Farm Happenings at Where the Redfearn Grows Natural Farm
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CSA Week 1 is Here!

Posted on April 24th, 2021 by Dave Redfearn

Welcome to the 2021 Summer CSA season!  

First off, we want to thank you for supporting local, sustainable farms in such a tangible way!  This is our 8th season of our CSA program and we've always made the CSA a big part of our production plan, but last season and this, we've pretty much put all our eggs in the CSA basket.  Our CSA members are our focus and our intent is to give you the best possible selection and quality produce we can offer.  We've dropped all but one farmer's market and we only offer the leftovers from CSA boxing there.  To better serve you, we've increased our plantings of some of the "staple" items we felt we were a little short on last year like onions, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers (of course none of those are ready quite yet).  You'll be eating with the seasons as different veggies get ready in the fields or in our high tunnels. You're eating real food from real farmers after all!

A Confession:

This has been an unusually cold spring.  We had a low of 23 degrees last Wednesday night in fact!  Early spring is the most challenging time for us (or at least most difficult to predict) in producing a good variety for your boxes.  Oftentimes, by May 1st the outdoor lettuces, greens and roots are ready to harvest, in fact, we usually have too much lettuce this time of year.  But this year, that late February cold snap kept the soil extra cool up 'till now.  Soil temps are more than 10 degrees below normal right now, which equates to much slower germination and crop growth.  Thank goodness we have quite a bit of high tunnel space where solar energy is trapped and ends up heating things up much more quickly, however, in order to get you those early tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and ginger, we have to make the call to tear out some of the leafy greens and transition to the summer crops.  It's always hard to know when we can do this and still maintain adequate supply for ya'll.  Normally this time of year we have too many greens ready at the same time, both inside and outside.  However, we adjusted our production plan this year to get larger quantities of heat loving crops earlier for ya'll, which means we don't have as many cool season veggies in the tunnels.  We also had some lettuces bolt on us unexpectedly in the tunnels which is always an issue.  So between the extended cool spring and maybe an overaggressive push for tomatoes, we're a bit tight on product right now.  Once things warm up a bit, I'm afraid we'll be swimming in lettuce!!!! but right now, we are not. 

All this to say that, these first couple weeks of boxes we won't have as much available.  Selections in spring is always less because really only leafy greens and roots are ever ready at this time, but even there we're a little behind.  As this week 1 of the CSA approached, we've been looking out at our fields watching the meager growth and wandering how we could have enough.  We've been praying for some warmer sunny weather (but not too warm!!!) to kick start the season and it looks like that's about to happen, thank God!  

We're blessed with a really good crop of overwintered carrots, green onions and amazing leeks that are ready for harvest. We have a good deal of amazing sweet potatoes that we've kept stored over the winter (did you know they get sweeter with storage).  And we have the best swiss chard production we've ever seen.  But our outdoor kale plantings, lettuce, radish, and spinach plantings are way behind and our overwintered spinach is just not looking good at all.  

Not trying to be negative here.  Prospects for later in the season are looking really good.  Garlic and onions are doing wonderfully and the cherry tomato plants are already 4 ft tall and setting fruit!!!  We are all set up for a really great CSA season!  We just want you to know that this spring has thrown us a bit of a curve ball and we're doing everything we can to build the best possible product list for your box each week.     


Bread shares this week- French Farm Artisan Loaf

Cheese shares this week - Garlic Dill Cheddar Curds

This week we also have BACON from our friends at Hemme Bros Creamery.  They started raising a handful of heritage breed hogs as more of a waste disposal project to make good use of their whey from cheesemaking.  Nothing makes pigs happier or fatter than a daily meal of whey.  We have a limited supply of bacon from a fresh batch of their hogs.

We do have our very own raw honey available as well.

Just a note that these non-veggie items will not be included in your CSA share.  You can always add them as an extra purchase but the Harvie algorithm will not put them into your box automatically.

If you want to add a weekly Hemme Bros cheese share or a Farm to Market Bread Co. bread share, just send us an email and we can add you to the list.  

Looking forward to seeing most of you at pickup this week!  


Dave and Sheri