Week #21 – The penultimate week

With only next week’s share left, I thought it would be nice to spend this week and next week looking back at the season. It always seems like it flies by, but that first week in June seems so long ago now. I hope you all have enjoyed all the produce this season. Thank you for supporting the farm, I think it is a great exchange for you to keep the farm running financially while we provide you with produce each week.

The year of Chard? – So, over all I think it was a pretty average season for most crops. I cannot think of any crop that really stood out as a surprise to me in how well it produced. In past seasons I would name the year as a particular crop. So for example, there has been the year of the pepper, the tomato, and the potato. However, there wasn’t any crop that I felt as overwhelmed with how many we got in comparison to those year. However, If I had to pick something, I might have to go with Swiss Chard. Both of our chard patches looked really good and were very productive. I think this is the first year that chard has been available in the pick up for every single week. I think there are several people that are over the swiss chard. I know a couple of you don’t even take it regardless of how much there is. I would plant less because we don’t go through it enough, but I am always hesitant because we could have a bad season for chard and get very little.

Other honorable mentions have to be the onions. It was the best year of onions I’ve ever had. I always wish there were more, but they take so much work for not very much return that I don’t want to commit to too many onions. The leeks are also great this year as well as the potatoes again. We had some great salad cucumbers and some good watermelons as well.

The underachievers – While picking a winning crop was a little harder this year, there were a couple of crops that I was disappointed in. First maybe the worst were the peas. We didn’t even get any so that is easily the worst crop of the year. The parsnips didn’t work out either, but they are much harder than peas so I am not too surprised. Two other crops I expect to do much better are the eggplant and peppers. The peppers have no excuse other than maybe it was a little cooler this summer. The eggplant got hit a little by the potato beetles and flea beetles so they got set back a little. Next year I should put row cover on the plants after we transplant them to protect them a bit.

Other set backs were everything the ground hog ate. It was bad this year, but I think we got their numbers down so that next season if I start off hunting them down early we shouldn’t have as big of a problem. But, they really wiped out many of the early brassica (kale, broccoli, cabbage, etc) plants.

Good share sizes – Everyone got back what they paid in terms of produce back in the middle/end of September. By the end of the season full shares will have gotten around $650 worth of produce if you would have bought it from us at the farmer’s market. Not bad really, this is roughly what shares have been for the last few years. I keep thinking we’re due to have a bad season where the shares will end up being less than you paid, but I am grateful that has not and hopefully will not happen. I think it would take a serious drought or some other weather event for that to happen at this point.

To wrap up this first week of the season review I’ll say production wise I am happy with how things have gone. In general the quantity was good. Quality wasn’t bad, there are always things I wished looked nicer or wasn’t nibbled on. So as we wind down I am happy with how the CSA season went this year. Next week I’ll continue my end of the season review with a description on the farm in general has done and we start thinking about next year.

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