One of the main goals of the farm was to establish a CSA for low income families. Last year we were able to see that come to fruition. Even though it was minimal, $10 boxes and half of it was bread, I still felt like we were finally able to reach out to the community we were looking to serve. This year we were not able to start out the way I had wanted to. I had started the season strong and was very hopefully to have an even larger season than last year. In late April I planted 2 beds of potatoes and 4 beds of various spring vegetables (onions, radishes, beets, lettuce, kale, bok choy, and spinach). The potatoes had all sprouted and I had little seedlings coming up. It was very exciting. Then in May the late frost happened. Even though I covered my beds I still lost just about everything. I tried to recover by replanting but the damage had already been done. Everything, except three potato plants and a small patch of lettuce, was dead. I even lost every single mulberry off of my mulberry trees. It was devastating.
While I was hoping to come back this year and start my baskets the first week of June, like I had the previous year, it was impossible. I felt I had let everyone down.
I didn’t give up though. I came back and planted three beds with the three sisters (squash/ zucchini, corn, and beans), two beds of various peppers and eggplant, three beds of tomatoes, and three of various squash varieties. I also have one of my sad potato beds that I have covered heavily in buckwheat for the bees, and two empty beds waiting for my fall planting. It took a while for the beds to establish and I continued to get frustrated, especially after my chickens decided that the beds made for the perfect place to have their dust baths.
My hope is to still be able to throw together a CSA at some point this year. I’m not going to be overly disappointed if I can’t though. I know I can pick it up and keep trying next year. I also have been working on how to troubleshoot the problems of last year’s drought and this year’s late frost, which will include making early greenhouses and getting a watering hose line ran from the cistern. I am also working on getting my soil to the healthy level it needs to be. I am still very pleased with my companion planting to reduce pests (A later blog will be addressing some of these methods) and will be adding at least another 4 beds next year to increase yields. I am also happy to announce that we have peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes coming in!