Our order of seed potatoes arrived yesterday late in the day. We have been getting the beds ready for planting and there is a bit more to do before the soil is ready for planting. We will rip the soil deeply and then add cocopeat and compost. Then we will turn the soil a couple more times to mix it all thoroughly. Finally, we will dig furrows and plant the seed potatoes. This season we are planting Kennebec russets. They store longer than the Colorado Rose potatoes that we grew last year. We have also increased the number of rows, so we should have a larger harvest than last year. We will find out in early June when we dig the potato crop.
This week we did our last market in Green Valley for awhile. We will likely return to the market there in the late fall. Thank you to all our customers in Green Valley! We will miss you this summer.
We will be delivering CSA shares to the Good Shepherd Church on Monday mornings between 9:30a and 11:30a. Our Green Valley customers who are not CSA shareholders this summer are welcome to email us your orders by noon on Saturday and we will bring your order to the CSA distribution location. Please email or call if you need more information.
Yesterday we provided a farm tour to a group of middle school students from The Gregory School. We showed them our solar panels, our watering system, our seedlings in the hoophouse, the growing beds, the new high tunnel and our washing/prep facilities. They asked lots of great questions. We served them some freshly harvested baby carrots and sent them home with some big bags of spinach to share.
This week at the market we continue to reserve spots and accept payments for the spring/summer CSA program. The forms are available at the markets, and in the CSA box on the right sidebar of this website, and here. We will stick with a 50-share program this round, so please let us know if you are interested in a spot. The summer shares will include potatoes, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, chiles, flowers, cucumbers, melons, okra, squash, salad mixes, among many other tasty ingredients.
It is going to be a delicious season this round. The images show some of the tasty vegetables and fruit that you will see in your shares.
I saw the first tomato yesterday. The plants really took off growing this week. Our newest farmer-in-training, Stephen, spent some hours pruning the plants yesterday, removing the suckers below the first set of flowers and all the branches touching the ground. Now those plants are primed to grow and provide us a bounty of mouth-watering plum tomatoes. I can’t wait!
The blackberry plants are loaded with fruit, exceeding my expectations for this season. This will only be the second harvest from these brambles. Last year we picked about 35 pounds – well, we picked a lot more, but many were eaten right off the vine. Anyway, we had 35 pounds that went to the market and nearly all went to our CSA members; there just weren’t enough to sell at the market. This year it looks like we might harvest 100 pounds ! That’s a lot of cobbler, jam, ice cream sauce, fruit compote!
The potatoes, variety Colorado Rose, are growing very rapidly now. Many of them have flower buds almost ready to open. That means we will soon be able to steal a few baby new potatoes from the plants. Those baby new potatoes won’t make it to the market (we will scarf them down at the farm), but as soon as the new potatoes are ready to harvest, they will be showing up in CSA shares and at the markets.
The red cabbage is heading up – a few will make it to the market tomorrow and Wednesday.
The Rainbow Swiss chard plants have finally taken off. To my eye, this is one of the most beautiful plants we grow.
Okay, I need to get back out into the field. There is still lots to plant and a big harvest to get in before the sun goes down.
We had some rain last night! The first measureable precipitation in a while – 0.20in. It is cool and fresh out here this morning. The creosote bushes smell lovely and are all clean and green. They started flowering about a week ago, so they are especially fragrant this morning. To steal a phrase from Gary Nabhan, the desert smells like rain this morning.
Yesterday we finally planted the potatoes, variety Colorado Rose. We put in 640 row feet. I dug the trenches by hand with a shovel yesterday afternoon as the rain was moving in; we got the seed spuds planted and covered in the failing light as it was starting to sprinkle and blow. Now we wait. In 80 days or so we should have some delicious new potatoes – nice red ones.
This week we will continue the sign-up for the late spring/summer CSA. It will consist of 16 weeks of deliveries to the markets starting the third week. of May and continuing into September. The cost will be $250. We will have the signup forms at our farm stands and available online. Please let us know if you’d like to reserve a spot.