Farm Happenings at Broadfork Farm
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Farm Happenings for May 23, 2020

Posted on May 21st, 2020 by Janet Aardema

Since we have every-other-week members, here is a repeat of some info from last week:
Pictured above is an heirloom variety of lettuce that some members have gotten or will get in their shares: the heirloom Amish Speckled Lettuce. The maroon flecks are the natural speckling that this variety features. Many people new to this variety misinterpret the speckling as bad spots, since green lettuce leaves turn brown when they go bad. We think it's the yummiest variety that we grow, and we love the story behind the plant: Amish immigrants from Holland brought the seeds with them to this land in the 1700's. They wanted religious freedom AND delicious salads! The leaves are very tender and they do wilt faster than other varieties, but at least one Farm Share member enjoys wilting it on the stove top with other greens. Have fun enjoying these new foods!

   <-- We got new stickers! They'll be at pick up locations in a small basket. Enjoy spreading some BFF love!

According to 3 separate thermometers that we know are calibrated correctly, it was 29 degrees here at the farm on May 10. That's unprecedented! Our average last frost date here is April 15. We prepared by covering all sensitive plants with ag fabric as well as heating one of our hoophouses that doesn't normally have an active source of heat, but still about 100 tomato plants died because the growth point was destroyed, plus a host of damage to hundreds of other plants. We always seed more plants in our greenhouse than we plan to plant in our fields in case of damage such as this, so it's not a complete loss, but it is a set back. About 50 of our cucumber plants are not as vibrant as usual so our cucumber harvest is smaller than usual, but that's not related to the cold. On the other hand, the Salad Mix greens and Rainbow Chard have been very happy, our Spring Salad Turnips have better roots than ever, and this week's Radishes are simply radishing, and Napa Cabbages are the best ever! :) Broccoli plants are growing nicely. We had a temperature spread of approx 60 degrees last week! That asks a lot of the plants. And - next week we are picking the first Summer Squash of the season! 

We continue to get questions from Farm Share members and customers like "I thought there would be tomatoes?" "Do you have any vegetables besides greens and roots?" We welcome those question askers to the world of seasonal eating in central Virginia! And the answer to both questions is that spring and fall are dominated by greens and root vegetables, and produce with seeds inside of them take a lot of time and warmth to mature. Tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, and eggplant will be in season here once it's actually summer...late June or even July. Denser heads of things like cabbage and broccoli, and big root alliums like onions and garlic, are later spring. 

In case you missed the details below in the first week of your Farm Share, please read to the end.

- When you arrive at pick up: Find the bin with your name, take the contents, and leave us the empty green bin.

Check your label for any circled items that will be separate from the bag. (Ie: Tomatoes, Bread, Plants, Flowers.) Collect those items. 

- You are responsible for collecting all of your items at the location you choose, and during the time frame indicated. 
The software we use does not have vacation weeks built in. Instead, if you can't pick up a particular week you can reschedule that week's share for a future week in this software (Harvie), or you can have a friend or family member pick up for you. Just forward this email to them so they know the details. 

We are all still very healthy and well and continuing diligent hand washing, social distancing, and extremely limiting the activities any of us are involved in off the farm. We're taking our health very seriously, your health very seriously, and are also grateful that this is not a food-born disease. We are strictly following the governor's orders about our activity, as well as the Va. Dept of Ag's rules about farm business and farmers' market logistics. Any questions at all? Reach out! 

Blessings on your meals, and wash your hands often ~

Janet, Dan, & the whole Broadfork crew (Julie, Caity, Karen, Ray, Diana, Rachel, Mare, and the kids: Sylvie, Joren, Elletta, and Beckett)
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