Mid-May Update From P&C

As we countdown these last two weeks before the beginning of the 11th P&C Summer CSA we wanted to do a little check-in here. We hope this update finds you all healthy and safe during these strange times. We’re doing well here on the farm and wanted to share some farm happenings and include a few quick recommendations of random things I (Carri) have been enjoying recently.

As many of you farm members know, we take the month of May off from harvesting to focus on planting. Of course there’s also the pre-planting work that goes into prepping ground for planting, growing up the transplants, and then keeping everything watered and weeded after we plant them.

Here are a few photos to show you what we’ve been up to here on the farm:

It was a strange year for sourcing certified potato seed but we managed to get our hands on enough seed to fill out the field. They’ve been in the ground a few weeks now and soon we’ll be hilling the baby spuds to keep them adequately buried. Luckily we put in a couple of early beds of potatoes into a greenhouse, so we’ll have fresh potatoes sooner than later.

The propagation house has been the star of the show recently. This is where all of the transplants start out before being planted out in the field. It’s filled up and emptied out multiple times already this season. Last week we gave it a little boost with a new plastic covering.

I mentioned we’ve been planting and here’s some of the evidence. Many of the season-long summer crops have made their way into the fields including peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, leeks, celeriac, tomatillos, and melons. We’ve planted successions of corn, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, beans, herbs, celery, cabbage, kale, chard, kohlrabi, fennel and more. The planting will continue in the next dry window with winter squash, which was just recently seeded as shown by the seeds I’m holding in the photo above.

Luckily we’re beginning to see some crops coming on too. The strawberries are off to a great start and as long as we can keep the deer and birds at bay and get some warmer weather we should have enough berries soon. Scape season is well underway and we’ve recently harvested leek scapes and garlic scapes. Leek flowers will make an appearance in shares again this spring too. The crimson clover cover crop is happily flowering, but the bees get to most enjoy that one. Luckily we all get to enjoy the snap peas that just beginning to come on and they’ll definitely be showing up in early shares.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll continue the planting spree as the weather allows, including the flour corn in the photos above. We’ll also make the first harvest lists of the season, get back into the swing of harvesting, and before we know it we’ll be ready to bring you the first share of the 2020 CSA season! It won’t be long now!

Until then we hope you’ve been getting our recent member emails. If you’ve signed up to join us for the Summer CSA and haven’t heard from us in your email inbox recently, try checking your spam folder for emails from us. If you don’t see them there let us know by dropping us a line at farmers@pitchforkandcrow.com.

Finally, here are a few things I’ve been enjoying recently as we’ve been staying close to home and getting things done.

  • First is a podcast recommendation – Check out the Dinner Sisters podcast for weekly cooking inspiration and recipe suggestions. In most episodes these sisters choose a handful recipes from the internet, try them out at home, then compare their results on the podcast. I’ve been inspired by some recent pantry meal suggestions and an episode all about broiling.
  • Second are video recommendations – I’ve been enjoying watching snippets of the Bon Appetit magazine’s video collection at lunch. A quick hit of watching professional chefs test recipes or share tips makes lunchtime more of a breaktime. Admittedly there could be more vegetables in these videos, but there’s plenty to learn here anyhow.
  • Third is a fish recommendation – We’ve developed a love of salmon over the last year and decided it was time to start supporting salmon fisherman the way you support us. We joined the Iliamna Fish Company CSF (community supported fishery) and are looking forward to a freezer full of salmon come September. There doesn’t seem like a better time to double down on support for local producers.

We’d love to hear from you if you’ve got similar recommendations you’d like to share with us or with the whole CSA group. Have a favorite food-related podcast, Youtube series, or book? Let us know! Or what about your favorite local producers? We often get questions about local sources for various products and we’d love to pass on your favorites to other CSA members.

Okay, that’s a wrap for this farm update. See you soon!

Your farmers – Carri & Jeff