Hope everyone has been enjoying the recent increase in the number of items in the CSA share. This is the result of an incredible effort to get our new farm site up and running during this summer, fall and winter season. We started this summer (from scratch) after learning that we would no longer be using land at the Bern’s farm to grow food for our CSA. Fortunately all our efforts paid off since the crops are growing very well. One of the main responsibilities in organic agriculture is to build a healthy, biodiverse soil in which the plants can thrive. It has taken trucking hundreds of tons of our farm-made compost to the new site, putting in miles of irrigation and digging two ponds and a swale system to keep the fields from flooding. All of this while planting, weeding and harvesting for the CSA. Thank you to all our supporting members and many volunteers whom have stuck with us through one of our most challenging years. This shows the importance of community supported agriculture as a truly sustainable food system. One of the main ideals behind a CSA is that the consumer and the farmer both share the bounties as well as the inherent risks of agriculture. This became especially true this season because without your support this farm would have not been able to continue operating. Thank you!
Many of the vegetables and herbs we have all been enjoying this past month have been grown at the new farm site at The Children’s Home. Also many of the spring crops we’ll enjoy towards the end of the season are already growing there. We already planted our tomato and eggplant crops and they are growing well (even though they got slightly shocked by the unexpected cold a week and a half ago). We are giving them some special organic fertilizers to help give them an extra boost. Also the potatoes are sprouting very nicely in their furrows, we should be enjoying them sometime in mid April and May. This week we hope to plant our first of two batches of squashes and cucumbers. Like the tomatoes, we water these using drip irrigation. This is a way to keep moisture off of their sensitive leaves and avoid fungus and other leaf diseases.
This week we expect to continue harvesting broccoli and lots of lettuce. Both of these might be a little smaller then we hoped, this is because of the warmer weather we’ve been having. They are still looking good and tasting very delicious. We are also harvesting Joi Choi which is my favorite kind of Bok Choy. The crunchy stems can be eaten raw in a salad or as a refreshing snack, try spreading nut butter and dry fruit on them. The new planting of bulbing Fennel is ready as well, the entire plant is edible and delicious. My little farm girls love to eat the leaves raw. Also try adding them to your salads for a nice anise flavor or make a cup of fennel-leaf tea for a digestive aid. The bulbs are great in root bakes or stir-fries.
Thanks again for your support, Sweetwater is a true model of local sustainable, organic agriculture.