Fresh Earth Farms - CSA

Blowin’ in the Wind

Tomatoes are flowering!

In this week’s newsletter we explore a less frequently discussed weather topic. But first, a couple of announcements.

We have a potential new offering. Please read below if you are interested in a FruitShare!

We are still selling our VeggieShares. Please order a few more so we can sell out. If you can’t order more, maybe you know someone who could? Send them our way!

Of course there are still other things to buy like mushrooms, eggs, coffee and winter shares. Please purchase them soon too!

Still shooting for the week of June 17th. I’ll be sending out pick-up instructions for your pick-up location sometime in the next 10 days or so.

New Offering

We are considering doing a FruitShare this season. You old timers may remember when we did FruitShare in the past. It was quite tasty and popular! The difference this time is that instead of someone else purchasing the fruit and assembling the boxes for us, we are going to handle the purchasing and box assembly ourselves. The plan is to have nine weeks of fruit during the course of the season — every other week. We are targeting a price of $450 with a value somewhere around $500-$550. All fruit will be certified organic. We will purchase fruit in-season and though it may not be local, it will be grown here in the US.

As an example, here is what we would provide in a share for the week of June 3rd (if we were already offering it): Two quarts of strawberries, two avocados, three pints of blueberries, 1.5 lbs of green grapes, and three lemons. Using local store prices this is over $60 worth of organic fruit. Each week will be different and is based on what is in season and available from our supplier.

We need at least 20 people to purchase it to make the numbers work. This is the first time we are handling the logistics ourselves so there may be a few hiccups and so we ask that if you want to participate that you are understanding and flexible. We think this is a great addition to our veggies, mushrooms, coffee and flowers. With enough interest we will make it happen. If you’d like to participate please let me know ASAP. Once we get to 20 I will add the item to our store for people to purchase. Let me know if you have any questions.

Great looking garlic!

Farm News

One weather phenomena I haven’t talked about much in these newsletters is wind. I guess if I think about it, I have talked about wind but it was usually when we had a strong wind that toppled the corn or lifted the hoop house out of the ground — a strong wind that does significant, obvious damage. The wind I haven’t talked about is where it isn’t extremely strong to make the evening news but sufficiently strong to damage tender young transplants. Maybe the reason I haven’t talked about it much is that it usually isn’t a huge problem. But this spring it seems the wind has been unusually strong, relentless and dehydrating.

Mud outline of the victim. The crow footprint on the right may be a clue — or a red herring.

We planted the first succession of cucumber plants a week or two ago. The plants we put in looked great and were sufficiently large to hold on to their root balls while transplanting. When we were done it looked like we had a great field of small cucumber plants. Then the wind came.

When I looked at the plants on the following Friday — around five days later — many of them had fallen over and wilted. You could see some had their stems broken. Other just looked desiccated. When we looked at the plastic mulch by the plants you could see arcs of dirt and rain — like the streaks on your windshield from the wipers — that were telltale signs of the plants being whipped back and forth as they desperately held onto the ground. These poor little plants that spent their whole lives in the cozy confines of the greenhouse then the cold frame and finally out on the acclimation table didn’t stand a chance. Well, most stood a chance since the majority survived. But more perished in this wind than we are used to seeing.

The pickling cukes were smaller, stouter plants and seemed to fair the best. Our standard slicing cukes had more damaged and dead plants than the pickling cukes. Finally, our Persian cukes — something we are trialing this year after one farm member requested them — took the biggest hit. I suspect the Persian cukes plant stems being thinner than the slicers caused their greater demise. And then of course there are the cucumber plants the deer have already eaten.

A couple more victims. Plus, did the deer have something to do with it? The footprint is suspicious.

Fortunately I haven’t seen wind damage to any other plants. I suspect since cucumber plants have hollow, more brittle stems they are more susceptible to this type of damage. They also tend to have longer stems with relatively big leaves so are particularly prone to stem breakage. Thankfully we hadn’t planted out their cousins the melons or watermelons yet which could have had a similar casualty rate. In any case, we should have cucumbers this year though not as many as last year (is that cheering I hear?) And we have a second planting we will seed in the greenhouse this week. We may also try direct seeding in the holes where the cuke plants died to see how well they germinate and grow. So despite Mother Nature breaking wind we will persevere with our cucumbers and there should be plenty to go around.

That is enough for now. As always, feel free to send in comments, suggestions, jokes, interest in FruitShare or anything else you think would be interesting for me to read.

Joke of the Week

What did the pickle say to the cucumber?

Come on in, the waters brine!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!