Stellar Week at the Farm

When the weather is good almost everything falls into place at the farm. This stretch we have had since the deluge of 2012 (you remember right?) has been extra special with 70ish clear sunny days and cool but not cold nights. The vegetables have been responding and bouncing back from being underwater with new growth and vigor. The two big stories on the farm the past few days have been hay and strawberries.

Make Hay When the Sun Shines

Bright sunny days with low humidity and a good breeze are great for more than just enjoying the outdoors, they are also perfect weather for drying hay. We generally make between 2500 and 3000 bales of hay each year to feed sheep in the winter  time. The process for making hay involves cutting mature (but not too mature) grasses in the farm fields and drying it in the sun over the course of 2 or 3 days. During this process we turn the cut grass several times, exposing it to sun and wind and trying to bring it down to about 20% moisture from 85% when it is green. The battle the past few years has been trying to find a stretch of 2-3 days to get a batch of hay (300-500 bales) dried and baled. We have been cutting and baling for most of the past week putting up over a thousand bales of hay and another 250 of straw. The farm crew that has been stacking it all in the barns is less enthused!

Strawberries and Optional Upic!

Warm and dry is also great for strawberries and this years crop has been the best we have ever had here at Crystal Spring. The last few Junes we have had cold, wet or foggy conditions during strawberry harvest and these conditions cause ripe fruit to go by and rot quickly starting a domino effect of mold and rot that shorten both the yield and the number of weeks we can pick. This year we can’t keep up. The two pints we picked for you last week (over 800 pints picked total) are  there again this week and we are having trouble finding the time to get them all in. With this in mind we are going to open the strawberries to upic for CSA member during pick-up hours on Tuesday and Friday. Here’s how it will work. If you can Upic your berries on Tuesday or Friday when you come for your share you can pick 2 pints. If you are busy, don’t have time or for whatever reason can’t pick you can take one pint that we have picked for you. There will be directions on how and where to pick in the CSA room and a farmer in the field helping with details. We will provide pints to pick into and ask that you come only on pick-up days/hours and only one day during the week. We hope this will help keep up with the picking and allow us to harvest the crop for that much longer (and let us give attention to all the other crops going in the fields!) Viva Strawberries!

Kohlrabi.

What is it and does NASA import it? No kohlrabi is not from another world, it is from heaven! Try this close relative to cabbage and broccoli sliced, shredded or julienned into your next salad or stir fry. We love this fresh, rich vegetable and  encourage you to try it too. To prepare, peel the purple skin and jump right in. There are four recipes on the webside in the right sidebar, or just follow this link.

What’s in the share?

Lettuce (mix or heads)

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi leaves (think kale)

Strawberries

Next week look for zucchini, broccoli and more…

 

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