Isn’t this weather beautiful?! I was just out pulling weeds in the garden and the mild temperatures were so nice to enjoy. The weather sure has our plants confused though.
To us it feels like it has been a very slow growing spring here. I don’t know if it is because I’m impatient and overly excited about the CSA or what. Since moving here we have been working hard to rebuild the soils for the garden. Some of you may already know we moved to Southern Illinois about a year ago. We are working on Tanglefoot Ranch, a roughly 1000 acre working cattle, sheep, commodity crop and soon to be a farm dinner serving farm. We moved here to work on an established farm, to learn the ins and outs; to make a start of farming.
Anyway, the house we reside in is part of Tanglefoot Ranch’s 1000 acres and it’s been growing grass/ weeds and forest in the years prior to us moving in. We cleared a substantial garden plot that we are generously applying our own compost to. We are trying to rescue fruit trees that were found overgrown and we’ve planted new fruit trees and bushes but I’m getting off topic here…
I really think the soils are in good condition (lots of earthworms and good bugs!) but they are neglected and hungry for added nutrients which probably is a key factor in what I described as a “slow growing spring”. Luckily, our farm animals are helping us to turn out some very rich compost that goes right back to the garden. Sustainable farming is a beautiful cycle that takes some time, hard work and patience to establish.
Our spring planting weather also started unseasonably cool and wetter than normal, which hasn’t helped the matter. Unfortunately, the “slow growing spring” has delayed the start of CSA deliveries. It looks like we are just a few weeks away from CSA garden harvests and we wanted to give you a firm date for the first pickup. Our first pickup week will be July 10th 2015!
What we anticipate coming down the pipeline for each share holder for the first week is:
- Peppers (cute snacking peppers & cooking peppers)
- Possibly beans, kale, chard and radish if they are ready
- Plus we are throwing in some eggs & goats milk soap as a fun bonus for the first week.
We also have “volunteer” tomato plants to give away if you’d like them. These are plants that have sprung forth naturally from fallen fruits of last season. These are heirloom varieties but we aren’t quite sure which varieties since they planted themselves.
We love volunteer plants because they’ve adapted themselves a bit after their seeds have overwintered in the garden, plus they really tend to be the fastest growing plants in the garden.
These mystery tomato plants are either cherry tomato, a slicing tomato or an amish paste tomato. Amish paste tomatoes are amazingly huge (some weigh a pound!) sauce tomatoes that are low in seeds and have little core to them. We have also planted some of these beauties this year for our CSA. If you’d like some free mystery tomato starts let us know and we’ll dig you some!
We had initially envisioned having two sets of baskets for each CSA family. One to take foods home in one week and another to rotate through the following week. Families would simply bring back their empty basket each week and exchange it for a full one… Then the baskets I ordered online arrived and they are NOTHING like I wanted them to be so our ideas have had to adapt.
Please bring your own bags or a large box to pickup to take your shares home in. We will have things separated out by families but we will want to retain the box/ basket that we are harvesting your food in so that we can reuse it each week.
-Pickup will be on the farm for local families on Friday July 10th, 2015 from 6-7pm
-The Paducah families can pick up their share on Saturday, July 11th, 2015 from 6:30-7pm at Noble Park (the playground)
We are excited to get you your first week’s CSA shares and hope you are having a great summer!