CSA Week 9

July 29, 2017
CSA Week 9 – July 31, August 2, 4

Dear 2017 CSA Members,

Sorry to miss you last week. Weekends are sometimes just too full for me to find a time to write. We are slipping in August already, and I have to say that July was not the horrendously hot month that it usually is. In terms of farm management, we are probably ahead of where we have ever been. This week we were able to make a large planting of fall brassicas – planting number 3, lettuce, more squash, beets, carrots and finally we transplanted our flowers. We pulled all the garlic – of which you received some this past week. It was a very good and solid crop. We got a good deal on some hay from our friends at Dismas Family Farm and are now mulching regularly as we weed – peppers this week are in very nice shape. The cucumber crop is going to fantastic – across the board. Sorry to say that the summer squash – same family – is not doing well from the first crop. We have more coming, and just have to ask your patience this year. We will have it quite late, hopefully. I have been happy with our cabbages, but we only have enough for larges at this point – generally, though we are swapping in beans, squash, broccoli and cabbage throughout the week to make sure we have something for at least the large shareholders.
We are still wrestling with the slugs in the chard, but think our most recent dusting with ashes will do the trick. There is a picture today of potatoes that were mulched earlier and some next door that were mulched later. Notice the major difference in plant leaf quality. Oh that we ever had enough mulch and at the right time, to mulch all of our crops and in a timely fashion.
Every day includes some animal management – pigs get moved every two weeks, cows and chickens each day once; and mowing – pathways and edges of fields and in perennial fruit areas, hay fields, and once in a while the front lawn; weeding – we always weed at least two beds of something while we are picking, and then later in the day if time permits; bed prep – we have about 140 beds of vegetables on the farm, and some of them get used 3 times in the season – so this is an ongoing process; starting seeds in the greenhouse happens on Mondays after CSA, and transplanting or planting in the field happens 2-3 days per week. Lindsay drenches something each day and also foliar feeds. We never get bored!
Tomorrow we slaughter our first batch of meat birds. Let me know if you would like to buy some. Thursday we expect another batch of 150 and Friday we get 100 turkey poults. The little layers go out to the field on Tuesday to make room for the new birds coming in. Choretime is a magical time in the morning. We are now down by the pond with the cows and chickens. The cows rush the moving of the electric wire to their new location. Foamy awaits his milk replacer – soon to graduate off of it, and the chickens wait patiently at the front of their houses for the move forward onto new grass and some fermented feeds. I always feel a sense of completion each day when everyone is eating and on new grass and has fresh water. Chores in the mist in the summertime – it can’t be beat.

Food for this week –
Just a reminder to store all of your fresh produce in plastic bags in the refrigerator – they will keep their freshness this way
• 4/2 lettuce
• Leeks – new item this week – the thinning will help those that remain, and these are beauties this year
• Carrots – first from the field – they will be dug – various sizes for right now
• Beets – after these beets there will be a hiatus
• Collards
• Squash/broccoli/cabbage/beans – larges – some combo, depending on the day; our first bean crop is in that same field where the squash has been weak. We have 2 more plantings coming along, and a fourth to plant
• Cukes – we have cukes in 4 different locations – all of them strong
• Parsley – a really strong crop this year
• Chard – looking and tasting good
• Chives – they keep coming back, so why not share them
• Mint – this grows right back to weeds, so harvesting it and weeding it is doing us a favor – great in your cool drinks
• Oregano – also coming right back, so I hope you enjoy

Free Range Organic Chickens available July 30
Our first batch goes to meet their maker in two weeks. We still have some available to purchase should you want any. They are $6.50/lb. and are absolutely delicious. Read more here, and feel free to email me an order. https://mhof.net/organic-meat/
Recycle your paper and plastic grocery-size bags with us. You can leave them in your CSA bags. We also like rubber bands,. And don’t forget any corrugated cardboard. We can use it.

NOFA Summer Conference coming up August 11-13
I will be pushing this event each week. Here is our latest link for your reading enjoyment.
NOFA is one of the most positive solutions out there for climate change education and advocacy around growing practices that are carbon emissions negative. That is just one of the many topics that will be covered this year.

I know that many of you are going on vacation this month. Some already have notified us not to pick while you are gone, please be sure to do that if there is no one to pick up your food. And have a wonderful time away. We will be here when you get back.

For The Many Hands Organic Farm staff

PS No baby for Clare yet. She is due tomorrow, and came to work on Friday!