June Update From Farmer Alex

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We are officially underway here in the 2015 harvest season!  We hope you have been enjoying the greens and the strawberries during these first two weeks.  It is by far our best strawberry crop to date here at Sandbrook Meadow Farm.  We had a couple scares over the past week and a half, with torrential downpours threatening our precious gems.  After receiving only a quarter inch of rain over the previous six weeks, the flood gates opened.  In eight days we recorded over five inches, but somehow we escaped with manageable losses.  It’s hard to complain about getting the much needed saturation after such a long stretch of drought-like conditions, but I still do.  Weather is such an unpredictable and fickle beast, and its mood swings affect everything we do.  We are often at the mercy of Mother Nature, but we continue to strive to do the things we can control well, and not stress about what we can’t.  That is so much easier said than done though.  You can ask anyone who spends considerable time around me during the growing season…I am on a constant emotional roller-coaster.

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With that said, we are pretty thrilled with the way the crops are looking in the fields after the rain.  Some plants are growing over an inch per day, looking lush and vibrant.  This also means the weeds have been getting a jump on us while the ground has been too wet to hoe or cultivate.  In the brief window of dry ground we had on Monday, we worked feverously to get tomatillos, lettuce, sweet potatoes, and flowers planted.   Hopefully we’ll be able to get our winter squash tucked in by Friday, as they’re rapidly running out of space in their trays in the greenhouse.  

We will also try to take advantage of the continued sunshine by knocking back some weeds when we have time between harvesting and planting.  This time of year is always a challenge to manage priorities.  Since the beginning of June, we have committed two days per week to harvesting.  Losing forty percent of our time that was previously spent on seeding, planting, weeding, maintenance, and other projects, makes good time management all the more important.  Luckily we have an amazing crew with a seemingly endless energy reserve, who are an absolute delight to spend my day with.  Don’t forget to say hi and introduce yourself when you see us on pick-up days. 

This week we added peas and Japanese turnips to the harvest list.  In the next couple weeks we are looking forward to beets, cabbage, summer squash/ zucchini, and cucumbers.  Hope you are enjoying the flexibility of our new system!  If you have any questions, please feel free to check in with Eileen when you check-out in the pick-up center.

Locally Yours,
Farmer Alex

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