Thursday, August 21, 2014

Farm Update

Hello wonderful CSA members, friends and fans,

We hope you are enjoying the bounty so far.  We've had a lot of beautiful food come out of the garden in the hands of Team Luxy.  Most of the credit goes to Jonny, Rebecca and Sara, with regular appearances from me and our volunteer Jon.  The challenges of farming are relentless so the best we can do is learn from our mistakes.

That being said, putting your cauliflower in bags yesterday was my mistake.  Washing the cauliflower in the first place, causes it to rot faster but if we don't do this, you'll be picking off bugs and poop, causing many of you to lose your taste for the delicious plant altogether.  I opened the bags of cauliflower remaining in the trades boxes just now, to discover a few had become slimy and inedible.  They weren't in the fridge overnight so yours still may be in tact but if you are able to, take your cauliflower out of the bag and eat it as soon as possible.

We've decided not to grow cauliflower anymore (with the exception of the one hardy variety you will receive in the fall, called Veronica, which produces conical spires of purpleish-green) since it is one of the most difficult crops to produce organically.  Conventional growers have scoffed at our attempt to produce the crop without chemical aid and after years of stubborn determination followed by failure to produce grocery store-worthy cauliflower, we're giving up.

Another vegetable we have decided to omit from our plan next year is tomatoes.  I can almost hear you gasp at this statement, for tomatoes are one of the best indicators that long-awaited summer has arrived!  Our tomatoes have failed 4 out of 5 times and we can't justify spending our precious time and efforts on this nightshade until we can raise a few more greenhouses and grow in a more controlled condition.  Until then, we may buy tomatoes from another farm to supplement our vast array of green, yellow and purple offerings or just urge our customers to visit a local farmers' market for the tasty delight.  As I scoured the tomato section for the few handfuls of cherry tomatoes we were able to dole out yesterday to a small section of the CSA, I came to the conclusion that no one else will be eating Luxy tomatoes this year, including us.  The entire crop is so infected with blight that the leaves fall off to the touch and the large fruits we were hoping would ripen to a brilliant red, are being sullied with brown lesions.

But don't worry!  We still plan on growing a great number of delicious veg that you have hopefully been enjoying weekly!  Veg that is chemical-free, GMO-free, flavour and nutrient packed, and hand sown, transplanted, weeded, harvested and cleaned by an enthusiastic group of Canadian 20- and 30-somethings, who want to make this world a better place.

Just to highlight a few of our successes; we kept on top of the potato beetle picking and cultivating, and have produced our best potato crop yet; our beans and peas were wonderful, with the yellow variety still to come; the lettuces and spinach were delicious as usual (I promise, they will be back soon!) and the carrots, beets and cucumbers are as crunchy and juicy as ever.  There are still winter squashes growing in the field, new plantings of mixed greens, kale, bok choy and other tasty greens, sweet potatoes, fall cabbage, broccoli, shallots, radishes and rutabagas.

So thank you all for supporting sustainable agriculture and the local food movement but mostly our little farm and farm team/family!

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