The Weblog

This page contains news, event information, and other items added by the market managers.



 
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The big chill


Good morning,

This cool weather has slowed some crops down, especially cukes, squash, and beans. You should ask for beans in the comment section again because I don’t want to guess how many I’ll find.

Arugula is back this week, and yellow onions and leeks have been added.

There’s a little broccoli again. A porcupine helped itself to a number of heads. I’m going to put up a fabric wall around all the brassicas like we did for the Brussels Sprouts earlier in the season. (And the porcupines are going to pay for it.)

Regarding the ordering deadline, to avoid the complications of late orders I’m going to close ordering on the site after 8:00 Thursday morning.

Thank you for your orders.

Tim

More potatoes, a little broccoli


Greetings,

After today’s heat and humidity it looks like we’ll be slipping into cooler and – dare I say it? – more fall-like weather towards the end of the week. It’ll be welcome, at least for awhile.

We’re adding Kennebec and Yellow Finn potatoes and the first token amount of broccoli this week. A good range of other crops are still available, though some are slowing down a bit. The cherry tomatoes in the field are reluctant to crank out the way they usually do so we don’t have as many of those as I would like.

The cucumbers are very nice now, coming from the second planting (actually the third – the second planting rotted in the field in the cold and wet of late May/ early June). They should keep bearing into early September, I hope. They’re prone to various diseases, one of which is making the rounds in the region now, so we hope for the best.

The garlic is planted in the fall and this year, come spring, they grew in a soil that ranged from mud to wet into July. This was a challenge for them and a lot didn’t make it. We try to pass along good bulbs, but if you get one that’s bad let us know and we’ll replace it or refund you. Sometimes there’s just a bad spot here or there, but sometimes it’s worse than that.

On a brighter note, it’s still summer and there’s plenty of fresh food!

Enjoy,
Tim

Kale, fingerlings, and more


Greetings again,

We’re adding Russian Banana fingerling potatoes and kale this week. The kale is both regular curly and lacinato (aka dinosaur kale). I think of kale as a fall crop, but it’s nice now so off we go.

The basil in the greenhouse is finally slowing down, but we still have some, and more is on the way in the hoophouse.

There are more tomatoes from the field, both regular and heirloom, as well as a lot more Ailsa Craig onions this week.

If you want beans, ask for them in the comment section like last week. We were able to give some to everyone who asked and can hopefully do the same again.

Please order by 8:00 AM Thursday.

Thanks,
Tim

Refilling accounts and other thoughts


Greetings on a beautiful summer day,

It’s not time to order for this week, but I’ve been meaning to write for a long time about why the online market works the way it does this year. So for the curious, read on.

But first, the question has started to come up about what to do if the money in your account is getting low and you want to continue to be an active member. The harvest has been going on now for 9 weeks; we have another 10 or 11 to go. We’re less than half way!

If and when you want to add to your account you can do so in $50 increments. If you’ve been ordering an average of $20 or so dollars a week and foresee continuing at that level you might want to add another $100 dollars if there’s still a couple of months to go and your account is almost empty. Or just add $50 dollars at a time when needed. As with your initial payments, money that you add now isn’t refunded or rolled over to another year so you don’t want to overdo it.

It may make sense to start a pay as you go approach when we get to the last few weeks. We’ll see how it goes.

To add to your account please make out a check to Tim Winship and send to PO Box 143 Temple NH 03084

As for how the market works, I imagine that some people wonder why they see only a few bunches of arugula, seven pounds of cousa squash, 3 heads of romaine and other small amounts on any given week. When deciding how much to grow I used the records from 2015 to tell me how many heads of lettuce were ordered that season, or pounds of peas, or bunches of arugula, etc. These were totals for the season, not week by week. So for example, if members ordered 200 pints of Sakura cherry tomatoes in 2015 I had to figure out how many plants would provide that amount (and more) over the course of their harvest period. While this should satisfy overall demand the amount available each week would inevitably vary. Some weeks I could get 25 pints, other only 15. So sometimes the Sakuras have sold out and not everyone who wanted some could get them. This situation applies to a lot of the crops. There may be enough for the season, but some weeks a crop will come up short. I’m sure it’s frustrating sometimes to go online to order and find that one or more items that you wanted are sold out. Unfortunately, there’s no way around that without growing way too much.

I know that a lot of people like our CSA because they can choose what and how much they want (if it’s available!) and not just be given a set amount of produce each week. As one member said, she likes choosing her vegetables, instead of her vegetables choosing her. The challenge for me is to figure out how much to grow when I don’t know how much people are going to order. If this were a typical CSA I would have a better sense about how much to grow because the amounts given out would be a relatively known quantity. To avoid too much waste I have to try to grow only so much. The result is that for members there can a be shortage of certain items at times and for us a certain amount of produce gets composted or tilled under. It’s the usual trick of trying to find the right balance. There’s inevitably a lot of squash in the compost pile since it has to get picked at least every other day to keep it producing. Things were a little easier when we we’re growing for our big farmer’s market, but that’s not happening anymore so here we are.

There are other reasons that we might not have much of something. Nature rules on the farm and weather, insects, and disease can alter the yield of a crop in a short amount of time. Or else the farmer forgets to plant lettuce one week and makes other errors that create a problem.

