Mid Summers Dream…
Ah, July how fast you came and went! After the most wretched June on record the dog days of summer arrived in full force. Amazing what a difference the sun makes to the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and all the other long term fall crops after a solid six weeks sitting in muddy, pool collecting, soil. As we head into the month of August the crew and fields are primed to make the most of the harvest to come.
The first third of the CSA season has now past us b y and from the feed back we have been getting, most of our clients are pleased with the output they have been getting. Most are also aware of the challenges the weather played on all growers in the regions – first the unstoppable rain, and then the record breaking heat of mid July. We have been able to bring to the tables, and to market, quite a few crops and we still have the majority to come. So far we have had head lettuces (red, green, and romaine), arugula, asain braising mix, four types of kale, collard greens, swiss chard, mustard greens, sugar snap peas, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and some I am surely missing. However, the harvest and yields have been up and down due to said weather but things are certainly stabilizing. August, September and October will be robust and the fans will be inundated with field red tomatoes, as well as heirlooms and sun golds, fingerling and blue potatoes, broccoli, leeks, salad greens and cooking greens galore, and so much more.
The markets have been up and down, some places are doing very well, like Wooster Square in New Haven and Newtown/Sandy Hook, but a couple have been let down by poor attendance (Kent, Weston, and on the Green in New Haven in particular) and by overall poor marketing by their respective organizers. We are hopeful that the next few months will improve and that the people will return to spending their funds on local food.
Our farm stand will start its annual sales as soon as our tomatoes arrive and that cannot happen soon enough. One of the knocks 0 i know, there are many – but the most serious one is that our stand never has anything there when people drive over to shop. This is partially true. Usually there is something at the stand but there are also so many days in the summer when we leave stuff there and it withers away. Its a two way street, and we will look to improve our stands set up and make sure there is stuff there for people to but… besides tomatoes!
Lastly a s quick word about the crew. This summer may very well be the best group of guys and gals we have ever had work with us at Waldingfield. From the leadership of Jed right down through to the rookie JC, all of the core have done such impressive work. Doggedly they work the fields, and in return for a modest stipend, they have never wavered from the goals of the farms 2013 plan. To them we owe so much to the success of the next five months. It is only after they all head back to college, or even hogh school, that the great majority of their work will bare fruit. So when you next enjoy something from the farm, think of the crew. They are farmers through and through.