Dear Farm Partners,
With another 10-day forecast of 90-100 degree weather upon us comes the final push to transplant and direct sow the remainder of our fall crops. At times we have wondered if we are even going to make it through this part of the year, let alone have enough crops to finish out the fall! But we do a little at a time, and we are making it happen. I’m definitely recoiling at the thought of all this “unseasonable” (or do they mean “unreasonable”?) heat making a second round, yet if we balance our work between the early morning and later evening hours we will be able to manage.
It has been a really exciting season for us, though, despite the unpredictable weather and intense insect pressure (this is by far the worst year for flea beetles that we have experienced–they have wreaked havoc on our fall brassica crops, but I think we are starting to get the better of them!). Every year Jeremy and I feel as though what we learn, and the rate at which we learn, increase exponentially. It helps that this past year was our first full year farming together; our collective experience has helped us run the farm with better efficiency and a lot more confidence. We are also are getting a better grasp of what we want for the future of Excelsior Farm, and what kind of life we want to have as farmers. We have each come to terms, in our own ways, with the fact that farming is our life, and I learn to embrace it more as I grow into being a better farmer. Much is still up in the air concerning our next steps with the farm, but we will be sure to share our progress (well, hopefully it will be progress!) with you all by degrees as we figure things out. While the pressure is on, we still feel very enthusiastic (when we aren’t dead tired) about our work and are eager to keep building up the farm.
We do have a ways to go still, but we have been fortunate in some really superb crops this year! So encouraging. Some of our favorites:
In this week’s basket: French Fingerlings, Radishes, Carrots, Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes, Scallions, Eggplant, Onions, and Cucumbers OR Sweet Peppers. Some of you have roma tomatoes, while the rest have delicious cherry tomatoes. The cherry varieties are Sungold (the little orange sugar bombs) and, my personal favorite, Black Cherry. I like the Black Cherry variety because it is a little more savory, and the super-ripe ones taste almost like plums. Beautiful!
On a final note, thanks again for supporting a local farm and the people who produce a portion of your food. Whatever side you fall on regarding food politics, the point of what we do in our CSA (as well as in our sales to natural food stores and at farmer’s market) is to help lessen the divide between producers, consumers, and the food products in question and foster community rather than isolation. The path to a more sustainable food system is one that we all walk together. Thank you for walking with us!
All the best to you from our farm.
Ashli and Jeremy