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CSA Newsletter ~ Week 33

Posted 11/28/2012 12:43pm by Chris.
Late fall is lingering on nicely for us as we head into December. This is the time of year we can start having lots of snow and cold which severely limits spinach growth in the hoop houses. All we need are sunny days with anything but very cold temperatures at night, or cloudy, wet (as long as it stays rain) weather with
Spinach under row cover
Spinach under the hoop
warm nights. The forecast for the next two weeks indicates a good deal of both starting with a lots of sunshine this week, and warm, wet conditions shaping up for the first week of December. All in all, the spinach is coming along nicely, growing at a good rate, and starting to experience just enough cold nights that it's beginning to develop the sweetness and texture characteristic of cold weather/hoop house spinach. Given the kale we've not yet harvested, we will have plenty of increasingly sweet greens in every box through both the fall and winter shares. 

Just a quick reminder to everyone about saving and returning the tomato jars to us. I know not everyone will use their jarred tomatoes right away. That's a good thing about them--they last years if you need them to. But we suspect most people will use them sooner than later, and our delivery drivers will have to deal with collecting and protecting jars while also delivering and retrieving boxes, so we're going to need to get into a new rhythm. We're hoping that more things to collect makes things easier instead of harder, and that we're able to recover the vast majority of jars in good condition. Though we can't reuse the lids, they do work well to protect the jar rim from nicks, and the jar from breaking in general. So, please, wash things fairly well, replace the cap, and get the jars back to us for reuse.

Otherwise, things are really slowing down at the farm a lot. The outside fields are completely done with the final job--mulching strawberries--being completed this past Sunday. We're anxiously awaiting the 2013 seed catalogs so that we can go ahead and plan next year while this year is still fresh in our minds. We'll ask you to help us out with a quick survey at the end of the fall season to get an idea of what people like and/or disike, mostly with respect to crop offerings and variety. After three years back doing the CSA and growing a full variety of vegetables, we're starting to get pretty good at planning and scheduling the many plantings we do throughout the year. We're also getting better at understanding the best crop spacings and densities to achieve the best yields and nicest crop quality. We've come a long way in this short time, and are looking forward to next year to put our new found abilities, skills, and experience to the test.

Anyone who's sure they want to sign up for next year may want to consider doing so by December 1st as we've got an extra discount for early signup. Our winter share starts in January, months before regular CSA's get going with their spring crops, so we're planning, organizing, and investing a little earlier; we won't have time when we're busy in January harvesting spinach and packing CSA boxes. Getting seeds ordered and supplies stocked now will free us up to focus on delivering the winter share, and starting seeds for the spring hoops, which happens starting the last week in January. 

We've nearly closed the seasonal circle of crop offerings and availability possible in our climate. If people are willing to eat seasonally, and farmers are willing to work hard to produce as many different crops as possible throughout the season, a high percentage of produce can be grown locally. This is a huge boost to the local economy, creates relationship-based food rather than commodity-based food, and provides better produce that is grown on land that is treated better than on industrial, factory sized farms. We're all doing it together. Thanks!


Chris Covelli

and the Tomato Mountain Farm Team 

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