Those seemingly endless weeks of cold and rain finally ended… with an ovenlike blast. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m not thankful for a nice, long farming window. But the transition was a bit sudden.
We have nearly caught up on all the summer planting! And while that doesn’t mean that we’ll be eating all the summer vegetable fruits right away, at least they’re growing. And that is a huge relief to me. I don’t take the responsibility to feed our CSA community lightly, and being held back by weeks of cold and wet weather put the farm several weeks behind. It’s not unusual to need to pause the CSA in spring, between overwintered and new crops, but I have never needed to miss so many weeks. Over the last 20 years of CSA production, I may have started the Summer season late… once or twice. Generally, I feel like I know what I’m doing farming-wise, but this season has been something.
For a while, a few more weeks, we are primarily going to be harvesting leaves. We have lots of spinach and lettuce, chard and kale and arugula. Radishes will be along shortly, and turnips, beets and carrots in a few weeks. The onions are going to be a while because the transplants went in the ground about 6 weeks later than planned. But garlic is perfect, having been planted last fall. The outdoor round of sugar snap peas are starting to bloom, and so are the fava beans. And FINALLY the snap and shelling beans are growing. We’ve accomplished an awful lot in a short time.
The cut flower garden is nearly caught up as well. We’ve nearly got all the starts in the ground, and that’s a great feeling. The starts planted a month ago are getting big now that the soil is warm, and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to open up the cutting garden in 2-3 weeks, as well as start the flower bouquet subscriptions. Fingers crossed!
But as we head into Summer Week 2, I am thankful for a successful first CSA week. While the Spring CSA was limited to just 80 families (and thankfully, this year, since we ended up cutting it significantly short with the weather), the Summer CSA is feeding 180 families. That’s a lot of organization, and as far as I know I haven’t misplaced any Seattle person’s box, and we didn’t run out of anything at the farm except green onions, which I swapped for the last bit of sugar snap peas. Not a bad swap, methinks!
After the last few hot and dry seasons, I had anticipated scaling up the melons, sweet potatoes, and doing outdoor tomatoes and peppers. Alas, this spring threw a wrench into those plans. So many of those plants had to be pushed aside so that more cool weather crops like peas, lettuce, and other greens could go in the ground instead. But don’t worry, the greenhouses are full of very happy tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and cucumbers. All of these will come in their time to complement the greens outside.
This week, the planting continues. The back fields have dried enough to start working up, so we can get the winter squash, pumpkin patch and sunflower patches planted. It was so wet when they should have been seeded, Trinity has been starting thousands of transplants in the greenhouse. They’ll need to get planted out in two weeks, when the field and plants are ready. It’s significantly more work to do transplants, but it was getting so late in the season that I didn’t want to risk waiting, lest the sunflowers not bloom and pumpkins not ripen. I’ll be starting all of the fall and winter brassica plants this week as well, and their spot will be ready to plant out in a couple weeks. Hard to believe it’s winter planting time already!
Have a great week!