This first one is the set up. It was hot out so we decided to use the coolers rather than actual pre-made bushels so that your veggies would stay as fresh as possible.
This was a share last week, with kale, chard, spinach, lettuce, broccoli and mint. We'd love to hear how you used your share, so please comment if you have any recipes to share, or if you have any questions.
Here is Clemens with member Eileen, who can claim the distinction of being the very first Solstice Hill Farm CSA member to pick up a share. :)
HSCSAM = Happy, satisfied, CSA members. (I'm borrowing this from the bank, HSBC, whose teller once claimed stood for "happy, satisfied banking customer"; really it's something like Hongkong Shanghai Banking Corporation; ahhh, marketing...).
As a reminder, PLEASE REMEMBER TO RETURN YOUR BUSHEL if you took it with you. And of course if you don't want to deal with taking and returning the bushel, you can bring your own bags and containers to transport your veggies home from distribution.
In farm news this past week, Clemens and Jenny decided it was high time to invest in an irrigation system so we can spend less time on watering plants during dry spells and more time on seeding, planting, cultivation and harvesting. We installed and tested it out on the farm's well, but in the near future it will draw on pond water instead. In the picture below the main valves are shown; the bottom one will have a hose attached down towards the pond. The ones above (not currently attached) are for if/when we use overhead irrigation (basically a giant overhead lawn sprinkler which would stand out about 8ft high in the field and is supposed to spray about 160ft in circumference).
The low pressure hose (suitable for the drip irrigation we'll be doing) runs the length of the entire 2 acre field.
Here are the valves to the drip lines in the (future) melon beds. The plastic helps keep the warmth and moisture in the bed, while keeping weeds from growing.
We were very happy to have the dry, hot spell end on Thursday with a much needed rain storm, but we got something close to 2 inches of rain between Thursday evening and Saturday, so now we're hoping for a brief respite again so we can till the next planting beds.
The weather also brought some scary news for us. As Clemens was approaching home on Thursday evening after his trip to PA to pick up the new irrigation system, an emergency broadcasting system announcement broke in on the radio describing a severe storm just north of Richmondville (i.e. right where the farm is located!) and as he drove through patches of fog as the radio skipped in and out, he worried about the fields (Clemens tells this story much better). Sure enough the next morning, while checking the field, hail damage was discovered! Most noticably the big, beautiful chard leaves were torn, as were the leaves on the lettuce, but for the most part we were lucky, as it was a reminder that severe weather can completely wipe out a farm's entire crop.
So this seems like an opportune moment to thank you all again for investing in the farm this season! We (Clemens, Jenny and I) look forward to seeing you again this Tuesday, 4-6pm at Maranatha on Elm St.
And remember, if you can't make it during that time, you can send a friend or family member to pick up your share for you; otherwise, you can pick up your share the next day at the farm, though please be warned that the last bit of road to the farm and the roads in the farm itself are unpaved and currently rather uneven and a little muddy.