In your box:
- Cabbage or broccoli or kohlrabi or cauliflower
- Kale, “Red Russian”
- Salad mix or head lettuce
- Winter squash or pie pumpkin
Autumn finally seems to be settling in for good now, and none too soon for this tired farmer. It didn’t feel right ending our season with it still hitting 80 degrees most days, but now that we again can’t feel our hands after washing carrots, we feel ok with the end of this season. We have either pie pumpkins or winter squash as the new item this week. We had a fairly lousy harvest (see below), mainly due to the excessive heat in July that killed off the young flowers and set the crop back. That poor start, coupled with our early frost that killed off the vines and ended their ripening, made for a less than satisfactory harvest of my favorite crop.
Have I mentioned yet that we haven’t had a great year? 2011 has been about as challenging as a farm season can get, minus hail or tornado. If I were to pack all of the weather events that make my life miserable into one year (long winter, wet spring, excessive heat, humid weather, hot nights, and a really early frost), this was basically it. Our growing season was a whole months shorter than 2010, when we started planting six weeks earlier and had a killing frost two weeks later than this year. That said, we still managed a decent season. We learned a lot throughout, which should help us in planning during a similar season if we should ever be so unlucky again. Thanks to all of our members for your encouragement and understanding and for eating so much kale, which didn’t seem to mind anything this year threw at it.
We can still use your boxes and would appreciate them back. Bring them back to your usual site, and I will make a final visit to each location within the next couple weeks to pick up empty boxes. You can also hold on to them and keep them yourselves, or return them early next season if that works best for you. Thanks!
The Year in Numbers:
- Empty member boxes eaten by Henry the farm dog: 0 (last year: 3)
- Berry pints eaten by Henry: 7 (last year: 12)
- Total pounds of Tomatoes harvested: 492 pounds (last year: 630)
- Total number of winter squash harvested: 229 (last year on half as many plants: 427)
- Total pounds of Potatoes harvested: 741 (last year: 2,555)
- Eggplant harvested: 422, or 137 pounds
- Peppers harvested: 829, or 172 pounds
- Bean harvest: 443 pounds. Cucumbers: 1893. Zucchini: 745. Corn: 1,591 ears. Strawberries: 465 pints. Raspberries: 193 pints
- Rainy harvest days (Tuesday or Friday): 5 (last year: 4)
- Pairs of pants destroyed by farmers: 4, all by Jeremy (last year: 3, all Farmer Red)
Special thanks above all to our friend, hero, and underpaid/overperforming intern, Jeremy “Naptime” Benson. Jeremy has been with us since early May, experiencing all of the charms and drama of farm life and living through it all. He has had a consistent good attitude, especially after a nap, and dives eagerly into both a diverting game of bean-bag toss and putting out a tractor fire with the same level of calm and effective resolve. Jeremy’s winter plans are still up in the air, largely due to the fact that we keep burning all of his job applications so that he has to come back again next summer. Thanks so much, Jeremy–we couldn’t have done this year without your help!
And thanks again to all of you, our great members for your support this year. Even on an off-year, this is still what I love to do and I find more fulfillment in this passion every week. Thank you for supporting local agriculture, our community and economy, and our family. We hope you will consider joining again next year, with some new crops, hopefully a little luck, AND (big finish…..) a new baby! Some of you might have heard already or noticed Nina’s bulging belly at the fall festival, but Nina is indeed pregnant with our first baby. We are now 22 weeks along in the pregnancy, with a due date of February 14th, 2012. Early ultrasounds suggest red hair, excellent bean-picking fingers, a good figure for overalls, and an appreciation for kohlrabi. Keep an eye on the website for news and a few pictures this winter.
Thank you all! Hope to see you again in the future.
-Red, Nina, bouncing baby, and Jeremy