Monday, July 30, 2012

July in Review

We are trying a new schedule this year with the CSA:
We started mid-May with high tunnel goodies from kale to peas, carrots to swiss chard. When June rounded the corner into July, we paused our CSA harvest to focus on the garden.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to 'pause' CSA harvest in July, we found it allowed us to accomplish a lot, still feed quite a few families, survive heat waves, educate many young minds, celebrate mid-summer, and even take a little time out for ourselves!

Weeding was a major focus, as was bug killing. But with hot temps keeping us 'high' and a drought keeping us 'dry', we also had to focus quite a bit of energy keeping things watered... keeping EVERYTHING watered, and cool and alive. From the pigs + turkeys to the tomatoes + the late-season seedlings, water was key. We ran drip irrigation as quickly as we could and used a sprinkler in emergencies and in the AM and PM, when the sun was low and evaporation was, too. This past weekend has brought us a little rain, but boy - could we use some more!

A new Wednesday market in Sandwich started at the end of June, giving us an opportunity to reach more mouths and have a mid-week market. Last year we went to the Wolfeboro Area Farmer’s Market, which was a lot of fun... but it took a HUGE amount of time from morning harvest to driving, set up, market, tear down, driving home and cleaning up, I was gone from the farm the entire day. With the Sandwich market being so close, and in the evening, I can spend more time on the farm and still have a mid-week market! Come check us out at the market: 4p-7p Wednesday nights. Big Love is there, too!

We also started harvesting for the Sandwich and Tamworth food pantry in July. What a fantastic idea, indeed: fresh, local, organic produce available to lower-income members of our community. We’ve been givin’ them cukes, zukes, carrots, scallions, basil, even kale! There is definitely a lot to learn (and teach) in this process, but what an exciting process it is.

Speaking of teaching, educational tours have been bumpin’ here on the farm. Camp Robindel, a girls’ camp out on Moultonboro Neck, came a few times with a range of ages and focuses. The young girls learned about the pigs + turkeys, the middle girls got a feel for carrots and kohlrabi - snacking from the garden, and the older girls rounded out their exploration of local food by picking lots of fresh veggies and making a HUGE salad for lunch:
Robindel’s brother camp, Winaukee, also stopped by... boys are SO different from girls! The pigs were popular, but storming the compost pile might have been the highlight:

Last week, Kennett middle schoolers came out, too. They have weekly camps focusing on various career paths like carpentry and agriculture. Though many of the kids have home gardens or have spent time on local farms like Sherman’s, seeing the scale at which we produce organic food (and getting to snack on it right out of the ground) was fun for them and me!

The past two weeks have included some awesome TCS events - Farmer's Table Dinner and the Bluegrass Concert. The Farmer’s Table Summer Dinner was July 18th, and in case you haven’t heard, it was AMAZING! Over 300 people came out to eat local foods from spring rolls to fish cakes, kale salad to sesame noodles. SO YUMMY! I was able to spend the afternoon and evening in the kitchen, getting food prepped, plated, and out to the people. Our interim Director (and chef extraordinaire) Lianne did an incredible job planning, prepping, gathering, cooking, inviting, and welcoming all for this event!
And that just about wraps up July! Pat + I did steal away for a weekend to Chicago to celebrate a friend's wedding. It was a BLAST and such a treat to get away in July.

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