Summer 2014 Weekly Farm Updates - May 21st
After suffering through the deep freeze that was this past winter, getting crops in the ground is the best cure for all that cold. And unfortunately, the deer, rabbits, and voles couldn’t agree more. The rabbits have been nibbling on the lettuces like we’re running an all you can eat salad bar for them, and the voles have taken the mischief one step further by actually pulling the entire heads down into the ground to munch away in their safe, soil sanctuaries. I’m hoping to be around in the fields one day soon when one attempts to pull that off, as I swear I will pull it right back up! Ugh, if only it were that simple.
And the deer! Well, the deer love strawberries, and to be honest, once you taste these ruby red beauties, you can’t really blame them. The trouble is, the deer have found a way past what used to be our fail safe barrier in years gone by. The frigid winter left them desperate for food, and in turn they figured out that all they have to do is rip through the covers and chow down, when they used to move along, clueless to what lay beneath. Needless to say, a deer-proof fence is in our near future. Luckily we love strawberries too, and we make sure to have tons of plants growing away, so, fingers crossed, we’ll all be enjoying them more than the deer. We're selling them by the quart at Mom's Apple Pie in Leesburg, so swing by and pick some up! They're so juicy you'll eat them right down to their little leafy green hats.
Our biggest trouble maker, however, has been mother nature herself. While April showers do bring May flowers, they also bring soggy fields. And when they are followed up by May thunderstorms and flash flooding, soggy becomes an understatement. The guys are working hard to get things in the ground, but when you practice sustainable farming like we do, compacting the soil with tractors when it’s wet can do more harm than waiting a bit to plant. So our greenhouse is bursting full of veggies ready to go in the ground, and we’re eager to get them there as soon as possible.
Farming is always an adventure; you can have the entire growing season planned out before the snow breaks, but once things get going, you’re completely at the mercy of mother nature and her many whims.
The good news is, the asparagus is growing like gang busters, and it’s the most delicious example of this lovely spring veggie that you’ll ever try. Our CSA members are enjoying it immensely, and you can too, even if you weren't able to join us this year. Along with the strawberries, we're selling asparagus by the pound at Mom’s in Leesburg. Our rhubarb is just about finished, and while the patch gave us some trouble, we’re hoping to solve any issues for next year. You can certainly enjoy what we’ve grown by buying a strawberry rhubarb pie if you’re so inclined. The lettuces are starting to come in as well, so we’ll be looking out for those in the next week or so.
Things are certainly never dull on the farm, and overall, it’s been an exciting start to the growing season. Thanks for checking in on us. We look forward to expanding our CSA into a market in Leesburg as soon as the harvest can support it.