It’s August. And it’s after 5:00 and this note is just now getting out.
We assure you: online ordering has been open since early this morning, but you likely need this email as a prompt to log in.
But it’s August, and for us, the really great thing about August is that it ends. You don’t sign up for these emails to get our woes passed on to you, but we promise that these emails/posts give a glimpse of the reality of small scale, biological vegetable production. It’s not a sugar coated portrayal. We love our work and our role in feeding our community, but this is the hardest time of the year for us and we won’t lie about that.
August is dominated by the inability to grow most short season crops (think salad greens) and the general malaise being experienced by a lot of the long-season crops (think tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers…) due to stress from weeds, fungus, disease, and perhaps too little or too much rain. Most people are surprised to learn that each year so farm, we have picked and sold more produce in November than in August. Yowzers.
(Watermelon vines traveling…Watermelons are indeed a great part of August.)
Time is spent trying to keep the long-season crops healthy (pruning, feeding with nutrients, responding to plant cues…), picking as much produce as we can (before the squash or okra get too big…before the tomatoes split from the recent rains…), trying to get the fall season crops to germinate in the hot August temperatures, getting beds prepped for the busy transplanting time that is beginning again, and trying to keep spirits as high as possible.
(This is a sample of farm stand goodies from two weeks ago)
We get comfort from the fact that we know we’re not alone, and we are reassured by reminders from friends. (You have to scroll down to the last third of the most recent blog post of these farming friends of ours in Maine to read the hard reality part of it.) We are also enormously grateful for the lack of major disease problems here. We are luckily not suffering from late blight, as are a number of our peers in other areas.
We’ve squeezed in some time to connect with others about the tomato grafting research project that we are a part of, and soaked up time with our farming elders at Dayspring Farm last night (pictured below).
We were encouraged by their beautiful barn, knowing ours will be done soon(ish).
We saw that a some of their tomatoes plants look like this:
and stopped beating ourselves up about ours.
Each year is a cycle, with a series of roller coasters. We’re learning when to just hang on and do our best to stick to our calendar of tasks while responding to the challenging realities of August as best as we can. The food is still delicious (though less bountiful than in the fall), the flowers are still gorgeous, and the customers are still in need of and thankful for this food we grow. Thanks for being a part of it… and interested in reading to the end of a post about August on a tiny little farm in central Virginia.
Certified Naturally Grown Farm in search of:
::Low-boy (small) electric hot water heater/tank ::Hot plate ::Large, metal shelving
This Week’s Harvest:
Our Farm Share Bag (consisting of a farmers’ choice medley of produce, in one easy to order option), Carrots, Chard, Cucumbers, Eggplant (a very few), Green Beans, Okra, Onions, Peppers (green bell, jalapeno, Sweet Lunchbox, sweet yellow, sweet red, padron), Scallions, Summer Squash, Tomatoes (red and green slicers) …plus our Pepper Jelly, and our Naturally Leavened, Hearth Baked Bread.
AND – we have added Broadfork t-shirts and hoodies to the online ordering page. Limited quantities and sizes, but see if there is something there that works for you!
Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork Crew
Recipe Suggestions: (always cataloged on our Recipe Page)
Roasted Green Beans with Sundried Tomatoes
Heuvos Rancheros with Roasted Sweet Peppers
Sweet Pepper, Onion, & Olive Pasta
Polenta & Beef Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
Cucumber Chickpea Salad with Herbed Tahini Sauce
Whole-Wheat and Zucchini Spaghetti with Basil Almond Pesto, Blistered Tomatoes and Ricotta
2014 Market Share CSA Members: Choose your selection through our Online Ordering to order for pick up on Saturday at our farm, at the Brandermill Green Market , or at the South of the James Market in Forest Hill Park.
VABF Richmond Farm Tour
Richmond Biological Farm Tour Weekend: September 20 & 21, 2014
Shake the Hands that Feed You!
Saturday & Sunday, September 20 & 21, 1 PM to 6 PM
We will be participating in this inaugural weekend of farm tours in the greater metro Richmond area. Load up your car with friends and family (one ticket covers everyone!) and head out for a day — or two — of meeting farmers and seeing where and how your food is grown. Learn more here and stay tuned for the complete list of farms on tour.