This Week on the Farm 7/17
To sum up this last week in fifteen words or less: no rain, the well is still holding up, and my god is it hot. We are now 6.46 inches below average for rainfall since June 1st. They have started comparing this year’s drought to 1956 because of how many states are affected. In addition to impacting what/how much is in your CSA box, this weather is also going to increase the cost of everything from beef, pork, soda, and even, to gasoline. I saw a figure today that showed what is going on now with the drought will affect the price of meat through 2015.
We have heard of some CSAs canceling boxes due to the drought. We plan on delivering a box every week, even if there are only a few items in the box. We give you everything that we have that is ready each week. We do not keep some of our produce back to sell at farmers markets; what is in our field goes into your boxes. We are doing everything in our power to honor the contract that you signed when you became a member, but with the weather being out of our control, there is only so much we can do.
We would like to give a big shout out to Sy Miller of Portage, Jim & Phyllis Nelson of Rio, Justin & Mariah Martin of Madison, the Miller family of Appleton, and my dad for coming out this past Saturday for our volunteer session. Not only did we get all three varieties of bulb onions weeded (a huge job in and of itself), but we also made significant progress on the summer squash field. We can’t thank you enough for all of your help and we hope that you enjoyed yourself, or at least enjoyed the lunch!
With the help of our regular workers we weeded all of the sweet potatoes and the winter squash this week. The drought has offered us the chance to really compare what varieties of squash do well in dry, hot conditions. Butternut squash seems to handle the heat fairly well, but the Red Kuri squash and the buttercup squash did not do very well. The buttercup squash still have some plants that are alive and growing, but almost all of the Red Kuri transplants died. We will definitely try a different variety next year.
This will be the last week for lettuce until this fall. I am actually surprised at how long the lettuce has held up in this record setting heat. The kohlrabi are also done for now. We will be planting more kohlrabi this next week for a fall crop, but those will not be ready for a couple of months.
We really need rain in the next two weeks since we are starting to seed things for fall harvest. If it rains, we will be able to have more items in the box each week for this fall. We would really love to end the season with overflowing boxes to make up for the smaller boxes going out now, but everything depends on the weather.
If you have been wondering about the apple shares for this season we have bad news. Due to the warm weather this spring many of the fruit trees across the state started to set buds way earlier than usual. We then had several nights of killing frosts that came through and killed off most/all the buds. The orchard that we partner with was hit hard and is only selling apples at their farm this year. It is another example of the crazy weather we have had in Wisconsin this year. We will have apple shares again in 2013 if the weather is any better next year.
We are excited to announce that we will be part of the third annual Farm Stop & Barley Pop tour hosted by Monty’s Blue Plate Diner. This year’s tour will be on Saturday, September 8. We have been lucky enough to be involved in the event since its inception, first as a supplier of local food, then as the host for the dinner portion, and this year as one of the stops on the tour. We will have more information about where to purchase tickets and pricing in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned!