After this week, there will be only 7 weeks remaining for the CSA. It is about a third of the entire CSA, but the level of stress that I feel at this time of the year is less than a third compared to earlier in the season. I don’t have to worry about how some of the big crops will do, I can pretty much tell just how much of everything we will have and when it will be in the CSA. In some ways these last 7 weeks will feel like we are coasting to the end.
This doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to do. The potato and winter squash harvest still looms over my head. We’ve spent over 25 man hours out there and we’ve only gotten 1 winter squash variety harvested and less than half of the potatoes dug. We only have 3 or 4 more weeks to get that done before things start to freeze. We also have to clean up the fields by taking out the ground fabric where the melons were, clean up all the drip lines, and take out all the tomato stakes. Plus, clean up the greenhouse to get it fully prepared for winter growing. Not to mention that this is the busiest time of the season for harvesting.
Even though there is all this work yet, cleaning up the farm and harvesting is far less stressful. I don’t have to worry about the tomato crop getting early blight and dying in July. I don’t have to worry that we get the fall brassica crop is late and it won’t be ready in time. I also don’t have to worry that we forget to plant something or that a groundhog will eat all the broccoli again. Most of all the crops are basically ready to be harvested in a few weeks and we just have to go out and get them.
It is also nice this time of year because I can pace out certain crops for distribution to make the weeks fairly even. There are several crops that are in no rush to be harvested and distributed. Things like the potatoes, onions, and garlic can sit in the barn till things get a little slower (or we run out of trays). Other crops like the leeks and celeriac don’t go bad just waiting in the field a few more weeks. In fact, there are many leeks ready now, but they won’t be in the CSA till the end of this month through October.
Overall there is just less unpredictability this time of year, which is always nice when farming. We could always get a frost next week and kill off some things early, but part of me wouldn’t mind that either…