Hi everyone! It’s that
time of year when the farm season is really starting to get into full swing! The days are becoming longer and brighter,
and although the change comes in fits and starts, the days are also becoming
warmer. That’s fortunate, because we’ve
been spending a lot of hours outside this month! We’ve been doing a lot of planting and seeding
in both the field and greenhouses, lots of weeding, plenty of turning cover
crop under into the field, and unusually for spring, quite a lot of irrigation
setup. Fred says this is the driest spring
he has ever experienced, so we’ve been moving our irrigation lines around a lot
to make sure all of the veggies get enough water. The dry weather this spring has actually made
our lives a little easier on a number of fronts. Most years, we have to time our field work
around when it will actually be dry enough to plant, and before we can plant,
each bed requires a certain amount of preparation that also can’t be done when
it’s too muddy. So we’ve had a lot more flexibility
to our planting schedule, which has made the allocation of time and labor
resources a lot less like a really advanced game of Tetris. Another way in which the dry spring is
beneficial is that it actually helps keep weed pressure down. When the water for our plants comes not from
the sky but from our drip line irrigation, it means that only the plants we
want get watered, and the weeds don’t, and we don’t have to spend nearly as
much time weeding. It also makes the process
of washing and packing all of the vegetables easier, because everything isn’t spattered
with mud when we harvest it, which saves us time in the barn later.
Our spring mix is protected from the severe
cold under plastic low tunnels. Drip irrigation
waters the lettuce in between the rows so it
gets just the right amount of water.
We are fully into our first round of plantings; Fred and our crew spent a significant amount of time planting in the fields and in the hoophouses, and we were able to get several long beds of seed potatoes into the ground. It’s fascinating to watch the fields go from bare beds and cover crop to completely planted over the course of a few weeks. Fortunately, all of our recently planted veggies seem to have survived all of the hard freezes we had the last few nights, and it appears that we will be in the clear for a while in terms of freezing temperatures. The extreme temperatures aren’t good for tender young plants, but we were able to prepare for the cold nights by covering everything with a layer of clear plastic to protect it from the cold winds. And now that the most severe temps have passed, we are turning over some of our hoophouse production from our overwintered greens and getting them ready for warm season crops like tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini.
Although people typically think of fall as harvest time, we’ve been harvesting plenty of our early spinach, spring mix, radishes, arugula, and microgreens. We’ve also been gathering wild ramps, which have a very short season (about three weeks), and they’re so robust and garlicky and delicious that we eat them as often as we can during the short time they’re available. Alas, we went through the last of our amazing overwintered carrots a few weeks ago, so the next round of newly planted carrots will be ready in June, right around the start of the CSA. We’ve started delivering to some of the stores we work with, so if you’re wondering where you can get our spring mix, spinach, micros, radishes, or ramps, you can find them at GreenTree Cooperative Grocery in Mt. Pleasant and Argus Farm Stop in Ann Arbor.
And of course, all of this is made possible by our awesome crew! Carolyn, Katie, Camera, and Alec have been so great to work with this season! We’ll likely bring on a few more farm workers on a part-time basis for June, July, and August, but for right now, we’re really just amazed at what we can get done with a few really good people!
And summer is fast approaching! If you wanted to sign up for the CSA and haven’t done it yet, there is still time! We’re getting pretty close to full, so you’ll want to get signed up in the next few weeks so we can reserve a spot for you. The cost for a full share is $600 and a half share is $325 at any of our regular drop-offs, and if you’re interested in a quote for home or workplace delivery, just send me an email with the delivery address and I’ll let you know! I’ve created a form to simplify the sign-up process this year, so if you want to join the CSA this year, just fill out this form! Just let me know if you have any questions, because we can’t wait to see all of you again in June!
I've also learned that our blog platform will no longer be emailing the newsletters to subscribers starting in July. So if you're signed up for the CSA, then I already have your email address on my list, and I'll make sure you continue to get the newsletter once this change occurs. But if you're not on the 2021 CSA list and you'd still like to get our newsletter updates, or if you'd like to be reminded each spring to sign up for the next CSA season, just fill out this form with your email address! Thanks so much!
Garlic Sautéed Spinach! (PS: If you happen to have ramps available, which
are also in season right now, you can substitute them for the garlic. Just separate the greens from the bulb, and
throw the greens into the pan at the same time as the spinach.) Enjoy!