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Archive for November, 2009

last share of the season, and farm update

Hello Everyone,

We have reached the end of another CSA season.  While all years hold
their own particular challenges for a farmer this one has been
especially difficult. Most of the other farmers that I have had a
chance to talk with agree that 2009 was the worst growing season they
can remember. The loss of the tomatoes was particularly heartbreaking
as so much work goes into their production. Still, one of the
requisites for being a farmer is being an eternal optimist; believing
that next year the weather will be better, maybe even that perfect
year with just enough rain and sun and no hurricanes or hailstorms! It
could happen…someday!

While many of this season’s calamities were beyond my control there
are things that I know must be done differently. Making sure that the
melons are inside fencing to protect them from the deer, and working
on a better trellis system and an organic spray program to control
diseases in the tomatoes, are two examples. One of the principal
reasons I choose to continue in this challenging profession is that I
believe it is the best way I can contribute in the struggle to
mitigate climate change and create a sustainable future. It is ironic
that the increasingly erratic and unpredictable weather make it more
difficult to succeed in this crucial endeavor. Still, it’s clear they
we won’t be able to reverse the process of global warming any time
soon, and so we will need adapt to and persevere through each new
twist that nature sends our way.

It is also clear that I would not be able to persist and persevere in
this battle without the CSA program and the support of the members.
I’d like to thank the many dedicated coordinators and volunteers that
make the program possible. The encouragement, support and patience
that I have received allow me to do what I love- to farm. And of
course thanks to all of you, whose financial support and trust in me
is equally indispensable. I wish you a happy and healthy winter season
and look forward to serving you next year.

The share for this week will be: Broccoli, Romaine lettuce, parsnips,
celery root, yellow onions, carnival or acorn squash, white potatoes,
choice of 2 greens from the following list- arugula, broccoli raab,
mustard green, tatsoi, escarole, endive, or green leaf lettuce, baby
bok choy,  and choice of an herb.

Enjoy!
Farmer John

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winter shares and winter eggs

We’re coming up on the end of our weekly vegetable deliveries for the regular season.

John has loads of great vegetables still in the fields and is, once
again, offering a three-week WINTER SHARE.  The cost will be $80 and
the sign up form is posted in the files section of the Google group website.  The first 2
deliveries will be fairly typical to the regular season deliveries,
with lettuce, greens, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels
sprouts, root veggies such as parsnips, carrots, turnips, radishes,
and celery root, potatoes, onions, and winter squash. The second pre-
Thanksgiving delivery will include larger quantities of potatoes and
onions.  The final week’s “stock-up” delivery will include onions (~
5#’s), several types of potatoes (15-20#’s), winter squash (5-10 #’s),
an assortment of root vegetables (~ 5 #’s) and cabbage. The total
weight of the “stock-up” will be at least 35 #’s.

There will be less winter squash than last year, in part because it
did not keep well for some members last year and also because there
was not a great crop this season. John hopes to have some greens such
as kale or spinach, broccoli, and/ or Brussels sprouts in the final
week delivery.  He is growing lots of interesting Asian greens, such
as baby bok choy, tatsoi, hon tsai tai, as well as arugula, broccoli
raab, spinach and escarole, that will also be ready for the winter
extension.

T he new egg-poultry order form on the Google group website.  Over the winter,
Havenwood Farm switches to an every other Friday delivery schedule.
November will continue to be every other Tuesday (November 3rd and
17th) but will switch to Fridays beginning December 5th.  In addition,
now that it is getting cold, Ken has to get the chickens out of the
fields.  They can’t live through the winter outside.  He will process
the rest of the flock,cryovack shrink wrap and deep freeze them.  Next
week’s delivery will be fresh broilers.  After that, they will be
frozen broilers. Egg deliveries go year round.

Ken is also taking orders for Thanksgiving turkeys.  They are a broad
breasted white turkey.  Like the broilers, the turkeys are pastured
and fed non-certified organic feed.  They are delicious.  Turkey
delivery will be on Tuesday, November 24th. The order
form is posted on the google group website.

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farm update #23, week 21, November 3 delivery

Hello Everyone,

We are forecast to have mostly clear skies this week, though somewhat brisk temperatures. I am hoping that abundant sunshine, which has been lacking for most of the season, will speed the growth of many crops which have been developing rather slowly.

I am also hopeful that with a few rain-free days the ground will dry enough for us to finish digging the potato crop. There remains nearly half an acre of spuds to be harvested and constantly wet soil has made there recovery rather difficult. Drier conditions will also enable me to prepare beds for the garlic, which needs to go in ASAP.

The broccoli crop if finally heading up more extensively and there will be broccoli for those groups that have not received it during the previous 2 weeks. There will be cauliflower for those not getting broccoli.

The share for this week will be: Choice of escarole or green leaf lettuce, buttercup squash, red skinned potatoes, garlic, red turnips, multi-colored carrots, choice of spinach or Swiss chard, broccoli or cauliflower, choice of a mustard green (arugula, tatsoi, or green wave) and choice of an herb.

Enjoy!

Farmer John

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farm update #22, week 20, October 27th delivery

(sorry for the late posting folks!)

Hi Folks,

We will be sending out the last few peppers as an extra this week, and
this marks the end of the summer crops. The cool weather crops are
thriving and look beautiful, although not always growing and maturing
as fast as I would like.

A case in point is the broccoli, which is big and beautiful, but still
heading up slowly and sporadically. We have planted nearly 7,000
broccoli plants; more than half of which were planted in early August
and so should be maturing.  We had enough last week to send broccoli
to a few groups and will have enough for several more groups this
week. Anyone who has not received broccoli after this week will
definitely get it next week and I expect to have enough for everyone
in the final regular season share.

Spinach is another crop which endures cold weather but yet grows very
slowly. I expect that the spinach will be large enough to bunch for
next week’s share. Also on the horizon is escarole and broccoli raab.
We have finished harvesting the sweet potatoes, and since I don’t have
great storage conditions for them, we will be shipping them out
immediately.

In the field, besides harvesting we are busy with clean up- removing
posts, trellising, plastic mulch and drip tape and preparing ground
for cover crops. We are also preparing beds for planting next season’s
garlic and shallot crop. And I am, as always working on fixing broken
equipment. This week’s project is the disc harrow which I need for
planting the cover crops.

The share for this week will be: sweet potatoes, yellow onions,
parsnips, acorn squash, radishes, choice of a mustard green- arugula
or tatsoi, red leaf lettuce, choice of endive or dandelion greens, and
choice of an herb.

Enjoy,
Farmer John

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