And before you know it, it’s the last day of September! We can’t believe we are in our final weeks of this CSA season. Our last deliveries will be Monday, October 19th and Thursday, October 22nd. This year has been incredible. We learned so much from our 2014 season with all the hardships of flooding and poor soil, but this year we’ve learned even more. A healthy patch of land has given us new questions to ask and has pushed us to evaluate how much we want to grow for each vegetable and variety. We never expected to be stressing about putting too much in the boxes and many weeks we struggled to get boxes closed; it’s a been a whole new game for us!
Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us how it’s going in our mid-season survey. We appreciate the feedback and the perspective it gives us for the rest of the season and for seasons to come. We will send another one at the end of the season with a few different questions and some of the same so as to include these last weeks.
After reading the responses, we wanted to address a few things.
- Lettuce! We’re so sad our lettuce supply goals have not been met. Our mid season plantings bolted almost immediately from all the amazing heat we had this season. We worked to get some fall plantings in the ground and may have some for the very end, but it just hasn’t worked as planned.
- We all have eggplant coming out of our ears – holy eggplant! Long story short, we had a very bleak harvest of eggplant last year and didn’t want that to happen again. This year, we planted too much, but the conditions have also been PERFECT for growing eggplant so they are happy and have produced like nuts.
- Our sweet corn, as well as all of our seeds, are NON-GMO.
- There is a rough list of vegetables we plan on growing each season on our website here.
- Unfortunately, we have not and will probably never grow peas as part of our CSA. The harvest time is intense and we’d be spending most of our time harvesting peas and beans and not tending to much else. The good news is, they are super easy to grow in your backyard. We will continue to grow green beans.
- Another crop that was over planted is the herbs. But the great thing is, you can dry all these herbs and store them all year long. No more buying those few dried herbs at the grocery store!
- A crop we plan to improve on is our brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, etc.). They’re a tough crop due to all the pests in our area and the scale that we grow them at, but we’ve found some success with certain methods and will work hard to offer more in coming seasons. With that said, bug damage is common on all of our crops and as much as we wish we grew perfect looking produce, that is not the case.
- Spinach doesn’t grow well in heat, so we don’t typically plan for spinach in the middle of the season. Just in the beginning and end. However, we will not have any for the end of this season.
- Crops we’re considering for future seasons: brussel sprouts, different herbs such as mint, thyme, oregano.
- And last but not least, if you don’t like greens (kale, chard, spinach, lettuce, asian greens) you won’t particularly enjoy a CSA. It’s all about eating seasonally and unless we delay delivering until late July, those early boxes are going to consist of a good number of greens. We started Forager Farm for many reasons and one of them is to get folks to try to eat seasonally again. It wasn’t so long ago that it was the only option.
As thrilled as we are about our new patch of land, we couldn’t have asked for a better group of members this season. You have all made this season that much more enjoyable and we can’t thank you enough for supporting and growing with us. Sometimes we forget it’s only our second CSA season as Forager Farm – we’re still learning everyday and couldn’t do what we’re doing without all of you.
So let’s celebrate! Adventure out to the farm for a crisp fall day full of activities, Saturday, October 17th, 11-4pm. Come see where your food is grown, hop on for a hay ride, take a tour with the farmers, pick your own pumpkins, meet all the animals, and more children’s activities. We love our members and we want to celebrate you and our season. Stay tuned for new details as we work to make this a fun event for all! It’s a time to enjoy with members, but it is open to the public as well.
Tara Heyer says
This is very helpful to know. The future planting a that you mentioned so great, especially Brussels sprouts, mint and thyme! This is our 2nd year and we love being a part of this CSA. You mentioned that you wouldn’t do peas, but they’re easy to grow. I would love tips and tricks with what is easy to grow and how to’s. Thanks again for all that you do, Hannah and Jonathan!
Sheila Moser says
Hannah and Jonathon, We have appreciated the fresh produce. Our move to Jamestown and leaving a big garden behind was made easier by receiving delicious “surprise” boxes from your garden each Monday.
We especially like the Swiss chard, herbs, carrots, beets, and now, even eggplant (took us awhile to find just the right recipe for us). Would you ever be able to add rhubarb? This may seem common to most, but not for us, as we are new in town and couldn’t bring ours along. 🙂 I agree with the choice to NOT do peas…. they are crazy to pick and SOOO time consumptive. The CORN was delicious! Thanks for all your work on our behalf. You are a precious couple of very hard workers.
Rod May says
Hi Hannah and Jonathan
So another season winds down for you. I hope your celebration on the 17th was a good one!
On the 17th I sowed my first seed in the field for another season starting with parsnips, kale, carrots, beet and potatoes.
It’s been a dry winter here with no run of but its still green after some very hot days. I’m about cut alfalfa about 2 weeks earlier than usual but at least we have something to cut unlike many farmers to the north.
Busy building sheds and a farm shop at present.
Take care both of you