The last thing I want to mention is about pricing. Many of you have seen an adjustment on your invoice which is then carried over to your account. I had a fantasy that we could avoid that this season, but that was just magical thinking. Ideally, all the produce would be priced by the each and not by the pound, but the plants do what they do. Some tomatoes weigh a pound so no adjustment is needed, but most of the time after weighing various combinations of sizes we give up and have to adjust accordingly. Because I don’t feel that we can debit your account without permission we err on the side of choosing a tomato or onion that’s underweight and credit your account. The squash is almost always over weight, but it’s relatively abundant so we don’t worry about that. The garlic is a dollar each based on their size being equivalent to between $9-10 dollars a pound.

I don’t know if this answers any questions people might have about the workings of the CSA, but I wanted to pass the information along. If you have any questions or comments let me know.

Thanks,
Tim

Ailsa Craig onions and order deadline


Greetings,

A note about the ordering deadline:

ORDERS HAVE TO BE IN BY 8:00 THURSDAY MORNING

We all forget stuff and I like to give people some leeway, but things get complicated for us if the orders aren’t in on time. Here’s why:

At 8:00 Thursday morning I print out the list of what to harvest and we head out to the field. We harvest all morning and sometimes for part of the afternoon. If there’s time, we do field work. I finish up harvesting Friday morning and put the orders together in the afternoon. If orders come in late and we don’t see them until lunchtime or later on Thursday then keeping track of what and how much to harvest gets complicated and more time-consuming.

So, if your order comes in late it will likely be cancelled. Circumstances may allow us to fill it, but that can’t be counted on.

Meanwhile, Ailsa Craig onions are starting to size up and field tomatoes are beginning to ripen. We have an heirloom variety you can read about in the market section. We have a few cherry tomatoes from the field as well.

The price of greenhouse tomatoes are now $3/lb., same as the field-grown ones.

We’re kind of limping along with the first planting of cucumbers. A new planting is on the way!

If you would like some beans ask for them in the comment section. We have a 100 foot row of pole beans, but I think production will be too erratic
to list them on the website. If we have some they’ll be $3.00/lb. and I’ll debit your account.
They’re a long, slender variety called Fortex.

If you have any questions or comments, let me know.

Enjoy,
Tim

Happy August.


Greetings,

It’s about 25 degrees warmer this Tuesday than last. Summer’s back for now.

Blueberries ended a week or more early due to the fungus called mummy berry. Better luck next year, hopefully.

I’ve added Bull’s Horn peppers which I’ve been waiting to pick until they begin to turn red. They’re smaller than the greenhouse reds and not as thick walled, but they have good flavor and have been very popular.

I’ll send out another email soon explaining a little bit about how this market works this season in terms of the coming and going of different crops and amounts available.

Enjoy,
Tim

Carrots, garlic and potatoes


Greetings,

I was out checking on the crops this morning in a coat and wool hat. Quite the cool down, but good to get the rain.

If you want blueberries please get your order in by Thursday morning at the latest so we have time to pick (weather permitting). And as usual, it’s helpful to have all orders in by then, with or without blueberries.

U-pick blueberries continue Wed. to Sun. 8-5.

We’re going to start digging carrots and red potatoes this week, as well as begin to pull the garlic.

We have a bit of a lettuce gap this week and the cool weather and the ageing of the first planting slows down the squash so not so much of that.

A second planting of cukes and squash are coming along, and more beets went in this weekend. Curly and lacinato kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, red and green, were set out from the greenhouse in the last week or so. Spinach and baby bok choy will be sown in the field soon. We have some tall, robust looking brussel sprout plants and the Hawaiian ginger is finally beginning to look somewhat big and tropical.

Thanks as ever for your orders.

Tim

U-pick in he evening !


Hi,

A couple of us were picking blueberries between 5 and 7 last night and it was a great time of day to be doing thst. And the berries are plentiful right now.

So, if you wish you could pick, but find it too hot we’ll be OPEN FOR U-PICK UNTIL 7:30 IN THE EVENING THRU SATURDAY.

The temperature is supposed to cool down by Sunday.

Tim

Blueberry season


Greetings,

Blueberry season has begun in earnest. Please note that there’s a two pint limit per order per week for the berries. They take a long time for us to pick on top of all the other things to harvest and field work. If you would like more than two pints please mention an amount in the comment section and we’ll try to provide.

Better yet, if you have the time, come pick them yourself. We’re open Wed. to Sun. 8-5. If those days don’t work for you, you can also come Monday or Tuesday. The earlier the better if it’s going to be hot. Bring your own containers or we can provide.

Pea season is pretty much over, but you can ask for snaps or shells in the comment section and we’ll provide if we can.

We have some peppers now, both field and greenhouse. Cukes have slowed down in the hoop house and are just beginning in the field.

Despite the occasional showers we haven’t had much rain recently so we’re back to irrigating.

Thank you for your orders. I hope you’re finding the produce a welcome addition to your meals.

Tim

Blueberry season


Greetings,

The early variety of blueberries are ripening so we’ll be open for u-pick this Saturday and Sunday 8-5. Our regular u-pick hours will then be Wed. to Sun.8-5. The price for CSA members is $2.70/lb.(regular price is $3.00/lb.)

The u-pick berries are paid for separately from your online account by cash or check. We’re not yet picking for CSA orders.

This may be the last week for peas. It’s always a short season and especially so this year as the plants didn’t grow as much as usual, probably because of all the rain we had. And more rain on the way!

Thanks for your orders. And for getting them in by Thursday morning – that’s a big help!

Tim