CSA News from Windflower Farm
Delivery #12, Week of August 20th, 2018
This week’s share. The packing shed is buzzing this morning. The team is harvesting and sorting basil, tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions or more large scallions, red leaf lettuce, red or yellow potatoes, sweet corn (unless you’ve had it for two weeks in a row), zucchinis and cabbage. The basil is ‘Genovese’ and will come in a larger, pesto making bunch. Downy mildew, a disease that overwinters in the South and arrives each August to ruin our basil crop, arrived last week. There is nothing that can be done to prevent the loss. Greenhouses can slow it down, but not always. We saw it first on the potted Thai basil in our greenhouse, but the field crop is still fine. Enjoy it while you can, we’ll send it while we have it. There will be a lot of tomatoes. Freezing is the very quickest way to preserve them: chop, place in a plastic freezer bag and slip into the freezer.
This delivery, our twelfth, marks the first in the second half of our season. You can expect your shares to consist of more of the same for the next several weeks, but with some additional variety in the form of beans and carrots and greens. Chiles and cilantro will also be coming soon. In the fall, as summer crops give way, you’ll get sweet potatoes, leeks, broccoli, red onions, shallots and a variety of winter squashes, including acorn, butternut and delicata.
Your fruit will be Yonder Farm’s peaches. Naomi, our delivery coordinator, had one last week and said it was delicious. Upstate peaches can be hit or miss – I’m hoping they are a hit. Please let me know.
What’s new on the farm?
A few tidbits.
The last of our student employees are returning to school this week. The farm open house will be their send-off party. Aaron, my nephew, returns to UVM to resume his studies in mechanical engineering, where he’ll pursue his enthusiasm for implements geared to small scale farmers. Naomi is off to Southern Vermont College where she studies history. You might have had the occasion to meet her unloading vegetables at your CSA site. Sarah is back at Hunter where she is studying painting, but not without leaving us with a large landscape that hangs in our staff lunchroom. And Bonnie is starting at Castleton State where she is a music major. I’ll miss the sound of the recorder she was practicing in our barn every morning. In fact, I’ll miss all of them for their bright, friendly faces, their enthusiasm for farming, and, not least, their strong young backs.
You might wonder how we’ll manage to perform the work necessary to fill your CSA shares for the rest of the season. Reinforcement has come from two directions. Now that the flower share is winding down, Jan and Sara will join the vegetable team, and two new hires, Claire and Jacob, both recent transplants to the country from NYC, have joined the team for the fall. And, of course, the Medina family is still with us.
We’ve just harvested the last of our summer cabbages and tucked them away in our cooler. And we’ve begun the work of the onion and potato harvests. We return the residues of these crops, along with any weeds that have grown with them, to the soil as quickly as we can. It’s cover cropping time and the cabbage and onion fields and several fallow fields will be the first to get their mixes of rye and hairy vetch.
Lastly, on Sunday, Jan, Nate and I participated in an annual tradition here at the farm: We relocated our three outhouses to fresh locations. I mention this because it is part of open house preparations. We’ve also been mowing and putting up lights and preparing food. We hope you can join us this weekend.
Best wishes, Ted and the gang