2016 brought many great changes to our farm. We revamped our CSA to make our shares more about what our members wanted and less about what we wanted to grow. Our first attempt at this lead to much note-taking on what was popular at pick-up, what you wanted more off, what you wanted less off, and what we should change for next year. We are already getting so excited about our offerings for next year as we begin our Winter long project of crop planning.
I personally was surprised to see many of you having a deep love for radishes, shishito peppers, kohlrabi and arugula among other things. Of course everyone loved the tomatoes and tomato products and we are planning to grow early tomatoes in our high tunnel next year as well as doing a protected later planting and growing larger quantities of paste tomatoes to make all the delicious canned products we had this year.
This was a rough year for us for carrots, one of my favorite crops to eat. Unfortunately a blight overtook both of our late plantings to our dismay as we had spent over 100 hours combined weeding them in the middle of a horrible August heatwave. This was a loss we felt deeply. Our best looking carrots from our early summer planting were ready right as we had a week of torrential rains and before we had time to harvest them they started rotting in the ground due to all the water. We usually harvest our carrots by hand with a broadfork which takes quite a bit of time, but have decided to purchase an undercutter, an implement that hooks up to the back of the tractor, that speeds up harvesting so we can get large carrot crops out of the ground and into storage as quickly as possible. We will be growing blight resistant varieties far, far, away from where previous carrot crops were next year.
Each year that we run our farm proves to be an incredible and sometimes trying adventure full of learning. We never stop learning from all that's around us. This year I discovered among a million other things that we can in fact have a drought and tank top weather in November. With 10 years of farming under my belt and a warmer growing season every year, I reflect on my environmental science background a lot and wonder what climate change holds for us in the future. This year Summer started early and seemed to never end. Heat waves were not waves but were in fact an endless Summer of excess heat. We use very little fossil fuels on our farm and do almost everything by hand so each vegetable eaten has as little of a carbon footprint as possible. While this can be trying sometimes, the rewards far outweigh the input.
With Thanksgiving upon us we would like to thank you all for supporting us, your farmers, every step of the way, through the ups and the downs of a farming season, and for being that amazing constant reminder when we wake in the morning as to why we do what we do. The relationships I’ve formed with so many of you are something I cherish deeply. We feel blessed to be able to serve our local community and look forward to providing you the best local produce possible in the years to come. Such a big thanks to you all for buying directly from your farmers, choosing to feed your household with the best possible farm produce that you know and trust, and believing in the small farm dream.