Fresh Earth Farms - CSA

Generational Divide

Fred supervising the potato planting

In this week’s newsletter we learn about how today’s young farmers think differently than the smarter, better looking, older farmers. There are also pictures from the farm — including exclusive photos from the potato planting event! But first, a few announcements.

We still have shares available. Not sure what happened but suddenly there seems to be no sales. We had a good run to catch up to last season but then the spigot turned off and lately nothing. So please spread the word. We really appreciate your support and could use the help selling the remaining shares!

You can still order other shares like ‘Shrooms, WinterShare and Coffee. Plus you can get on our EggShare waiting list. We only need a couple more to fill another case.

Still looking for someone interested in delivering shares to our drop sites. There is a lot of flexibility. Let me know if you are interested. See last week’s newsletter for details.

We’re still planning to start the season the week of June 17th but of course, much like the weather, this forecast could change.

Farm News

Let’s talk about the weather. Not sure how many of you remember last season’s weather but as a reminder we had a frost on May 30th or there about. It was the latest frost in the history of Fresh Earth Farms! This season I believe the last below freezing temperature so far was around Mid-April. If we have no more frosty temps before the fall it would likely be the earliest last frost in the history of Fresh Earth Farms. Now who doesn’t believe in climate change? Ok, two years of extremes don’t prove anything. But it is still noteworthy.

With the weather being so warm this Spring — actually I don’t know if it has been warm so maybe I should say, “With the weather not being very cold this Spring…” — we’ve rolled the dice and started planting our warm season crops. These are the crops susceptible to frosts. Is it a wise thing to do? I don’t know. The grizzly old farmer in me shakes his head and thinks, “These dag burn younguns are making a yuuuge mistake!” The dag burn youngun in me thinks, “Ok Boomer. Learn about climate change.” I’m not sure who is right.

Some warm season crops

Does planting the warm season crops early make the crops mature sooner? You’d think so. At least that is what the today’s crazy kids think. I mean, it makes sense right? If it take 60 days from transplant to mature crop wouldn’t planting it ten days earlier result in the crop being ready ten days earlier as well? 60 day maturity is 60 day maturity, no?

Well, not really if you think about it hard enough like us weathered old geezers. When we plant crops outside in the field they are subjected to the whims of Mother Nature. The temps fluctuate. The moisture fluctuates (or in the case of more recent years, the moisture dwindles quickly). It is a far harsher environment than in the warm confines of the greenhouse where all the plants’ needs are met with the concern and care of our professionally trained greenhouse attendants. We don’t provide this service once they leave for the wild. So as long as the plant has sufficient root space in the container it is growing in, it will most likely grow faster in the ideal environment of the greenhouse than out in nature. So it is probably better to wait until later to transplant the plants outdoors.

Now hold on you old coot Sure the outdoor weather wouldn’t be as wonderful as the greenhouse weather but by planting the plants out earlier it gives them time to get established and should therefore result in an earlier crop. Being free of the confines of its container allows it to spread its roots before the heat of summer descends upon us. So us “crazy kids” contend it is better to get them out earlier rather than wait until there is no risk of frost. Plus we use black plastic to heat the soil and create a nice warm micro-climate for our little babies. This is a huge hedge against potential frost. Sure we could end up losing everything if we get a really cold night but the upside is worth it.

Potato planting. Just like watching TV but outdoors and behind a tractor.

Alright you two. Knock it off. I’ll tell you the real reason for planting the warm season crops this early. Because we can. Sometimes in farming you do what you do because you can do it now and if you wait you may not have another chance. Or if you do have another chance it may not be for many weeks. What I mean by this is that we’ve had a nice string of warm, dry days that allowed us to get the beds made and allowed us the opportunity to plant the crops. Earlier this week the forecasters were forecasting rain on Wednesday into Thursday. The forecast of course changed over the course of a few days but the forecasters didn’t forecast the forecast was going to change so we went with their original forecast and assumed we needed to do as much as we could before the forecasted rain came. Who knows when the next string of warm, dry days would occur? So we buckled down and did as much planting as we could of any crops that were ready to go — cool season and warm season crops.

Of course now that we see what actually occurred weather-wise we didn’t really have to scramble as hard as we did. But we still have plenty of other warm season crops that could go in and since we took the opportunity to get a few extra beds ready for these crops we can plant them even if we get a bit of rain like we did Wednesday night. So we have plenty to do today. Unfortunately with there being only nice weather in the recent past and for the next couple of days we were neglecting some of the indoor work like hoeing the hoop house and planting the next succession of transplants — things we had scheduled for the rainy days that were in the forecast. So we burned one of these warm, sunny days (Thursday though it wasn’t sunny all day) to get these tasks accomplished. Waiting until a rainy day may be too long and just makes the job harder.

So let’s review what we learned in today’s newsletter. First, help us sell more shares! Then some stuff about weather and plants. Yes, this will be on the test.

As always, do not hesitate to send in questions, comments, jokes, brain teasers, etc. We love hearing from our members!

Sometimes the gopher damage to the irrigation lines is easy to find

Joke of the Week

What does a cloud wear under its raincoat?

Thunderwear!

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