Spring News from Windflower Farm

Dear friends

This spring, treat yourself to a share of Windflower Farm’s certified organic vegetables. As a CSA member, you’ll get 22 weeks of fresh veggies, including sweet corn, tomatoes, bell peppers and greens of every kind, the makings for fresh salads every week.

Every year we modify the crop plan based on the feedback we get from our CSA customers and our own farm trials. This year, in addition to producing the garden favorites, we’ll double down on broccoli, cucumbers, shallots and new salad greens.

“In like a lion, out like a lamb” …and just like that spring has arrived. After a month and a half of steady work, three greenhouses are bursting at the seams. Our tractors and transplanters have been readied and it’s time to head to the field! We couldn’t be more excited to get started.

In addition to veggies, we offer shares of fruit, eggs, maple products and grains. 

Signups for the 2022 season are now closed. Thank you! 

Spring news from the farm

We pulled the transplanter out from behind the barn yesterday afternoon. It’s time to plant, and the machine needed a once over. Last year, it was given a canopy and new seats – important creature comforts for the planting team – but now it’s in need of maintenance to its carousel, the part of the machine that delivers individual plants from the planter’s hands to a specific row and at a prescribed distance from the previous plant. The springs, gears and levers that accomplish this had become worn and needed to be retired. Nate spent a day replacing parts and making small adjustments and tells me it’s ready for another season. By Thursday or Friday of this week, we should be planting your first shares – kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, kohlrabi and more. And by next week we’ll be seeding radishes, arugula, beets and broccoli raab.

Mid-April is usually cold and wet, and this year has been no different. Nevertheless, we found a brief window on Saturday during which the soil had become dry enough to work. And so, I climbed on our old John Deere 5425 and ran the Perfecta harrow across six acres of land slated for early June plantings of sweet potatoes, winter squashes and various fall greens. There is just enough time to grow a cover crop before planting these vegetables if it’s sown by mid-April. Immediately behind me, Nate was in the cab of the bigger John Deere 5100, spreading a blend of spring oats and winter pea seeds (and a brew of bacteria that will aid in nitrogen fixation) – 150 lb. per acre, 900 lb. in all. These crops will be knee high when we turn them into the soil in June. Once Nate finished seeding, I climbed aboard our tiny John Deere 4044 and attached the cultipacker, an implement that buries the seeds and firms the soil around them, greatly improving germination. It was raining steadily by the time I finished my work, and I was soaked through. But I was also exhilarated – our first field planting was a success.

Last week, we removed the mulch from the garlic and overwintered onions, and we put compost and wood chips around the blueberries and elderberries. We found a few surprises as we uncovered the garlic – first, happily, the garlic looks wonderful. Some beds were weed-free, some were inundated with Chickweed, a winter annual, and others were loaded with the mustard family weeds, Yellow Rocket and Shepherd’s Purse. We had to hand weed the Chickweed, but our small electric cultivating tractor took care of most of the mustards. It’s always best to start the season with weed-free beds and it felt good to get out of the greenhouse and into the field. This week, we’ll spin on some compost to ensure a healthy start to the crop.

Wishing you a happy spring, Ted and Jan

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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