Welcome to the 2016 Blandford CSA season. I am excited it is finally here, it will be great to see all of you come pick up produce again. I hope you all had a great winter and that you are enjoying this warm couple of week’s we’ve been having.
If you are new or need a reminder, I will be posting a new blog post every Monday or Tuesday during the season so you can get a picture of what is going on at the farm through my eyes. We will have some blogger guest from time to time posting at other times during the week with some tips and perspectives from being a CSA member as well. So I hope you are able to follow along and find the blog helpful.
To get us started this first week I wanted to share how the spring has been and how things are looking so far.
The biggest factor every spring that we have to work around is the weather. Each spring is different with when it will warm up and how often and how much rain we get. Early in March things were warming up quicker than other years and we were able to get into the fields to do some prep work a little early. However, mid April through the beginning of May was on the wet side so it was difficult to start getting transplants in the ground. Fortunately, our soil dries out better than some other farms I know and we could work around it a little, but it was a little hard.
The beginning of May was also consistently cooler than other years. We would normally have a few cold nights, but I remember several cold nights in a row which really slowed the transplants down. So much so that now most early transplants are roughly a week or two behind. The recent warm weather has helped get back on track a little, but there were a few things I was hoping to have this first week that we will have to wait another week for.
With this warm weather the weeds are also starting to grow. This is probably the close to the busiest time of year as we still have greenhouse seeding, lots of transplanting, busy market days selling plants, the start of the CSA, and trying to find time to get to those first weeds. We just have to get through these next two or three weeks then things start to calm down a little and we can take a breath.
One unexpected thing this season is that there are tons of flea beetles. I’ve never seen so many before. Even on the things we covered we have lots of them. I know a couple other people are dealing with the same thing so I assume it is the weather, but it is frustrating. I assume it was the cool wet weather since flea beetles are generally just a spring problem. They don’t seem as bad now, but there are some plants that look a little rough.
There are some positives over previous years. There are some nice plantings of spinach and cilantro coming. I’ve had trouble starting these two crops the last two years, but I was able to get them going this spring. While I didn’t get as good of a germination as I’d like, we also have some peas coming along nicely. This was also a disappointment last year.
We also have cucumbers already in the greenhouse, which is the earliest I’ve ever had them. The greenhouse tomatoes are coming along as well. They should be ready in a month though so we need to wait a little longer.
Overall a pretty good spring. I hope the remainder of the season can continue on as well as this spring, we’d be in good shape if that were the case.