August 2016 Update - Looking to the Fall/Winter

It’s mid-August 2016 and time for us to finalize our schedule and products through the end of the year. We’re on our first day of not organizing shares this week to focus on moving the market garden from summer’s end to autumn’s beginning. today is deskwork day...

At the beginning of the year we had a goal of 50 farm share members. We stopped at 44 members when the May rains came, for three weeks non-stop. We could see that making up for those weeks would be a significant task.

Since then, we’ve been setting up the farm share pick-up table every Tuesday for 20 share members, delivering locally to a dozen members, and delivering in Baltimore to a dozen members. Thanks so much to both our long term share members (some are on their 4th year) and new members!

We’ve had some setbacks this year:

·        We lost all our caterpillar tunnels in the blizzard.

·        There were a couple weeks of 20+ mph winds in April that affected the germination of our carrots.

·        We mentioned the rain. It made for our best potato harvest ever, but got in the way of our ginger experiment and expanding our corn offering. We also have fewer varieties of tomatoes than usual because everything got backed up in the greenhouse.

·        Worst squash bugs we’ve had in about 4 years.

We’ve had some successes:

·        That potato harvest!

·        The tomatoes were right on time, despite the May 15th frost.

·        Our first harvest of broiler chickens is today.

·        Probably our best leafy, cooking greens ever.

·        We have enough steam to consider a fall/winter share, making this our first 4-season farm share year.

When we start back up with organizing shares next week you’ll see all the nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant), melons, raspberries (finally), romaine, herbs, and beets. Soon to follow: string beans, lettuce mixes and cucumbers will return. By the time we return from vacation in mid-September we’ll welcome winter squashes, shelling beans, spinach, and then a bit later – sweet potatoes. Sometime in October, broccoli and cabbage.

The current farm share ends for full share members on November 3rd. You signed up for a 26-week share, but we were able to offer 29 weeks for the same price, despite the weather and pest challenges.

The winter share begins for most the week of November 7. Each person will get a private message updating them on their billing and schedule based on start dates and paused shares. I thought it would be useful for us all to see how the winter share is envisioned. No one will lose a share due to weather, we will just reschedule and rearrange for that week.

Here’s what previous years suggest (10 and 15-week options will fit inside this calendar):

Week of:

November 7: pretty much a full share with eggs including spinach, lettuce, carrots, beets, herbs. This is not exact, but a best guess.

November 14: we are on vacation to visit Lorrie’s daughter in Oregon.

November 21, Thanksgiving Week: full share as detailed above.

November 28 – December 26: Shares will begin to get lighter, eggs and spinach for sure; root veggies and the like. We’ll also begin adding pea shoots, sprouts, micro-greens.

January 2 – February 13: as above with the shares beginning to grow larger as the daylight gets longer and stronger.

February 20 – March 27: full shares bringing the circle of seasons and harvests back around.

We can’t say enough good things about our modest community of farm share members. We bring you the best food 2 older folks working a 2-acre market garden and livestock pen can using the earth-friendliest growing practices possible. We do this as affordably as we can, because we were farm share members once and know how food costs impact the family budget. YOU give our life joy and meaning. Hardly a day passes without an unexpected kind word from one of you and those emails and Facebook messages make all the difference. We see ourselves as stewards of land and seed, facilitators of food. Without the extended community there is no circle, no meaning, no purpose.

Thank you.