You-choose CSA – Week 25!

Hello!

New on the list this week are parsley, dill, beets, and red curly kale (tastes just like the green kale, but is super pretty)! We’re still waiting on the broccoli and cauliflower, but hopefully they’ll be ready real soon, and though it’s dipping down into the 30s one night week, if the frost holds off just a little longer they should do great. The beets are looking great, and we should have gold and Chiogga beets appearing on the list next week as well. We’re continuing to watch the strawberry plants we put in the ground last month grow, and are planting garlic this week. We’re also continuing to clean up the field for the summer, and beginning a few winter projects early, including planning to build a new washing/packing shed!

You-choose CSA – Week 25
W25

You-choose CSA – Week 24!

Hello!

The list is pretty similar to last week, with all of the green still looking great. The main new addition is carrots, which are still on the small side but looking good. And our sad pepper plants have made a little bit of a recovery, and we have small to medium size green bell peppers on the list. Hopefully there will be more herbs, broccoli, cauliflower, and beets before the end of the month!

You-choose CSA – Week 24
W24

You-choose CSA – Week 23!

Hey all,

The greens are really growing and looking good. This week we’ve got amazing, tender arugula, good lettuces, and the greens in the mesclun mix are all nice and tender as well. New on the list this week, we also have Swiss chard, kohlrabi, and shishito peppers. We tried to do a late planting of cucumbers, which are actually looking surprisingly good considering how late in the season it is, but I think with this colder weather that’s just come in, we may have missed the window for fall cucumbers. Next year we might try again under plastic tunnels to get a really late round of tomatoes and cucumbers. This week we’re continuing to clean up the summer beds, taking down the tomato trellising, and hopefully getting more late fall/winter greens and roots seeded!

You-choose CSA – Week 23
W23 You-choose

You-choose CSA – Week 22!

Hello!

More greens are on the way! This week we have bok choy, several new types of kale, and collards on the list. And close behind is a new succession of salad greens which will all be ready for next week, including tender new arugula, mesclun greens, and more. There’s also bunch of varieties of head lettuces, and some herbs that should be ready soon. We’re hurrying to finish the beds for strawberry plants, and trying to keep everything watered in this dry weather. It’s unusually hot and dry now, after a wonderfully cool couple of weeks at the beginning of the month, and if this sunny weather keeps up we may have broccoli and cauliflower sooner than anticipated! We generally don’t need to irrigate on the farm too often, but when there are extended dry spells, then it becomes necessary to water every single day, and sometimes we have to run the pump for 5 or 6 hours at a time depending on how much of the field is in production. Still, we’re not complaining becuase the dry weather makes it easier to control the weeds, and we can never get enough help with them. We still need to weed around the irrigation lines where there’s plenty of water for crops and weeds alike. But in excessively dry weather, the weeds really don’t grow outside of the irrigated parts of the field, and that saves us hours and hours of work every week.

You-choose CSA – Week 22
W22 You-choose

You-choose CSA – Week 21!

Hello!

Sweet potatoes are here! We harvested about 20% of the sweet potatoes this past week, and are hopefully getting the rest of them out of the ground this week. They need to be cured before they are really sweet, but we’ve already starting eating them, and they’re still quite tasty. Also new on the list this week: baby bok choi and Red Russian kale. Green beans are also back on the list, but they’re still quite limited, so please include a back up choice in the special instructions for them. We’re planting the strawberry plants late this week for next spring, and also prepping the bed for garlic planting, which will happen in another month or so!

You-choose CSA – Week 21
W21You-choose

You-choose – week 20!

Hey all!

I’m trying something new this week, and offering some foraged fruits that are growing on the property. The first one is a fruit you all are probably familiar with: muscadine grapes. These vines are vigorous and can sometimes shade out trees to the point that they’re harmful, and there’s a giant one growing on the tree right about our water pump. If you’ve never had these grapes before, they can be tangy if they’re a little under ripe, but are generally quite sweet, and taste a little more like “grape flavor” in a supermarket item than the grapes you’re used to at the grocery story. And they have large seeds. That may not sound very appetizing, and I know people who are not fond of them, but I love them! The second item is a new one that I just discovered grows in North Carolina. It’s a type of passion fruit called a Maypop. It’s a soft green pod about the size of the kiwi, and when you pop it open, there’s a slimy pulp with seeds on the inside that reminds me a little bit of pomegranates. It is also tangy and very sweet, though the flavor is totally different from the muscadines. If you want to read more, check out a wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passiflora_incarnata. Other than that, we’ve got most of what we had last week, plus mixed lettuces, and two different type of turnips. Also, we test dug some sweet potatoes this week and they’re looking good! We will not be able to get them out of the ground if it’s wet, but hopefully the ground will dry out after the rain that’s forecast for Tuesday, and we’ll be able to harvest all of the sweet potatoes over the next couple of weeks.

