Well, we didn’t intend for this newsletter to become a monthly newsletter, but if the current pace here on the farm keeps up, a monthly newsletter this will become. (Though – all pics in here are from the past week.)
It’s been a great late-spring this year. Plants have grown beautifully. Numerous crops seem to taste better than they tasted last season. How much of that may be mental, we’re not sure. But it doesn’t matter! Conditions are so much better here this spring/summer than last summer due to weather that we are just delighted.
Sure, we’ve lost some plants to bugs, disease, or rot….but not many. (See the vicious Japanese Beetle in the photo above. They are descending and defoliating a lot of plants right now. But we don’t think they will eat the whole farm.) What a comparison to last season! 2018 rains were so destructive. We have been celebrating many harvests around here! Even the carrots have cooperated for the most part.
In other news, we have been very happy with our new Farm Share system. We offered customized farm shares this season for the first time and we love it! We’re hearing good things from our members as they are able to choose from what we have available to harvest. On our end, we love using a software that allows members to choose what food (or flowers) they are getting instead of us choosing for them. See the white labels on the boxes in the picture below?
Those are the labels for the individual members, listing what they are getting in their individualized share. How great! We’ve also been able to offer an every-other week option for the first time, plus a larger share option. We are happy.
And so here we are at the Summer Solstice. We’ve harvested Eggplants today, plus tomatoes, of course, and the first Okra and even a couple of sweet orange peppers.
We’ll mark the change in seasons by eating pizza and veggies and making art with some farm friends this evening. We’ll also take some deep breaths, because this day also marks the beginning of the hardest two months for us on the farm.
The next month is a crescendo to the hottest part of the summer, and the warmth and humidity bring significant challenge to a lot of summer crops as they battle off pests and fungal disease. So, we’ll plan for stress-reducing activities (friends! ice! good food! swimming!) and look forward to ripe watermelons. September always arrives, it’s always sweet when it does, and in the mean time, the eating is delicious.
Look at these onions! (This is just a fraction of them.) We are so happy and proud. Come eat them up!
Our harvest this week includes…
Basil, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Rainbow Chard, Cucumbers, Dill, Eggplants, Flowers, Garlic, Lettuce Mix, Kale, Onions (Yellow Sweet ones and Purple Torpedo ones), Microgreens, Mint, Parsley, Salad Mix, Scallions, Summer Squash, Tomatoes (slicing ones and cherry tomatoes), Zucchini, and our Breads that we bake Saturday morning…this week’s varieties are Seed Loaf, Sunny Greens Loaf, Raisin & Cinnamon, Whole Rye, and Baguettes.
We have all these veggie beauties in our FarmStand at our farm, which is now staffed on Saturday mornings from 9-12, and open and self-serve from 9a-8p daily. Plus, we’ll bring these items on Saturday to the Farmer’s Market @ St. Stephen’s – which is outside in the parking lot from 8-12.
Keep an eye on what we have available via Richmond’s only online farmers’ market: FallLineFarms.com.