Thursday, September 04, 2008

11th Week CSA Share

* Corn on the cob
* Beets
* Carrots
* Onions
* Potatoes
* Green beans
* Summer squash variety
* Cucumbers
* Bag of salad greens
* Optional bag of Kale, Nero Tuscana Kale, Swiss Chard
* Bunch of radishes
* Tomato variety
* 1 Kung Pao Hot Pepper
* Crab apples
* Apples for baking
Today was the 11th week of giving out shares to our subscribers. We finally have sweet corn! Long anticipated. Paul the fellow who grew it for us said it is called Ambrosa. It's very sweet with small kernels. We had some the other night and was some of the best corn I've ever tasted. I even ate a couple of them raw and found it sweet and delicious. Last Saturday Paul brought over 22 dozen for the farm stand and we sold 18. We got $5 dollars for a bakers dozen (13). We paid Paul $3.50. A $1.50 profit per dozen. Then on labor day he brought another 20 doz. and we sold all of those plus two of the four dozen that didn't sell on Saturday. We sold over $200 worth of veggies on Monday thanks to Paul's corn. Another record for us.
This morning at 6 AM I went and helped Paul pick 28 dozen more for the CSA and what ever is left over we will try to sell at the stand tomorrow. I've come to the realization that I'm a corn guy. I like corn. We put in a small patch this year which is almost ripe now. First time we've ever tried corn here. I find that I just really like it. I liked watching it spout. Then watching as it grew little by little, inch by inch, until before long it was as tall as I am. Then it passed me up and towers over me. Not that it is giant by most standards. Maybe the tallest stalks are 7 1/2 feet high. But, I think it is pretty good for this region. We have a very short growing season for corn here. Next year I want to try a variety of field corn that I learned about from Northern Farmer called Painted Mountain. It is bred for short growing seasons and harsh environments. There is a spot on a south facing slope that I can perfectly picture planted in corn. Can't hardly wait.
This morning after we picked, Paul showed me his corn planter. It was kind of an antique looking thing. I might ask him if I can rent it next year to put in some Painted Mountain. Or if I can find a planter of my own I'll just buy one if I can afford it.
This summer season has been like a dream come true. I had all summer to be here almost 24 hrs a day to do exactly as I please. Now, I still had responsibilities of the trash business to deal with, doing the occasional clean up, maintenance on the truck, assisting our helper from time to time and so forth. But, for the most part I've been free to do what I want.
I could get real used to that. In fact it's a bit of shock to my system to go back to the grind stone and do something so repetitious as picking up garbage. I'm seriously considering putting the business up for sale. And if we could sell it, I'd put the money into the farm in order to make next years growing season even more successful.
We have a terrific opportunity to get three more green houses real cheap. They're not as nice as the two we now have. But, they are a great value nonetheless. The two we have now are considered portable green houses. The three we are getting are more permanent structures. It's going to be a pretty big production to dismantle and haul them here. I just hope we can get it done before the snow flies.
I never really thought I'd find as good a deal as we had with our originals, but our friend Marge was talking to a fellow at a landscape place and he told her about these three that he would sell real cheap. What a blessing. It'll be hard work getting them torn down and rebuilt but, the Lord has provided once again. He knows exactly what we need when we need it.
We had frost here already a couple weeks ago on August 24th. It is almost essential to be able to put crops under cover in order to extend the season. Last night we heard it was supposed to be 38 degrees. And when it gets that low it could very easily drop a little more and frost. So we went out late and covered the outside gardens. Turned out it was a false alarm, our thermometer was sitting at 44 degrees at 5:30 this morning.
In this climate with it's harsh growing conditions having the ability to protect the vegetables makes a big difference. We are actually getting ripe tomatoes on the vine. That's pretty much a first for us here. The norm for us until now has been to pick green tomatoes and bring them in the house to ripen.
We have alot to learn about growing in a green house. We've had mixed success so far. We'll have to analyze some of what we did in there. There's a learning curve with everything. That's why it's so important to start now. It takes time to get proficient at a thing.
After ten years of living here i am finally starting to feel confident that we can make it. To make our living from the land. It took that long. But, then again I'm a slow learner. Everyone is different.
We don't have the benefit of having been raised this way. We had to get back to basics. Those who have been raised this way have a huge advantage. There are so many subtle little things they understand that a city slicker hasn't a clue about. By living close to the land there is a wisdom bestowed that no book can teach. A child can pick up on those things without effort much like learning a language. A child doesn't have to take a class to learn how to talk. They just pick it up with a little coaching from their parents. It's the same with knowing how to live off the land. It's a whole language in itself.
Until Next Time


Blogger Lynn Bartlett said...

Your family sounds so much like ours ,,, It's been a real "learn as you go" education for us. We really need to extend our growing season, too. We reinstalled the plastic on our hoop house last Monday night, to protect what is still to be harvested when it's ready. Then 2 nights ago it frosted, much to our surprise, and tonight they are also predicting frost. We never did get any of our corn, and our tomatoes aren't even turning red yet. Hopefully covering them tonight in the field will save them. In spite of everything, we had a wonderful year for raspberries, carrots and celery!

11:36 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Hi Lynn,

I suppose I could read 100 books on a subject but, until I actually do it I don't fully have a grasp of what it is truly like. Experience is a great teacher.

I would guess your growing season is even shorter than ours.

We had frost last night. The second one of the season. (Today is Tuesday, Sept. 9) It was sure nice not having to worry about the stuff growing in the green house. But, we did cover all the outside beds. Kelli said some of the green beans got hit in a spot we missed when we covered last night.

I heard about a man who grows sweet corn just a little south of us who uses tunnels for his corn. He sometimes has ripe corn by July when the conditions are right.

Sometimes I think of what the original people did around here to survive. The native people who were here before the white settlers used to primarily trap, hunt and fish for a living. And they harvested wild food in the warmer months like wild rice, various berries and of course in the spring made maple syrup.

2:37 PM  

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