You-choose CSA – Week 20
W20 You-choose

You-choose – Week 19 (first fall CSA)!

Hey all!

The CSA is back and ready to go for the fall! A lot of the fall crops are still just little plants taking root in the ground. But with all of the rain last week, and the upcoming sunny forecast (Irma, stay away!), they’re rooting and should grow quickly. In the meantime, we have a lot of storage crops and decent selection left from the summer garden, and the direct seeded greens and fall roots are just ready! We’re continuing to plant plants, cleanup the summer garden, and continue our push for getting ready for 2018, including planting strawberries and garlic, which need to overwinter before maturing in the spring. We’ve also been battling with groundhogs in our sweet potatoes. Hopefully we’ve driven them out of the field (though realistically, they’ve probably re-located their burrows, and we’ll continue to play cat-and-mouse over the next couple of weeks till they give up and leave), and there will still be sweet potatoes in the ground when we dig them up at the beginning of October!

You-choose CSA – Week 19
W19 You-choose

You-choose CSA – Week 18!

Hey all,

It’s hard to believe it’s the last summer CSA delivery. This is the fifth year the farm has been in operation, and we’ve finally hit a groove where the time seems to fly by. The farm is starting to mature, starting to really figure out all the different components that go into a really successful growing season. Still, figuring it out and putting all the pieces together are two different things. We had a great tomato season, maybe the best we’ve ever had, and it is in no small part to our new system of trellising tomatoes. I’ll try to get a good picture posted in the next few weeks. We are following modified a system that we learned about from Alex Hitt from Peregrine Farm, one of the premier small farms in the Triangle. He does a tomato workshop, and we’re incredibly grateful for his generosity in sharing the techniques he’s perfected after decades of farming. The new system is not only more efficient, but it can be set up in the off-season so that instead of having to pound posts and mount fencing on the posts in April right before we plant all the summer crops, we can put it up in February to leave us more time to focus on maintaining crops during the much busier months of April and May. And we are hoping next year to plant two successions of tomatoes, one early, and one late. We almost got it done this year, but it didn’t quite happen, and now the heirlooms have pretty much finished producing, and while there are still plenty of cherry tomatoes and some slicers, they’re all slowing down incredibly quickly. If we manage to get a late round of tomatoes in the ground in early July, then we can continue to enjoy tomatoes into September next year! So the list is continuing to dwindle, but there’s still a good selection of veggies, and when we commence fall deliveries in September, there should be a ton of greens ready as well!

You-choose CSA – Week 18
W18 You-choose

You-choose CSA – Week 17!

Hey all!

We started harvesting all of the winter squash and pumpkins at the end of last week. Their name and our fall holidays make you expect not to see pumpkins and winter squash til October, but in North Carolina they’re often ready in late July or early August. We have butternuts, acorn squash, delicata, and a mildly sweet pie pumpkin that you can also just roast like the others called a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin (it’s shape vaguely resembles a wheel of cheese). Otherwise the list is pretty much the same, and we’ve got one more more week of deliveries and then our break before the fall CSA recommences!

You-choose CSA – Week 17
W17 You-choose

You-choose CSA – Week 16!

Hello!

The tomatoes continue to be prolific, though some of the heirlooms are slowing down. Other items like melons, carrots, and cucumbers are also becoming increasingly scarce. We are working to get summer squash and cucumbers re-planted, so that hopefully we’ll have more of those in September, and we’re seeding Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, and everything else for fall. Every year we try to do a better job planting successions of the same type of crop, so that when the first planting of summer crops ends, there are more on the way. Even the best succession planters are sometimes foiled by unusual weather, and this is the main technique we are focusing on improving. In North Carolina in the summer the main obstacles to doing this are the periods of hot, dry weather that make it difficult to establish new crops, because when it’s really hot and dry the plants almost die as fast as you put them in the ground. The other challenge is when it’s wet, the weeds grow at a staggering rate, overwhelming and shading out young plants. We are working on a mulching system to combat this, and though we can’t give ourselves a very good grade on our summer successions this year, we are optimistic for next summer! We continue to have a ton of storage crops such as potatoes, onions, and garlic, so hopefully those will ease the pain as the melons and the rest of the summer crops inevitably fade away over the next several weeks.

You-choose CSA – Week 16
W16 You-choose