Friday, May 7, 2010

Up and Running

Dear Members,

Welcome to the blog! Here you'll find weekly updates about the farm, recipes, links to good reading, and a list of what you'll find in your weekly CSA share. Feel free to post questions or comments, as well!

With the recent flurry of topsy-turvy weather-- gorgeous, high pressure, bluebird mornings followed by dumping rain (or the opposite, as in yesterday's case here!), as well as the oil leakage in the Gulf of Mexico, I've been thinking about all of the different ways we/nature is compromising our ability to produce our own food. From the crazy fluctuations in temperatures early on this spring that made for a tough maple season, as well as the oil spill affecting important shrimp and oyster beds in the Mississippi delta; one of the rainiest summers on record in Vermont, plus the revenge of the late blight creating rather inhospitable conditions for vegetable growers, I'm hungry for any signs of success.

Cue: the onion. Onions thrived in the wetness of last year, producing a fine crop that did not require any extra irrigation, and are still lasting in the root cellar. I've been appreciating them a lot lately-- so far, we've got seedlings going predominately in the Allium family: red onions, yellow storage onions, cippolini onions, scallions, leeks, and new this year: red shallots. I haven't grown shallots from seed before (they are often grown similarly to garlic: place a nice, large toe of shallot into the ground in the fall, let it overwinter, and up shoots a stock in spring that is then harvested in the mid-late summer) but I am excited to learn about the plants as seedlings, as well as test their storage capacity. Like garlic and storage onions, they're good keepers through the winter.

Speaking of garlic, our garlic plants are coming up nice and healthy after having been planted in the late fall. Our organic, local seedstock comes from Merck Forest, and is a hardneck variety with nice, big toes (cloves) that are easy to handle, as well as a nutty, mellow flavor.

Exciting new additions for the farm this year include a 6hp rear-tine, counter-rotating, walk-behind tiller that is already proving itself a workhorse in the field, as well as a small-scale drip irrigation system for the extra sensitive crops that need super-consistent watering to thrive.

Our first pickup date is set for Tuesday, June 29, from 5-7pm, and I'll be sending out a link to a Google calendar with more details soon.

First farmer's market in Dorset is in a little more than a week-- Sunday, May 16th! Hooray! GPF will make its first appearance the following week, Sunday, May 23rd.

That's the news so far-- hope this finds everyone well and enjoying the chaotic green of spring! I'll be in touch soon about this year's Dirtday Party sometime toward the end of May/early June.

Take care, and looking forward to seeing you all soon!