Summer Week #6: Wednesday, July 11th – Everyother Group B
Given the weather’s circumstances, we are pretty proud to continue filling your box. Drought has officially been declared for our area. Newspaper and radio reports abound with stories about conventional and vegetable farmers struggling to keep their crops alive through the double whammy of record heat and no rain. At our farm, we have received just 0.3 inches since the middle of May. For context, we generally average 1 inch per week this time of year. So we are down about 8 inches of rain.
We are continuing to irrigate around the clock. Many other CSA farms in the area aren’t set up to do this – either they lack strong enough wells or don’t have enough equipment to irrigate all of their fields. We’ve heard many reports of other CSA farms that have had to skip a week because they simply don’t have anything to give. We’ve also heard reports of other CSAs only being able to put 4-5 items in a box for the last month. Again, we are very proud of being able to fill your box as well as we are, given the natural circumstances we are up against.
We hope to be able to keep filling your box, but we want to let you know that if we continue to have no rain, it will get more and more challenging. We have a good well, good equipment, and are willing to put in all the extra hours (go Mike, go!). But one never knows what the future will hold.
Lately I’ve been reflecting not only on the importance and power of a simple rain shower; but also on the power of the CSA model. You all have decided to join us in the risk of farming. By giving us your money up front, you allowed us to buy seed, fuel, and make all of the equipment infrastructure updates necessary without our having to go into debt. As our energy costs soar to keep our coolers running in these high temperatures and to keep our well pumping 24 hours a day, we have a pool of money that you gave us, that allows us to deal with these unanticipated costs. And in the back of our minds, through all the stress, we know that if we have smaller yields than hoped and planned for, it will not equal financial ruin. You all have joined us in this risk. If this season’s boxes are smaller due to a terrible drought, we know that you understand and still support us.
We are extremely grateful to you.
We are beginning to experience some losses due to the drought, but in our business model, we plant excess. What doesn’t go to you goes to wholesale and farmer’s market. Our CSA members come first. So we will take the losses in wholesale and farmer’s market before you feel them. It is our aim and sincere hope that you won’t feel them at all.
This week’s box reflects a pretty typical early July box. Even in a non-drought year, this time of the season is referred to as ‘the lull’. The leafy greens have slowed down their production in the heat, but the hot-weather crops aren’t fully producing just yet. New this week for the regular members are carrots, eggplants, and sungold tomatoes! Everyothers will get their first beets, fennel, garlic, and bottle onions. For recipe ideas, don’t forget to check out this week’s recipes!
Thanks again for your support – and enjoy your veggies! Sincerely, Cassie, Mike, and Zea