August 24

We want you all to take note of the date which we have set aside for the CSA Farm Membership day: September 6th from 4-7 pm.  This event is for the Eastman CSA group as well as all our debit card  CSA members. We  would love to have as many of you attend as possible, as well as any friends who might be interested in the farm as well. We will have a quick meeting to introduce the people who work in the field and make the CSA possible. Then we will do a short tour of the main farm and some  of the fields and lastly repair to some snacks and refreshments in the packing barn where you can talk to any or all of us about anything on the farm of interest to you. Please take a minute and either e-mail me or let Kally know at the drop site if you are coming and the number of folks you will be bringing so we can proceed with the planning on our end.

This is great weather and everybody’s disposition improves, especially the field crew’s, all of whom have spent the greater part of the summer in rain gear and rubber boots. And it is much easier to weed and cultivate in this weather: the weeds actually dry up and die, where as in rainy weather you uproot them only to have them roll over and re-root themselves in the rainy damp weather. So this is like a walk in the park.

We are knee-deep in the “second season.” We have one more planting of lettuce and cole crops (broccoli and cabbage) to go in the ground, and there is a pretty good chance the coles will get nailed by a hard frost before we are able to harvest them. But then, you have to be optimistic to be in this business. We have now finished with the blueberries and will have to go in there and weed and clean them up for fall and take down the netting.  The strawberry beds are renovated and trying to put on some growth before they start initiating flower buds for next year. Both the blues and strawberries will then have to be fenced with electrical fencing to keep the deer from damaging them. We have a week more of good cantaloupes instead of having them well into the fall, because downy mildew has shown up on the second planting. It is a particularly virulent foliar disease of vine crops and we do not run an aggressive enough spray program to really combat it. But all in all, despite the diseases I am grateful for what we are pulling out of the melons and tomatoes; many farmers have had it a lot worse with the violent storms and wet weather. The plus side though has definitely been the excellent dispositions and work ethic of the field crew that has persevered through this less than optimum growing season. I am sure that when you meet them at membership day you will be impressed with their commitment and good humor.

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