Dear Friends of the Farm,
This is week nine of an 18 week season. You are getting Yukon Gold potatoes, yellow onions, garlic, carrots, squash, eggplant, tomatoes and corn. Fruit: Nectarines are in your future this week!
Week 1 after the storm:
When Kyle and Sam heard about the storm, they came home right away to help Jerry. The three of them planted like crazy for two days. Now you need to realize this is very late to be planting anything! Normally Jerry is completely done for the season by the third week of July. We hope for a long fall and a late freeze. With any luck, we will have peas, lettuce, radishes, kale, fennel and summer squash. All the root crops have survived and you will continue to get those on a regular basis. The watermelon, squash and cucumbers you received last week were picked before the storm. We will continue to glean our fields for produce.
The fields will take a couple of weeks before the plants that survived will show any signs of enough recovery to bloom and produce again. Time will tell! Hopefully we will see summer squash again soon. The vines are dead on things such as melons and cucumbers. Plants like summer squash can continue to produce if the top of the plant survived and there are some leaves left. Tomatoes leaned over during the storm and anything under the plants may continue to ripen. How fast that happens, we don’t know. (They were just starting to burst into a beautiful red color.) Peppers were stripped of leaves and bells on top were destroyed. But those underneath may also survive. This is the problem: We do not know exactly how these fruits will react, what the texture will be or how they will taste.
Anything you get from now on will need to be inspected for bruising. Do not be surprised to find scars on your produce. Eat anything badly bruised, like the eggplant you received last week, right away. They will not store. If we do not give you bruised and scarred produce, you will not receive much. Use what you can of these items by cutting out the bruises and bad spots.
We feel badly about this and our hearts ache every day when we are inspecting fields. We have cried more than a few times and I’m sure that isn’t over yet. We care so much about the people we feed and feel terrible about what has happened.
I asked Jerry the other day if his day has gotten easier or harder. Jerry replied, “Much harder. I am having to replace shut off valves on a huge part of the drip irrigation. (It was also destroyed by hail.) I am watering plants I don’t know will even live and planting plants that could die from frost before the end of the season. We pick crops that we don’t know if they will last long enough for consumption. Then turn around and feed it to the animals when it goes bad.” Please know we are trying hard to find produce (in the fields) to give you and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the summer!
Winter Share: We will be doing a Winter Share this year. Distribution Centers will be asking those of you who already have signed up for a share a few short questions. Please take the time to do this for us so we know how to proceed with the Winter Share. If you plan on getting a Winter Share, you too can take the survey. Please note: we will have all the root crops! We need to know how you feel about purchasing dried beans if ours do not turn out and winter squash because it was destroyed. We borrow quite a bit to get each season started in November. Your Winter Share fees help us pay our employees and pay some of these costs. (Your Membership fees help pay these costs too.) Without consistent revenue, we will have to borrow more money to get through the “dry months” (which will make the beginning of next year more stressful!).
Thank you for such encouraging notes, email and phone calls!
Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Sam