Welcome to our 12th Harvest Week. Aug 27 (Wed Delivery)

Welcome to our 12th Harvest Week

In Farm News this week, Farmer John Writes about When the 2015 Season Really Begins

Farm Open House Saturday, September 20

Keep your calendar open for our fall open house. Everyone can go on a hayride and pick a pumpkin and some gourds that day. There will also be a Tai Chi performance in memory of longterm friend, shareholder and farm advocate Elizabeth WenscottWe’re still lining up other activities, so stay tuned.

The Crops

Columns of Heirloom Tomatoes

Columns of Heirloom Tomatoes

Broccoli came on crazily fast this season. We usually can time the distribution of broccoli into your box according to when we seed it, but this year, with the extraordinary weather, the pace of maturation dramatically accelerated. We don’t like to hold the broccoli; we like to give it to you fresh, so you will get 2 to 3 lovely heads of broccoli this week.

The Weather

Aug 23- 2nd huge storm this week, interspersed with light showers and drizzle

Aug 23- 2nd huge storm this week, interspersed with light showers and drizzle

 

The Work: When the 2015 Season Really Begins

Half of our fields are out of production each year–38 fields. They are in cover crops–legumes, tillage radishes and grasses–in preparation for the following two years of production. Many of the fields that our shareholders will be eating from in 2015 were taken out of production in 2013 to build up their fertility for 2015. (It’s a little more complicated than this, but this short tutorial is adequate to create an approximate picture of how our farming approach spans large reaches of time.) I said recently that “farming is about farming time at least as much as it is about farming soil.”

Farmer John tours the fields that are worked up for 2015, soon to be seeded to peas and tillage radishes.

Farmer John tours the fields that are worked up for 2015, soon to be seeded to peas and tillage radishes.

By mid-August (now), we start pushing hard to get our 2015 fields laid out and prepared for the next season. Our goal is to have all these fields converted from long term cover crops to short term cover crops by September 1. We almost always achieve this lofty goal. We subsoil and rotovate the standing alfalfa, clover and timothy to work it into the ground, apply compost, spray with Biodynamic preparations, and then seed the ground to peas and, in some cases, tillage radishes. Peas provide nitrogen and biomass; tillage radishes burrow down into the earth, creating a more porous, flocculant soil structure. The peas and radishes winterkill, providing ready-made beds to plant into early the following spring.

Here’s a video of our cover cropping in late August, 2012, a similar program to today:

The process of cover cropping is capital-, labor-, and time-intensive. Having land out of production for half the time is in itself very capital intensive, as it has to be mowed every 10 days or so during the growing season (to control weeds), sprayed with Biodynamic preparations, and maybe spread with rock powders, while producing no salable crop during that two year period. Yes, it could be hayed, but I don’t want the plant nutrients trucked off the farm. I want all the biomass that we produce here through cover crops to stay here and build up our soil, so that you can eat more plentiful and more nutritious food from our farm.

Farmer John discusses cover crops with the King and Prime Minister of Uganda, 1999

Farmer John discusses cover crops with the King and Prime Minister of Uganda, 1999

(Read the story about the King’s visit: angelicorganics.com/thekingsvisit

At Angelic Organics, we give our cover crop program equal priority to our seeding and harvesting. Our program pays off in more fertile land with better soil structure, and healthier, more bountiful crops. As we work in the present to reap the rewards of the past, we are also creating a bountiful future to bring towards us into the present. This leads to boxes brimming with fresh organic vegetables and herbs, week after week, year after year.

So when does our 2015 season start? It started in early 2013, with the seeding of alfalfa, clover, timothy, sudan grass and tillage radishes. Our 2016 season started early this year.

Clover and Alfalfa- Farmer John stands in his favorite crop, 1990's

Clover and Alfalfa- Farmer John stands in his favorite crop, 1990’s

U-Pick Garden

Our U-Pick Garden is flourishing with lots of flowers available now, and maybe a few green beans.

More from Shareholders

Visit us often at www.facebook.com/angelicorganics, where we post exciting farm developments regularly, and shareholders post recipes, tips, and photos.

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.

Lettuce
Broccoli
Kale
Garlic
Onions
A Leek
Tomatoes
Dill

Upcoming Program at the Angelic Organics Learning Center

Family Farm Tour and Hayride on Saturday, September 13 from 10am-3pm: Join us for a day of learning and fun on the farm! We’ll tour the farm on a hayride, then spend time with the goats, chickens, pigs, cows and more. Hint: If you can’t make the shareholder open house, this is a great alternative! Bring a sack lunch and pre-register for kids and adults ages 3 and up.

AOLC 1

More information and registration at www.learngrowconnect.org/events.

Warmly,

Farmer John

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