The furious nature of farming in the springtime has meant we have neglected our regular newsletters. With a little rain in the forecast for today and just 3 weeks before the start of the season it seemed a good time to give a little update on how your food is growing. We'll send out another email in the next two weeks with some of the logistics of pickups and more details, but as a quick reminder, pickups will be Tuesdays or Fridays from 3:30-6:30. You can pick up your food either one of those days, anytime between those times. More specifics to come.
Overall it's been a great spring and crops are growing beautifully. The lingering cold meant we're still catching up on some of our early plantings, but our month and a half of multiple nightly trips to the greenhouse to stoke the wood stove have paid off and the transplanted crops are on schedule and healthy. Many of you who've done this with us before know our struggles with weeds, tractorless and battling the woes of virgin ground. This year we've transitioned to using the horses and our hands exclusively for weed control and are finding it to be much improved. The land we used last year especially, with the help of our exceptional weed-master Jon Hoover, looks beautiful. We're also cultivating two acres of land that has been in hay field for more than 60 years this season. At the far back of our property it's remote and without any pumped water or electricity, but it's the finest soil on the farm and flat and square, making it a joy to work. With just our Suffolk Punch horses we've been plowing, disking, harrowing, laying compost, planting cover crops, and battling the persistent rhizomatic weeds. We have extended a gravity-fed spring line to provide low-pressure water to the crops and are in the process of installing a solar-powered pump which will provide enough pressure to irrigate efficiently. As some testament to the health of the soil in the new field, our October-planted rye is nearly 3 feet tall and flowering already! Along with focusing on growing peppers and melons and broccoli, we're working hard growing a baby. Caitlin is working double-duty and we're expecting a baby girl at the end of July. What a great place and time to raise a child! Along with your warm blessings on our soil and your crops, send some along to her as well.
We set a goal of selling the equivalent of 52 full shares this season and have all but met our goal. We had serious doubts that we could expand our numbers so much this season (last year we had 33), but once again have been blown away by the eagerness of this community to put their money where their mouth is and support small, diversified farms (and eat incredibly fresh, organically-grown food too). If you know folks who still want to sign up please tell them to get us a deposit immediately. We're also very excited to include in our membership list this season 11 scholarship recipients and the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen, who will be receiving a large portion of first-grade food, all as a result of generous donations made by many of you, our sliding scale payment system, and other outside supporters. We strongly believe that good local food should not be a boutique item and appreciate all the support in helping make it available to everyone.
Of course, part of the CSA experience is enjoying the farm when you're here. We invite you to stop by anytime to wander the trails or fields, say hello to the horses, sheep, pigs, chickens or turkeys, and throw a stick to Obie, our gregarious border collie. We hope you'll feel some ownership if this farm this year and take advantage of its proximity to town.
Looking forward to all the good things ahead,
Jesse and Caitlin