Small Family Farm CSA

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July Fifteenth

Even with plenty of rain on the farm this summer (so far), there comes a time each season when irrigation becomes an un-avoidable job.  Farmer Adam is our irrigation specialist.  Last Fall he advocated to the board (me) that our farm was due for advances in our irrigation set up. Onion_BedsThe Onion Beds

Our vegetable fields are across the road from the farm buildings and the well on our farm.  Since the water was on one side of the road and the vegetables were on the other side of the road, we were running garden hoses across the road to slowly fill tanks at a 6gpm (gallons per minute) rate to pump water out of.  The drought of 2012 got the gears in our brains turning and reminded us that not every year will be like the one we’re having now with plenty of rain.  We also were learning that some of the crops we plant in plastic mulch weren’t getting rain to the plant’s roots when it rained.  We needed to get water into drip-line hose underneath the plastic to get water to the plant’s root system. 

We considered digging an irrigation water well but were frightened away from this endeavor by the cost of such a project.  Farmer Adam discovered that we could “upgrade” our well with a larger pump capable of nearly tripling the amount of water we had access to in one time frame.  We are now able to pump 20 gallons per minute through a 1 ¼ inch line coming up from the well.  We also got permission from our Township to dig a waterline underneath the road so that we now have a spigot for filling our tanks on the other side of the road (no more garden hoses;). 

While I really tried to get Adam to write this Newsletter, I’m going to go on even further about something I know very little about.  I know that Farmer Adam is able to water our entire onion field (or 1/3 acre) in about two hours.  That is ten beds of onions that are 250 feet long with two lines of drip tape per bed.  This is an example of a project that used to take several evenings of moving hoses around, waiting for tanks to fill and hoping the cars driving over the road didn’t pop holes in our garden hose.  Now we simply have more water.  A 6-8 hour project turned into a low-stress 2-hour project. 

Each winter we use the “off season” to look at where some of our major in-efficiencies were.  We think about the ways we can re-invest in the farm and improve upon the projects that take the most amount of time and labor.  Upgrading our well from a 1.5 to 5 hp pump and putting a spigot across the road became a worthy investment very quickly.  We feel lucky that we have had regular rain so far this season as this project has just finally come to a close.  Adam eagerly irrigated the celery and onions promptly once the project was complete.  Now we only need to get our yard cleaned up after all of this digging that has been going on!   

Sooo...What's in the Box???

Kohlrabi-  A white or purple kohlrabi for everyone this week.  
Broccoli or Cauliflower-  We're so pleased that the broccoli and cauliflower are keeping so well in the field, even with the summer, July heat.  We've never had such nice summer brassicas before!  

Carrots-  Yeah, finally the carrots are here!  You know a carrot is fresh if the greens are still on it.  Carrot greens are like parsley.  They can be used in stock or juicing with your carrots as well if you're a bit more cautious of using them like parsley.  

Peas-  A smaller giving of .27lbs of peas per member this week.  There were more snow peas mixed in with the snap peas this week.  Snow peas are also an edible pod.  Use them in stir fry, snacking, with dip or cut up on salads.  Yum!  This will the final giving of peas for the year.  

Cucumbers-  What?  Cucumbers sure hit with a bang this year!  The first Cuke giving of the year and we're sending 6 per member!  You should have received some of the standard green cukes and also some of the white cukes.  

Zucchini, Yellow Straight Neck and/or Patty Pan Squash-  A steady and strong squash week.  4-5 squash per member this week.  Summer Squashes are so versatile in their uses.  They can be used to make sweet deserts or in savory dishes for dinner.  They are mostly water and don't have a lot of flavor on their own, they can be seasoned however you like and prepared 100 different ways!  Check out a few on our recipes below.  You can always search the recipe section of our website for archived recipes for summer squash and zucchini as well.  

Swiss Chard-  A hefty helping of this succulet summer green.  The greens on the swiss chard are looking so lovely this year!  Week_7_2015This Week's Offerings

Lettuce x 2-  Two very nice sized heads of lettuce for everyone this week.  We tried to give everyone a red and green lettuce this week.  

Strawberry Pints-  This is the final giving of strawberries for the year, sadly.  Strawberries are a very time-consuming harvest so we are feeling a bit releived that they are on their way out.  Remember that strawberries are highly perishable, especially if they have gotten wet.  We're hoping these berries travle well even after being harvested during a wet week.  Eat them up quick!

Green Onions-  A staple in every dish.  Use your green onions all the way up to the tip in every dish!

NEW!  Adam's Best Guess for Next Week!  

Disclaimer:  This is only our best guess from what we see up and coming from field walks.  Next week's actual box may look slightly different from this projection.
Celery, Carrots, Lettuce, bunching onions, garlic, broccoli/cauliflower, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, patty pan, kale, and maybe red cabbage?