Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The middle

Its the mid way point of the season.
13 weeks of farmers markets have already passed! its hard to believe. They went so fast, but whats harder to believe is 13 weeks remain. Its been a hard 13 weeks and it will be an even harder 13 weeks to come, mostly though just because of the heat. Our days consist of harvesting, weeding and feeding and by that I mean foliar feeding our plants with a diluted fish emulsion cocktail in the evening just before sundown, The plants are struggling a bit, not enough nutrients were added to the soil at planting time and I'm trying to remedy the problem now, which isn't ideal but it is what it is and the tomatoes will ripen.

In spite of the fact that it is just July I am already thinking about October and November. Got to, the fall planting starts now. So tomorrow I'll start some brasicas (boc, cauli, cabb) in 4-6 weeks they will get set out into the fall/winter garden, and if all goes as planned harvest should be October-November. So my wheels are turning. I'm trying to stay in the present but just take little trips to the future for planning purposes. The new hoop house goes up next month and with two 60X14 hoop houses I should have a nice amount of greens to sell this winter.

I've decided not to offer a winter CSA. I'm going to experiment with growing in the hoop houses and sell during the winter months but I just don't think I can handle the pressure of a winter CSA again. I'm going to use this winter to re group, re evaluate and above all rest. Even though I love vegetables and enjoy growing, I have never had a desire to grow on this scale, and now that I've inherited Kasey's dream/project/whatever you call it, there isn't much room or time for much else and that includes cheese making and that is and always has been where my heart rests. Big lessons about compromising here and when not too.

Nate and Kathleen my interns for the season are really doing a fine job. I think they are learning a lot but unfortunately a lot of that learning is how to fix mistakes. I think that is some of the best learning you can get frankly but it is a little embarrassing, but they are taking it all in stride and they are a pleasure to be around. We've been working on a couple of canning projects and we went hunting for chanterelles so we've covered some ground. Kathleen spent a week learning how to milk and cheese making is next. This should be called real homesteading 101. Seriously, I could sell that! see there I go again. Maybe in a few years.

Kathleen getting plums ready for plum jam

Next week will be a big canning week; fixing the blackberry jam that didn't set, pickling jalapenos, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, roasting peppers and freezing and all that jazz. Last year because of the move I didn't put up a thing and was forced to depend on the grocery store for my food. Ick! So its feels great to be settled a bit.

I am looking forward to winter a little bit. Just a little.


Kat said...

Yummmm......blackberry jam. :-)

Sorry to hear no winter CSA, but hopefully it will give you more time to do what you love! I still want some of those winter greens if you're sellin' 'em. ;-)

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Sue said...

I would pay you to learn how to can and make cheese. Seriously! It's a great idea!