What’s happening on the farm?

June has turned into July, and we are still trying let our minds and bodies catch up to the change in seasons.  We are sure the hustle and bustle of summertime has set in for you as well!  We hope you are taking time to enjoy (wink, wink) this nice little heat wave we have been experiencing.  Well what should we expect?  It is summer after all.

We are getting into our weekly routine of harvest days, market days and catch-up days.  “Catch-up” days include everything from weeding, trellising plants, making compost tea, mowing, moving chickens, harvesting cucumbers and summer squash (this has to be done every other day) and Fall planting. Yes, that is happening already! We have winter squash, sweet potatoes, peas, kale and Brussels sprouts started for your Fall enjoyment.

CROP update or what happened to your broccoli?

Strawberries are long gone.  They were an experimental crop for us this year, and we have taken away some valuable lessons for next year’s harvest.

Broccoli.  Oh broccoli…  We have yet to have a successful spring crop of broccoli, but we just keep trying.  Many farmers, don’t even try to attempt broccoli until Fall.  Most Spring crops are not suited for the often sudden shift to warmer temperatures.  About three weeks ago, it was looking promising.  I think I even included broccoli in one of the “upcoming share pictures”.  Within a matter of days, however, we discovered that our hopes and dreams for broccoli were dashed.  Broccoli was definitely NOT going to be a success this year.  Maybe this a good reminder in this year of plenty, that one is never too far from the powers of Mother Nature, the effects of global warming or a heavy dose of the cabbage worm.  We should have better luck in the Fall. And then next Spring our optimistic naivete will lead us to plant those little broccoli seeds again, hoping that, ” THIS WILL BE THE YEAR, that we will not be bested by that broccoli!”

Our Spring peas are done.  They will be back in the fall.

You may have noticed that when a crop, such as kale, spinach, or turnips, is on its way out,  we open them up for you to pick.  Please remember that this is one of the many benefits of being a part of a CSA.  Pick in bulk and put it away for the winter.  Now is the time to put in the extra work to reap the benefits on that cold December day.

On a positive note.  WE HAVE CUCUMBERS.  You may have noticed, and we hope you  have taken bags full of them home to pickle or to mysteriously drop off on your neighbors front porch steps while they are away. We certainly have been attempting the latter!  We have also dropped off several hundred pounds at the local Flemington food pantry to share our bounty.

Green Beans are also plentiful.  As long as you have the time to commit, there are plenty for you out there.  We have no limit on the quantity of this crop right now, so pick away!

On an even more exciting note.  The cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen, and our first tomato of the season was eaten yesterday!

We know that it has been pretty warm the last few pick-up days, but we have been very excited by how many of you are braving the weather and taking advantage of fields.  We love to see that!

Final Notes:

*Please remember to BRING YOUR OWN BAGS.  We know this takes some planning, and it is inevitable that you will sometimes forget.  But we are flying through our supplies at a rate that we would prefer to reduce.  If this continues to be a problem, we will start charging a fee for bags–something we would like to avoid.  We also would prefer to keep the farm’s carbon footprint as low as possible.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

*On a similar note- our pint and quart containers are to be used for a unit of measurement, please return them to the pick-up center when you are done picking, and transfer the contents to your own bags.  Thanks.

*Volunteering-  We have weeding!  Come anytime Tuesday thru Saturday from 9AM to 5PM.  We will be harvesting potatoes soon, and will let you know when that will be open for anyone to help.  Finally,  we would love for more people to sign up for volunteering to watch the pick-up center during pick-up times.  We have a sign-up calendar right next to the sign-in sheet.  Please give of your time in this way as it allows us to continue to work in the fields and is very helpful.

Sincerely,

Your Sandbrook Meadow Crew

Rows and rows of bounty.

Sprucing up the herb area.

When Broccoli goes south fast…

At the Dvoor Farmer’s Market on Sundays from 9AM to 1PM and the Sergeantsville market on most of Saturdays from 8:30AM to 12:00PM.

Potato Harvest.

Sometimes we lose Carolyn in the cucumber field.

The bounty!

Did you transform your high tunnel into a winter wonderland themed party or what’s that white stuff on your indoor tomatoes?  No, I wish I would have thought of that, because that sounds like a fun party to go to.   That is clay that we spray on the plants to keep them cool during the heat of the summer.  It can lower the temperature by up to 9 degrees on a hot day!

Stay cool and have a happy 4th of July!

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