lack of sun and colder than normal temps all the way until the beginning of June. Not only does that make it harder for our fields to dry out, it’s also taking longer for our soil to warm to optimum temperatures for our crops. Now, in no way is this meant to be a “complaining newsletter”. But after the 1.25 inches of rain we got in about 45 minutes last Thursday, it got me thinking. It got me thinking about how hard, challenging and unpredictable farming can be. Even comical at times. We spend all this time in the winter months coming up with the ideal crop plan (what we’re going to grow) and ideal crop rotation (where it’s going to be planted) and then it all get blown out of the water because we’re at the mercy of Mother Nature and all her glory. But it’s all part of the fun and I thank you for supporting us as we move our way through each season.
That being said, we kept ourselves very busy last week. We started off the week with a visit to my friend Rafa over at Rocky Acres Community Farm in Freeville. Rafa is doing some amazing work and it was great to share that with this summer’s interns. We kept busy on the farm liberating some crops from the mounting weed pressure, seeding for fall crops, staying on top of our cherry and beefsteak tomato needs in the greenhouse and hosting our first farm stand on campus. There was even a dry stretch after the rain that allowed me to get some areas plowed and prepped for a big planting week this week.
For the CSA share this week, there are a couple of new items in the choice. First off, there are still strawberries. They have definitely peaked and our earliest variety is done but there are still a lot of beautiful tasty berries out in the field. There will also still be purple top turnips, black radishes, rutabaga, potatoes and spinach to choose from. The mizuna is done but there will still be the stir-fry mix. And this will be the last week of the garlic scapes. But don’t fret, there will be fresh garlic in a few weeks. This week will also be the introduction of a lettuce mix and salad radishes. We had a real simple salad this week at home with the spinach and fresh strawberries. My wife doctored up a homemade dressing of olive oil and aged balsamic vinaigrette, tossed it together with some chopped walnuts and sharp cheddar. It was simple and super tasty.
Coming soon will be kale, snap and snow peas.
Have a great week!