Five inches. Not a big number taken by itself but when we’re talking a single day’s rain on the farm, it’s monumental. Those of you who came to the farm last Friday (or spent anytime outside at all for that matter) will not forget the intensity of that rain anytime soon. The farm crew started our harvest day as usual that morning at six o’clock with an inch and half already in the rain gauge. The gushes kept coming and by breakfast at eight o’clock we were seeing small rivers running between each bed in the fields. Major rainfall can be a bit fun if you’re ready for it. The fields are a bit weedy right now which goes a long way towards slowing down the runoff and keeping the soil where we want it (not in Maquoit Bay).Here’s to the positive side of weedy fields! All of us have good rain gear (except for me – my left boot sprung two leaks that morning) and the day was going well until it came time to load the trucks with cabbage and broccoli. We harvest these crops into half olive barrels that weigh up to 60 pounds each when they’re full so we drive around the field and pick them up with the trucks. I had to practice Hollywood stunt driving in 4WD, gunning the old Ford up to a good clip to launch it through the eddies of water and soil between each barrel. Several stops later we had finished harvest and spent most of the remaining morning trying to hear ourselves think while the rain pelted the aluminum roof over the washing barn.
Past the drama of rainy harvest, all of this water and the multiple days of darkness on either side of it has been making this job of growing food a challenge. Wet ground is hard on young plants -which at this time of year is all we have. Without strong root systems all of our crops start to run out of nutrients as the rain washes them from the soil and the lack of sun cools the ground and stops the soil’s biological life from making new nutrients available. I have to look on the bright side. I know that it will come to an end and the likelihood of us completely losing any crop is small at this point. What I would expect from
this biblical period is some reduction in yield for some crops. Exactly which crops will be impacted and the extent of the losses are unknowns at this point; we will have to wait awhile yet for those answers.
Double cabbage begins this week…nothing like coleslaw. Look for the right hand sidebar on the website and scroll down for cabbage recipes (click on “cabbage” for seven suggestions). Chinese cabbage is also known as Napa and you can use it just like you do the old familiar stuff.
Look for our new “greens key” handout at pickup this week. It tells you what we’re growing in the way of greens and the best ways to use them. We sized them to fit handily on the fridge as a reference for the months to come.
Great local products at pick-up. Eggs, organic milk, cheese, fresh bread, lamb sausage, bacon, pork sausage, ground beef, fair trade coffee and organic gelato, all locally produced, will be available. Try them out to compliment your vegetables.
Pre-order bread, milk, and eggs this week for next week’s pick-up. Talk to one of us at pickup if you would like to preorder and reserve these items for next week. Let us know how much you would like, what day you will come for pickup, and if it will be a standing order.
Crystal Spring Farm Day Camp has a few space spaces available both weeks (July 6th-10th and July 13th-17, 9am-3pm), kids ages 6-10 are invited to join us here at the farm. Read more and register for camp at our website: http://crystalspringcsa.com/farm-camp or contact Maura at firstname.lastname@example.org or 729.1112.
Crystal Spring Blend Coffee. That’s right, our own blend of fair trade locally roasted coffee from Brunswick roaster Wicked Joe’s Coffee will be available this week. Twelve ounce bags are $10 with all profits going to help put a new roof on our barn, re-wire the outbuildings and retrofit our water supply. Drink deeply.