We’ll try to provide monthly farm updates so you have an idea of what is going on behind the scenes at Sandbrook Meadow Farm. You will hopefully get to see snapshots of the farm as you come every week to pick up your share, but there is plenty that is difficult to observe during your brief visits. If you have additional questions or considerations as you ponder life while spending time at the farm, please do not hesitate to come find one of us. The entire crew here is of the gentlest nature and will do their best to help you. We all are looking forward to getting to know you throughout the growing season. You can also e-mail or call with questions anytime.
Last week we embarked on a massive planting endeavor. With the danger of frost behind us, we planted tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, squash, fennel, leeks, beans, sweet potatoes, herbs, and flowers. Thank you so much to those who came out and donated their time and company to the effort. With the early taste of summer the past few days, the crops have been exploding. Some have jumped inches and others close to a foot in less than a week. We have had a nice balance of rain and sun this spring, allowing us to maintain our schedule (as much as that’s possible in farming). We’ve also had our share of challenges as well. Our first succession of basil succumbed to one of its greatest nemeses downy mildew. So we are starting over, but there should be plenty by tomato harvest time. There has been a invasion of aphids in our propagation house. Out in the fields we have our beneficial insects that usually do a phenomenal job at controlling some of our pests, but as the greenhouse is more of a controlled environment, we opted to bring in reinforcements. We released ladybugs inside last night and there are lacewings on the way in the mail. This is one of the important reasons we chose to employ restraint in using even organically approved insecticides. There are many inputs that are non-exclusive, meaning they kill a lot more insects than just the type you are attempting to control. Good biology in the soil and surrounding ecosystems pretty much equates to healthy plants. If you ever wanted to know the secret to growing food…there it is.
It is difficult to predict exactly what will be available for the first distribution. We have already been harvesting spinach, lettuce, kale, and bok choy for market (Dvoor Farmers’ Market in Flemington on Sundays if you ever want to say hi). Additionally there will be kohlrabi, radishes, spring raab, scallions, and herbs by week one. Strawberries, cabbage, chard, turnips, snap peas, and carrots won’t be too far behind. Follow our blog to see what may be available each week along with additional pictures and updates. <https://fieldgrazing.wordpress.com/> A picture of what’s to come will be posted by Sunday weekly, but please keep in mind that there are no guarantees that it will always be a flawless prediction. Thank you for your grace and patience in advance.