- FROM THE FARMERS
The farm has been busy for months now, but we’ve mainly been focused on one thing-getting the early crops in the ground. We are now in our third week of harvest, and the planting work has gone into overdrive! With the danger of frost behind us, May 15 opened the doors for the main summer crops as well as some we won’t harvest until fall. Beans, watermelons, okra, carrots, parsnips, cantaloupe, pumpkins and winter squash, just to name a few, are all in queue to jump out of the ground.
Planting seeds requires faith. There are lots of variables, and you hope everything works out so you get to harvest your crop. Transplanting removes a few of those variables, but you are still left with uncertainty. Planting sweet potato slips helps deepen my faith. Our slips always look bad; the leaves torn, rotten or nonexistent, they look like they need about three days of rain to have any chance at survival. Even without any irrigation, they’ve pulled through for us, year after year. Let’s hope they do it again this year.
THE PATH TO NO-TILL
Lately, if we’re not planting something, I’ve been in the International 5088 working ground. Although we have switched to conservation tillage methods, we are still moving a lot of soil around. The problem with all this tillage really hit home the other day when I was filling up the 80 gallon fuel tank on that tractor with $4/gallon diesel. We know we have to till at the moment, but the goal is to reduce tillage every year.
Here’s a photo of the underside of our planter. We purchased it several years ago, with the intention that some day we wouldn’t have to till up our ground anymore. The first blade cuts through any plant debris, clearing a path for the third set of blades to drop the seeds at a specific depth. There is a lot to learn about this transition, but there is good work going on related to no-till farming with cover crops. The USDA and NRCS recognize the benefits, and are working hard to help farmers transition to these practices. Some of you might enjoy the video below about some conventional farmers in North Carolina.
WEEK #3 CSA SHARE CONTENTS
- NAPA CABBAGE
- LEAF LETTUCE
- RHUBARB (donated by our neighbors – John & Geneva Harrison)
FARM NOTES & EVENTS
- BEREA FARMERS MARKET is now happening – TWICE PER WEEK – Tuesdays 3:30 – 6 PM and Saturdays 9 AM – 12 PM
- LEXINGTON FARMERS MARKET – We’ll see you at the downtown market on Saturday mornings 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Don’t know what to do with all that Napa? Try some korean Kimchi. It’s the most common thing I hear from folks when we show up to the market in the spring with Napa Cabbage. Here’s a recipe from epicurious.