Sometimes growing food is disappointing. As any gardener also know, love, effort, and intentions can only carry you so far in the face of weather, bugs, and nature. In fact, I think somewhere in year three or four of us owning our own farm, I decided that if I could just learn to roll with the disappointments that were beyond my control without tears or lying awake at night stressed out then I could, to some degree, consider myself successful. (It's funny how your markers of "success" changes the longer you are in business:).
The disappointment we're dealing with this fall that has me super annoyed is the struggle we've had with broccoli and broccolini this late summer and fall. Last fall and this spring we had SO MUCH, but the wet and warm of this fall (extended summers have a downside!) has led to a pervasive spread of Alternaria leaf spot on the farm that leads to black rotting in the brassica family. Luckily this can be way less damaging to kales, cabbage, and other veggies in the brassica family, but our broccoli and broccolini in the last month have completely tanked. We've had to mow down as a complete loss 4 out of 5 plantings (and that's just the September and October harvests, we lost some in late July too), thousands of plants and $$$ worth of broccoli just gone. It's kind of heart-breaking, but also part of the game of organic farming. We are scrambling to assess our last planting to see if we can make a limited amount of broccoli available for shares this week. Doin' the best we can. Swap early for a limited amount of available broccoli.
The silver lining to this story is that as a diverse farm and a CSA farm (community supported -YAY!) we can weather these bumps. Part of being connected to where your food comes from is understanding that food doesn't come from a grocery store, everything you need, endlessly available - it comes from people's hard work and the land. Eating locally means rolling with all the local punches, and we so appreciate you rolling with those punches alongside us. It's you that helps us keep rolling when things get tough, thank you.
Other than the lack of broccoli - we've got a great spread for you this week with lots of sweet peppers, fresh herbs, and eggplant to keep you dreaming of summer, plus the delicious squashes, greens, and roots of fall! We hope you enjoy!
If you really want to support your farmers through some crazy Maine weather, please consider signing up for our Winter and *NEW* Spring Shares starting in early December and running all the way through May, proving you can eat local in Maine YEAR-ROUND!
Harvesting potatoes for the winter and looking at greens to be harvested for winter shares!