Notes from the Field: CSA Week 3

tractorToday is the summer solstice: the longest day of the year. Summer on the farm is an exhilaratingly busy and productive time, when every task you get done is satisfyingly crucial. It’s exciting for us to see the fields change as the days and weeks go by, and sometimes I even measure time in crop progress. “By the time that fennel is ready,” I’ll think to myself, “it’ll be time to weed those onions.” Farming brings an intense awareness of the seasons, of the shifts in weather and the passage of time. For me, it’s a welcome imperative to give every day my full attention. My hope is that by being a part of Land’s Sake farm, and by eating an ever-changing array of local vegetables, you and your families also feel connected to the cycle of the season and the land on which you live. Remember that you’re always welcome to walk around the farm, see behind the scenes, and ask questions of the farmers if you’re curious.

With the CSA going into its third week, our routine is now well established. Mornings on CSA days are spent harvesting: we start at 7 a.m. sharp and race against the sun in order to get all the produce into the tent in time for pickup. In the afternoons, and on non-harvest days, we plant the crops for future weeks, stake and tie tomatoes and peas, weed, manage irrigation, do all manner of tractor work, and juggle the dozens of assorted chores essential to the smooth running of the farm. Our hardworking crew is kept going by laughing conversations in the field, popsicles, iced coffee, and snacks grabbed right from the ground.

As those of you who have come to pick your own strawberries already know, the strawberry patch has been very productive this year. In farming, some of the most important work is the kind that pays off a few years down the road, and the success of this year’s strawberries is due to the hard work and foresight of Melanie Hardy, the previous farm manager, and the investments in the future that she made. All of us at Land’s Sake are extremely grateful to last year’s crew for these delicious berries!

Next week you’ll be seeing new crops, including some favourites like cucumbers, summer squash, and scallions, plus some lesser known gems like kohlrabi and the special salad greens escarole, frisee, and radicchio. You’ll start to see the flower garden take shape at the front of the farm, too!