The News from Windflower Farm
What’s in your share?
- Green oakleaf lettuce
- Red potatoes
- Sweet peppers
- Sweet corn
Your fruit share will be peaches from Yonder Farm.
We began harvesting delicata and acorn squashes this week. We’ll set them in our shade house for a week or two to cure and then we’ll begin sending them to you. Next week, we’ll send the pie pumpkins we harvested two weeks ago. Next week’s shares will also include Ed’s Red shallots (see Nate’s latest Instagram posting for images).
What’s new on the farm?
It is just before 8:00 pm on Sunday, nearly too dark to discern colors. I’m coming in from the field after scouting for the harvest. A lone coyote is howling nearby. Nate has closed the chicken coop for the night and shut the farm gates against intrusion by deer. And now, as I sit at my laptop, the aroma of Rosemary fills my senses. I had harvested a few sample bunches. It will be part of this week’s share. It is the herb that for me transforms virtually any potato, but especially a good roasting variety, into something magical. Oil the pan, toss in long-sliced potato pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add Rosemary and you’ve got the better part of a perfect meal.
Although many farmers in the Hudson Valley and New England are still in a severe drought, we have had enough rain in the last couple of weeks to take the edge off. Summer rains are often highly localized like this. Earlier in the season, we would watch as the rain fell to the north or south of us, and now, finally, it has been falling here. The lawn has become green again and lettuces and arugula and kale are coming back to life. Still, vestiges of the drought can be found here and there. The absence of sweet corn from shares is one example – it was one of the crops we chose not to irrigate. It was inevitable that something popular would be on that list. But not all the corn was lost. Last Thursday’s CSA shares included corn from our own farm. There would have been more if it wasn’t for the racoons. This week’s corn will come from Hand Farm, where I’m told they never have racoon problems. It is not organically grown – they use “integrated pest management” or IPM to guide their spray decisions. They spray, but only when the IPM protocol deems it necessary. Next week’s corn will again come from our farm and will have been grown organically. And that will be the last of our corn. After that, if we opt to send more Hand Farm corn to you, it will only be because I’ve received feedback from you telling me that you approve of the idea.
The inspection related to our organic certification took place yesterday. Brenda, our inspector, brought Rick, a trainee, along. As a result, the process, although always professional, was more formal than usual. They arrived ahead of schedule, before I had a chance to have lunch, so by the time they left at 5:00 in the evening, my blood sugar was at a serious ebb, and my answers to their questions had become more and more dubious. “How do you manage soil health on your farm?” asked Rick. I had no idea. Nevertheless, I believe we passed. Together, we identified one infraction, however, and I should make you aware of it before you read about it in the papers. The cabbage you’ve received this year came from ground that won’t achieve formal organic status for another month. It had only undergone 34 of the required 36 months of transition. I mistakenly planted our summer cabbage where our fall cabbage was supposed to go. My apologies to you. You should know that the field they came from had not had synthetic fertilizers or a pesticide of any kind for more than twenty years. I know I’ll hear from our certifier about this.
Have a great week, Ted