(For those we are new to the CSA, our vegetable farmer, John Krueger of Starbrite Farm, writes us an update of what is happening on his farm. Once the season starts he writes weekly and includes what we should expect in the vegetable share that week. Usually we post his letter on Monday. Here is our first letter of the season.)
Hello Everyone, Happy Spring!
At least I hope it has arrived and it’s time to sing “Here Comes the Sun” because it was certainly a long hard lonely winter.
As you may have expected we are off to a late start this season, due of course to the persistent cold and wet conditions. I managed to get some peas and spinach planted on April 14th and they have come up nicely. I was able to take advantage of some beds which had black plastic mulch remaining from last season, which helped to warm the soil. We have been planting onions and leeks for the past 2 weeks and are about ¾ of the way through putting in about 80,000 plants.
About a week and a half ago I planted a lot of carrots and parsnips. With these I am still waiting for germination; they are always slow to emerge and more so with cold soil. Early this week, just ahead of the heavy rains, I seeded arugula, broccoli raab, turnips, radishes, beets and Swiss chard. We have also been very busy in the greenhouse since the middle of March and it is crammed full of plants waiting to be set out.
My crew planted 6,000 radicchio, escarole, endive and lettuce plants. In the week ahead we will be starting to plant the potatoes as well as transplanting broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower. May will be a hectic month since we are 2 weeks behind in planting the cool weather crops like the brassicas, and in another 2 weeks it will be time to start setting out the first of the tomatoes and eggplant. We have also started a lot of zucchini and summer squash in the greenhouse, which will be ready for transplanting in 10 days. These grow quickly and I hope to have some in the shares by the second week of deliveries. It is likely that the early shares will not be as bountiful as in the past couple of years but my crew and I are working hard and we will do our best to make up for it during the course of the season.
I hope to see many of you out here on the farm in the coming weeks for one of the volunteer work days or for the Farm Visit picnic which is coming up on June 7th.