Farming Never Sleeps – Harvest Week 8: Tue/Wed/Thurs Delivery, July 30th, 31st & Aug 1st, 2013

potatoes for extende seaonPotatoes for Your Extended Season Share

Farmer John Writes …    Farming Never Sleeps

Extended Season Shares
Extend your CSA season with a full or half Extended Season Share (4 or 2 boxes of mostly storage vegetables delivered after the end of the regular season and before Thanksgiving). Send a check for $120 for a 4-box share, or $60 for a 2-box share to:Extended Season, Angelic Organics, 1547 Rockton Rd, Caledonia, IL 61011

The Weather
Very cool. Two showers.

The Work
wagon of cornfrom left, Will Haerterich, Andrew Stewart, Nathan Hallgren, Chris Voss,  Miguel Casique

Probably our coldest day ever for a sweet corn harvest, in the high 50’s

iced cornGrowing Manager Chris Voss heads towards the cooler with 1000 iced ears of sweet corn. (The ice is from the ice machine, not the cold weather.)

The Crops
Best sweet corn ever. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons all coming on strong. Best crop of onions ever. (More elsewhere in this newsletter about why we have such wonderful crops.)

Storage Tip from a Shareholder
I joined Angelic Organics in 1995. Since my husband is a “junk food junkie” I pretty much eat the entire contents of the box by myself during the week. Besides finding room in my fridge every Thursday my biggest problem has been storage. It was hard to keep the vegetables fresh until I could consume them. I tried many methods, but only came up with a “keeper” last year.

During the “off season” when I am no longer getting my box, I save containers from the produce I do get. Plastic bags from “romaine hearts”, plastic boxes from the Costco salad mix, bags from baby spinach, all are designed to keep this commercial produce fresh for the maximum amount of time. I put everything into these bags and boxes, not just greens, and they work pretty well.

I hope that this idea works for others or if someone has a better method they will share it with the rest of us. ~Beth

More from Shareholders
Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics , where we post exciting farm news, and shareholders post recipes, tips, & photos. 

Fertility
You might wonder how we are able to get such spectacular crops in the absence of high powered synthetic fertilizers. It’s a synergy of many systems, but our policy of having the fields two years in cover crops (alfalfa, clover, and timothy) followed by two years of vegetable production is probably the most impactful of all of our fertility policies. Our field of popcorn this year (see photo below) is proof of the contribution a cover crop the prior year makes to the following year’s crop.

corn fertilityPopcorn on left was in a cover crop last year. Popcorn on right was not in a cover crop last year. We could have mitigated this popcorn fertility shortfall with an application of compost last fall, but by the time the popcorn was harvested, it was too late to get the compost on the ground and worked into the soil. 

Planting cover crops and working with compost are two very exciting things for me on the farm. They make me a bit delirious with enthusiasm.

Farming Never Sleeps
The two things I am most conscientious about with growing are our fertility program and getting things done on time. Fertility will get us nowhere without getting things done on time always, no matter what. So, timeliness is another very important component of our fertility program. So is our GPS system (by avoiding compaction), our composting program, subsoiling, biodynamic preparations, weed control, soil inoculants, equipment maintenance (timeliness, again) and, of course, careful planning.  It’s no wonder a farmer’s work is never done.

 barnsFertile Fields of Potatoes

Stay Close to Your Farm
Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics , where we post exciting farm developments regularly. We invite you to post about your CSA experience there, too.

Adventures at the Angelic Organics Learning Center 
Looking for a fun way to connect with your family, enjoy a last hurrah of the summer AND show off your family’s  skills?  Then come on out to the farm for Angelic Organics Learning Center’s first-ever Family Farm Summer Challenge Day on Saturday, August 17th, 1 – 5 p.m.  Work together as a family to complete fun farm games and challenges.  Please register for each family member age 6 and up. Go to http://www.learngrowconnect.org/node/4869

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Brassicas – maybe cabbage
Fruiting Crops – watermelon, summer squash (Zucchini, Yellow or Patty Pan), cucumbers, green peppers, eggplant, sweet corn, tomatoes, maybe hot peppers
Rooting Crops – carrots
Cooking Greens – maybe kale
Alliums – sweet onions
Apium – celery, fennel

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