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This Week on the Farm 6/16
Welcome to our sixth season farming! We are so excited to start the CSA delivery season and to start sending you our wonderful produce. This spring has been awesome here on the farm! Both Tyler and I feel like we have made tremendous strides in our farming skills this year. We made a lot of adjustments in how we work our fields, our planting dates, seeding methodologies, amount of help we have available early in the season, etc. and it has made a huge difference. Our fields look ten times better than they have in the past and we are hopeful that we will be able to maintain them at this level the rest of the season.
Usually I like to talk about all of the tasks we have accomplished in this section of the newsletter, but I want to spend some time writing about your box this week. Everyone has strawberries in their boxes this week. The season was two weeks earlier than usual, so we may only have enough berries to go in the boxes once this year. The strawberries are picked at peak ripeness, so please eat them right away. Unlike the berries you get in the grocery store, these are red all the way through and jam packed with flavor. We do not wash our berries because shelf life decreases dramatically, so if you eat them on the way home, you may encounter a little dirt. Enjoy!
This year we have both spinach and looseleaf lettuce in your first box. For those of you who have been members for a long time, you will remember how poor our luck has been with spinach! Well we learned our lesson and transplanted both crops instead of direct seeding them in the field. The result was almost a 100% survival rate of our transplanted plugs! By planting them as larger plugs the plants were also able to out shade a lot of the weeds. This meant we did not have to spend hours upon hours hand weeding like we have in the past. We will never seed either of those crops directly in the ground again!
The other type of lettuce in your box is truly a hardy variety. Last year we planted head lettuce in our small high tunnel. Once we had harvested the early heads and the weather turned warmer, we left a fair number of heads in the ground. Those heads matured and produced seed. A lot of this seed overwintered and sprouted this spring. Our family has been enjoying the lettuce all spring and since we had so much left over we thought we would share it with you! Since the leaves are large, it makes great sandwich lettuce, or you can cut it up and use it as a topping for tacos, or enchiladas. You can always share how you used your veggies on our Facebook page to help give inspiration to your fellow members.
Onto a little farm news… This year we continued to improve our packing shed. We now have light bulbs in all of the light fixtures (we had to cut our budget a little last year and light bulbs in the back section of the barn were left on the cutting block.) Tyler built new shelves for the front section of the barn and we also purchased shelving to store all of our totes and plastic containers. We built a rough wash station which is shown being used to clean the garlic. We also purchased mesh bags that we fill with greens and then put in a washing machine on the spin cycle to dry the greens. If you get a chance to stop out to the farm we are super pumped about everything and we want to show it off!!