Newsletter – August 5, 2013

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Dear Friends of the Farm,

 

This week you are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, Walla Walla onions, carrots, cucumbers, summer squash and, green peppers.  There is a possibility of getting green beans, corn, tomatoes, muskmelon, honeydew and watermelon.  There is no fruit for the fruit share this week.

 

Saturday’s Storm:  Saturday started out as one of our outstanding, beautiful summer days we typically have in Colorado.  But also as typical is how quickly our weather can change.  Two storm-head clouds collided right over our heads and a hellacious storm occurred!  Driving rains poured down, obliterating the sight of the house from the barn (150 yards).  Then wind driven rain mixed with hail flying parallel to the ground attacked from the North!  There was so little hail; we thought it did little damage.

Then the sun came up the next morning and it was dry enough to drive around and assess the damage.  We were shocked!  Field after field with plants stripped of leaves.  The bigger the size of leaf, the more damage was done.  Normally you cannot see the hidden watermelons in a field; now it is obvious where the watermelons are planted, same with the muskmelon and honeydew.  Onions could be smelled soon after the storm and their tops were flat to the ground.  Tomatoes and peppers are in full sun with no leaves for shade.

As we go through the next few weeks, take your produce out of your bags immediately.  You will see hail damage on just about everything except those plants that grow below ground level!  We will not give you moldy produce!  But it may develop in transit.  Watch it carefully once you have placed it in the fridge too.  The bruising from hail may cause faster deterioration.

Jerry says not to fear!  He thinks the younger plants (with time, water and sunshine) will produce.  Several of the mature plants may recover as well.  We will not know the full extent of the damage for several days or weeks.  Time will tell!  All of our energy will go into helping the farm recover and giving you as much produce as we can.

 

Reflection:  As I sit here and write this passage, tears are sliding down my cheeks.  I don’t want to be giving you this sad news and possibly could be the hardest letter I will write this year.  It is hard for me to understand how this can happen so quickly.  Months of work has been taken away from us.  We were stuck in the barn during the downpour for over an hour.  Three inches of rain flowed from the sky above.  We were under a tornado watch too, but how can you see through all that rain?  It was all over and safe enough to walk to the house by 5:30pm.  Farming has always been one of the biggest gambles in life.  This will always be a labor of love.  We are going to need your emotional support more now than ever.  Thank you dear friends for seeing us through this!

 

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Alaina

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One response to “Newsletter – August 5, 2013

  1. Gosh, what a terrible, terrible tragity. I am so sorry for you guys, I can honestly feel for you and what you saw in the fields the next day must have been just horrible. What I know about CSA and their members is that the members are part of the good and bad that happens in farming. Their investment is not only reaping the bounty but sharing in the losses too. Your members will give you the strength and hope to go on with your farming. They love what farmers do to put food on the table. The loss wasn’t because of some stupid mistake, it was an act of God. Nobody could perdict, nobody would have known.
    I know you are Organic, so not sure if this is authorized, but a suggestion may be to use Calcium Nitrate in the soil as soon as possible. It will perk your plants up immediately; the calcium will help with your clay soil; it will encourage your leaves to produce right away and the nitrate will encourage new growth. I swear I have seen Calcium on my peppers and bald tomato plants make a difference in just a few days. And because of the loss of leaves, maybe a temporary shade cloth at least for the plants with the veggies still on the vines to protect from the sun if you should have some hot days coming up, maybe some can be spared to ripen. I feel Jerry may be right, a few days of good strong warmth; maybe some additives to bring back some leaves; perk those plants back up; there is still another 45 days + of warmth to give hope.
    Nature surprises us all the time, don’t give up hope, dry the tears, pick up the spade and get back there again. That is why we are farmers, we don’t give up, we don’t give up- Best Wishes from fellow CSA farmer in Northern California-Windmill Farm-Paula

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