Weather complaints, updates, and plenty of time to write a blog entry!
Normally I wouldn't have the time or energy to type a coherent entry but the weather has given me the opportunity to do so. Lancaster Farming, a weekly newspaper that we subsribe to, reported that as of June 13th Lancaster received 2.12 inches of rain; normal is 1.46. However, looking at year to date data, they were at 14.65 inches, more than one inch below this time last year. Normal year to date is 18.44. Now, I'm no meteorologist but I make a living that is weather dependent. This is no normal year so far. The rain and clouds have been unrelenting, slowing down the whole growing process. Last Saturday, we saw pockets of nickel sized hale in the region. A farmer friend in Kutztown said he had a foot of water flowing through his tomato field! I saw a bit of soil washed away from my fields as well. Frustrating to say the least but at least I have other growers to commiserate with!
Aside from our two local markets, we were invited to join the Plaza Growers Market at the foot of the PP&L building in Allentown on Wednesdays during lunch. I have a crew here at the farm picking and washing while I'm away but it's never the same as when the control monger (me) is here to oversee and help get the work done. Gas is expensive and it is a 100 mile round trip. So far, turnout has been disappointing, however I am optomistic that the market has real potential to grow so we are going to try to stick this one out and help promote the market.
Currently, we are harvesting over 15 different varieties of veggies: kale (2), head lettuce (4), peas (2), garlic scapes, lettuce mixes (2), parsley, radishes (2), chard (3), pac choi, and tatsoi. In the weeks to come look for the following items to hit the table: summer cabbages, collards, beets and carrots, fava beans, green beans, and several herbs.
July will bring garlic, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, summer squash, beets, carrots, herbs, cut flowers, wax and bush beans, and all kinds of summer salad lettuce and mixes.
We tested some strawberries this year and liked the results we got. Yields could have been better but we are confident enough that we've ordered a few thousand plants to get in the ground in mid-late July. Our hope is that we'll have lots available next June!
A big "thank you" goes out to all those who help here in the fields. Some are family and others are friends but all are part of this endeavor to grow the freshest, healthiest food around. Thanks to all of our loyal CSA members and customers who keep us going. It is encouraging to know we are supported by those who not only are concerned about their food origins but simply want good food.