CBCSA WEEK #15 (A): News from Windflower Farm

News from Windflower Farm

15th Distribution, Week of September 12, 2016

This week’s share:

Romaine Lettuce

Lacinato or Red Russian Kale

Bok Choy or Koji at most sites


Snap Beans

Sweet Corn at most sites

Sweet Peppers

Red Onions

Miscellaneous Tomatoes

And squashes or cucumbers

Fruit shares will resume next week, that is, week #16, and will run continuously for six weeks.

We have just finished bowls of Mexican beans and rice made by my son, Nate. The vegetables, of course, came from here, and they are all in this week’s share. While we ate, Nate described the progress he had made on a project we started recently. Two years ago, we were able to rent an additional 24 acres of farmland from our neighbor, MaryJane. It’s good land, it’s all within reach of our irrigation system, and it is now enclosed by an 8’ deer fence. One of the best things to come of now having a more farmland than we need to produce your vegetables is that we can dedicate a greater proportion of land to cover crops. Cover crops are plants grown solely for the purpose of improving the health of the soil. They enable us to break disease and pesky insect cycles, suppress weeds, and grow our own fertility. One of our summer cover crops was a mix of oats and peas, which produced lush plantings with beautiful lavender blossoms in three separate fields. We have been keeping it mowed and will let the debris protect the soil during winter. These will be the first fields we’ll plant in the spring. Fall cover cropping is now underway. Nate’s recent emphasis has been on wrapping up our mixed rye and hairy vetch plantings. The rye we sow is the same seed we’d plant if we wanted to grow the grain intended for rye flour. It’s a winter annual that produces a good deal of biomass. Hairy vetch is a legume which has the capacity, with the help of bacteria living symbiotically within its roots, of converting atmospheric nitrogen into plant-available nitrogen. Between now and June, the rye will provide the carbon and the vetch will provide the nitrogen that will be the primary foodstuffs of next year’s crops. It’s rice and beans for the soil – a healthy balance of carbohydrates and protein. Later in the fall, once we’ve lost the window for planting vetch, which does poorly if not given the time to develop a good root system, we’ll plant rye alone, and meet the crop’s nitrogen needs in those fields with an application of compost. If we are to meet our fall cover cropping goals, it will be because we’ll have covered the entire farm by the end of October.

Best wishes, Ted

Author: Central Brooklyn CSA

The Central Brooklyn CSA (CBCSA) is dedicated to working with our partners the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Windflower Farm, and the Hebron French Speaking SDA Church to continue the work of building a Community Supported Agriculture model that increases access to fresh, local produce for all members of our communities, regardless of income level. Join us as we continue to bring fresh, organic, affordable and nutritious vegetables and fruit to the Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and surrounding communities.

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