Farm Happenings at Where the Redfearn Grows Natural Farm
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CSA Week 6

Posted on June 8th, 2024 by Dave Redfearn

These unseasonably warm temperatures may make it feel like we are in the height of the summer season, but it is still technically spring.  The early onset of heat has unfortunately cut off the pea harvest early.  Once it hits 80 degrees or above consistently, they stop flowering and producing new peas and start to die down.  We got a couple good weeks of harvest out of them before this happened but we keep hoping for an extended cool spring season some year.  Not sure we've ever had a "normal" spring, but we keep wishing for one.  

We were able to plant around 8,000 sweet potato plants this weekend.  That is the final of the big spring plantings that we do each year, so the farm is really set up for summer production at this point.  We keep planting some crops every week throughout the summer (cilantro, dill, radishes, arugula, bok choy) along with some other bi-weekly or monthly plantings, but it feels good to have the main crops all in the ground and off to a good start. 

Now the focus switches to staying on top of the weeds, the harvests, and the trellising.  In order to maximize productivity and fruit quality, the cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers of all kinds and eggplant all have to be trellised every week.  This is quite the task because if you added all those plants up, well, it's a lot!  There are around 10,200 of these plants that receive human touch and trellising or pruning every week, not including when we start doing weekly, every other day, and even daily harvest for some of them.  Soon these harvesting tasks will become a larger burden and the weeding and trellising become harder to find time to do, so right now, we especially focus our energies on getting the plants set up for maximum production and then we'll be trying to hold on throughout July and August when the tomatoes come in by the literal ton.  Just letting you know a little about how the "sausage" is made here on the farm and what goes into your box each week.  Some of that work, like the trellising, you may never see, but it ensures that you have nice straight cucumbers and evenly ripened tomatoes and prevents diseases and pests from killing off the crops before you've had a chance to enjoy their fruits.  

Veggies going to Feed the Hungry

Some of you might not realize just how many financially struggling families from the community get to enjoy veggies from our farm each week.  We don't make a big deal about tooting our own horn but we have been able to donate tens of thousands of pounds of produce to local food pantries in just the last couple years.  For the last couple years we have relied upon a faithful volunteer through an organization called After the Harvest who took our donations each week to local food pantries.  His health and financial situation deteriorated to the point where he could no longer do that for us.  We have a new volunteer who has tried to fill his shoes but her vehicle isn't large enough to handle the kind of donations we are used to sending and she has a busy travel schedule each summer.  If you are free Tuesday mornings and would like to volunteer to help us out by filling your car with produce and taking it to the Abundant Life food pantry in Lee's Summit either weekly or on some regular interval to help share the burden, we would love to talk to you.  

Every week we donate all the leftover shares that weren't picked up here at the farm or at the OP pickup or at the Lee's Summit pickup.  But we also plant extra and harvest a great deal of additional produce specifically to be donated.  But if the weekly deliveries of this produce to the pantry are interrupted or there isn't enough vehicle room, this extra produce gets wasted and we have to compost it.  Our desire is to provide as much healthy food as possible to people in need and the pantry has always been eager for more fresh produce because these items are the most sought after food at the pantry.  Would you like to help us out with this?  If we had more volunteers on the delivery side, I know we could increase the amount of healthy food on the plates of people who couldn't otherwise afford organic produce.  

Bread and Cheese

Farm to Market 100% Whole Wheat Sliced

Hemme Brothers Garlic Herb Curds 

Your farmers,

Dave and Sheri