What’s in Upic?……
Snap Peas and Snow Peas
The long awaited opening of Upic is this week with just one crop to start out…Peas! These are sweet eat-the-whole-pod snap and snow peas that rarely make it to the car, much less all the way home to family members. As we open the upic field with just one crop we ask that you only take a pint (will be provided) per share this first week. This will ensure that everyone can take some of these home to enjoy. We will open up some of the other crops next week as well.
Here’s the skinny on how Upic works. We prepare, plant, and weed this ½ acres plot just for you, the members of the farm. Growing there you will find cherry tomatoes, green beans, herbs, flowers, and most notably this week, peas. These are crops that are particularly rewarding to harvest and can add a lot of value to your share as they often are great accompaniments to the “field crops” we harvest and wash for you each week.
The important thing to understand about this field is that it belongs to everyone who has a share in the farm. There are 225 shares this year and we try very hard to plan each planting so that everyone will be able to sample every crop. The idea is that all of these crops are compliments to the field crops and not necessarily staples in and of themselves. While we would love to be able to plant enough basil for everyone to make pesto for the winter or sow enough beans to share with your neighbors, it’s just not possible in the space we have to work with. Those of you that split shares, we ask that you be particularly aware of your picking quantities.
With the exception of these first couple weeks we will not suggest amounts for you to take from the upic field. The idea is that we all take our share and consciously leave behind enough for everyone else. The upic field has always been our grand experiment in community spirit and in eleven years of CSA growing all over the Northeast we have never been disappointed.
Here are a few points and guidelines to keep Upic going strong all summer:
• Picking is open on Tuesday, Fridays, and Sundays from dawn to dusk. Please pick just once a week.
• Look for the signs we post in the field indicating what is ready to pick. If you don’t see a sign, please don’t pick it.
• Scissors are provided to help in cutting things that need to be cut (not peas). Please use them –clean cuts help keep the plants healthy and productive. Please don’t put scissors in your pockets! You’ll remember them when you get home. The loop on each pair is to go around your wrist and keep them handy for picking.
• Be gentle with the plants when picking and use both hands, one to hold the plant and one to cut or pick. Parents please teach your little ones how to do this before letting them loose.
• Be aware of where you are walking and try to walk between the beds and not on them.
• Know and teach your young ones that all of the fencing at the farm is electrified, including the fence around the upic field.
• Make sure the kids (and adults) stay out of the buildings and off of the tractors and farm equipment. The farm is old and there are numerous serious dangers to be found.
• Weeding, picking rocks and squashing bad bugs are always welcome. If you question whether a bug is bad leave it be: it could be an ally.
• Find a farmer and ask us if you are unsure how or what to pick.