Week #20 – 2016 CSA Season

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What’s in the Box: Red potatoes, green peppers, beauty heart radish, red radish, assorted sweet pepper, serrano chile pepper, mesclun salad mix, porcelain garlic, red storage onion, chives.

What’s going on at the farm:  We have some great crops for you in this last week of the CSA season including beauty heart radishes,  fresh salad greens, and more.   Our mesclun salad mix this week contains mizuna, red mustard, green mustard, baby red kale, arugula, lettuces, and choi. We are running out of onions, squash, and most everything with good timing as frost creeps in and the season has come full circle.  It has been a challenging but successful year planting schedule wise but we are packing in as many veggies as possible for you once again this week for our last CSA delivery of 2016.  Thanks to everyone who was with us for our ninth season of farming and for being a part of the season.   Your support and participation are greatly appreciated and I hope you enjoyed all the veggies and fruits!  There were a lot of great crops and flavors to enjoy throughout the season, both on our plates, and in the fields.   I know I gave it my all physically but what keeps me going personally is the ultimate goal of providing lots of healthy fresh organic crops to enjoy so all our families can eat locally and farm the earth sustainably without harmful chemicals, antibiotics, and GMOs.  I would like to think that it makes a small difference which works towards a greater goal then just us, and I am very proud of all of you and myself for being a small part of this big picture together.   Hopefully we will see all of you back for another season next year.   We will be taking sign ups for next season from returning members beginning in December and you will receive e-mail reminders on the progress of sign-ups and our preparations as we move through the winter months.   Generally early sign-ups are encouraged to help the farm start up again bringing in the seeds, fertilizer, soil, equipment, supplies, etc… that we need to prepare for a successful planting schedule to be executed properly.  These events happen very early in January through March despite the lack of field activity. In fact by March 1st we will then be planting like crazy in the greenhouse again growing thousands and thousands of transplants, stacking up hours of labor again, and spreading tons of plant based compost over the semi-frozen fields.  Before spring there will be much to do as well and the season will continue on for a bit.  We still have three markets a week through October, some produce like winter spinach still coming, and so I will be attending some winter markets this year up until Christmas time.  We will also be planting our two varieties of garlic over the next week.  It was another good garlic year this year and besides stocking you all up over the season, and especially the last two weeks, we are planting more then ever for next season. Our seed stock is huge which should make for some great garlic next season!   We will be breaking up the bulbs into individual cloves for planting this week and they will be hand planted before the end of October.  Our potting soil for spring is all ready ordered and will be shipped here in early November too!  It will all be trucked in from Vermont Compost Company in Vermont for us and many other organic farms in Southern Wisconsin and ours will come in the form of three huge sling bags.  I then bag by hand with a shovel and sacks all 6,000 pounds of soil and stack it neatly in the greenhouse where it will wait for spring until we start onions and many other crops again in March.   It is always an exciting trip as I have to pick up the sling bags from a main location and partner up with another local farming friend with a rental truck so we can help each other get it done.  It is kind of wild to think that we are not even quite done with this season and yet moving into the next one but that is also the way this type of farming works.   It is all a cycle constantly moving in rhythm to our climate and cycles here in Wisconsin and this late fall early winter months prepare us for reflection, continuing education, not to mention healing physically in preparation for a new cycle.  Many other less exciting organizational projects await this winter as well like itemizing seeds and receipts.   Getting to everything that the season did not allow time for is important in the off season as well before things get crazy busy again including greenhouse and other farm repairs, home repairs, and plenty of paperwork and numbers to crunch.  I will work on clearing out trees and undergrowth which is always creeping in on a few of our fields as well.   The dense undergrowth of some areas always encourages more deer activity and in some areas decreases light too much.   On our 2 acre farm every square yard is valuable space!  Of course I am also looking forward to getting some rest for the aching body, family time with the kids, and the holidays too.   It was a challenging and beautiful journey as always and I think I speak for everyone at the farm when I say we enjoyed growing for you!  Have a great winter and from my family to yours, thank you!

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