CSA News from Windflower Farm – Week #19

CSA News from Windflower Farm

Delivery #19, Week of October 8th, 2018

This week’s share. Swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, Sweet potatoes, onions, acorn squashes (or pie pumpkins), sweet peppers, potatoes, herbs (sage or parsley), and perhaps some eggplants or chiles or broccoli. Your fruit will be Empire apples and Bosc pears. Next week, you’ll get carrots, leeks, sweet potatoes, fennel, onions, squashes, peppers, potatoes, garlic, lettuce, escarole, Winterbor kale and herbs.

What’s new on the farm? The Kubota is running again, but the repair did not set any new speed records. In addition to the bearing problem I wrote about last week, three small welds had broken, which took Nate some time to repair. His work reminds me that it is terrific having a kid who can weld.

A new Windflower Farm planting record was achieved, however. On Friday, we managed to plant five small tomato greenhouses (the kinds we call “caterpillars”) to winter greens – Swiss chard, spinach, Koji and kales. For some perspective, that’s the equivalent of a four-row bed the length of five football fields. We still have four more caterpillars to plant, along with three large greenhouses, and we hope to have them all planted by this time next week.

On a related note, winter share signups will be available soon. We hope you’ll join us for the four deliveries of our winter season.

I’m mapping the 2019 location of crops on the farm. Next year, these caterpillar greenhouses will be rotated out of tomatoes and into flowers or peppers or herbs to break up pest cycles. Crop rotation is the most important tool we have for dealing with pests without pesticides. Inside our deer fence, an area of about eighty acres – we use a five-year rotation. This year’s severe drought brought about a change in our thinking. Now, all of the greens and the smaller root crops (carrots, radishes and beets) will be put in our front field, the one we call Maryjane, because our good overhead irrigation system can take care of them there. Corn, beans, squashes, cucumbers, peppers and sweet potatoes, all grown with mulch and drip irrigation, will be located in the large field that is served by our biggest pond. And the potatoes, cabbages and onions – vegetables that deer don’t regard as food – will be planted in a rotation of their own in the ten acres remaining outside the deer fence.

I spent the first half of today working in a lovely mist, plowing under old weeds and crop residues in preparation for the very last of this year’s outdoor plantings. The large sugar maples in the hedges are golden, and the climbing woodbine is a deep red. The peak of colors is perhaps a week away. Because of recent rains, the ground has finally become soft, and deep plowing has once again become possible. I was working in the back field near the new pond, which was in potatoes this year, and will be the location of next year’s winter squashes. Squashes are generally happy to follow potatoes in a crop rotation, following the old time admonition: ‘fruits to follow roots’. Or is that ‘roots to follow fruits’? It likely doesn’t matter because these two crops don’t share pests, and following one with the other is going to interrupt the pest cycles of both, or so I hope.

Have a great week, 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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