Farm update 9th of August

(by Matt)

Mud, mud, glorious mud

Rain, rain and more rain. Yes, its hard not to talk about the weather at this time of year, but I'll do it again! A few weeks ago things were starting to look really good. The initial harsh cold winter weather that we had early in June had moved along and we'd had enough periods of dry weather so the soil could dry out and we could start to prepare the soil for spring plantings. However, the past few weeks have set things back yet again. Alas, there is nothing we can do but wait! It is muddy, very muddy and there's no chance to get out and prepare the soil. In a few weeks, if things don't dry out, the consequence is that with the lengthening daylight, the seedlings that are all ready waiting to be planted out, won't be worth planting - they will have waited too long in trays and will bolt to seed.

Days and days of rain as we've had here in the Wairarapa, also mean disease pressure for the fruit trees. Apricots and peaches are starting to blossom and the cherries won't be too far behind. This is a critical period for the trees – they need to be pollinated and they also are susceptible to fungal diseases. We'll do what we can and hope for the best!

It is a bit easier to stay positive as we move into spring – extra daylight, daffodils and trees bursting into bloom. But, as growers, it is still a long way off before the extra light and warmth (hopefully soon!) translate into extra produce to harvest. We've now pretty much run out of our own stored pumpkins and potatoes and there's not much garlic left. Our new beds of kale haven't quite grown quickly enough and the current beds are essentially finished.

So, for a while we'll be buying in produce from other growers, which means things are somewhat tight financially for a bit longer yet. However, rest assured, spring warmth will eventually translate into an abundance of produce and this abundance will be shared with you!

The spring season

For many of you your next 13 week harvest share period starts next week. You should have received your invoice by email – if not, please let us know. Please remember that we either require payment in full (which is really helpful) or weekly, fortnightly or monthly automatic payments.

Payments need to be one week in advance. If you are currently out of sync with this, it'd be great if you could pay off any remainder of your last invoice and start paying for the next season a week in advance i.e. by the end of this week for next week's delivery. Thanks!

Feedback

As we move from winter to spring, now is a perfect time to give us some feedback. I have created a form on the website and it'd be really really helpful if you could take a few minutes to fill it out. My idea of the CSA is that we (who eat the produce), should start to think of us (the growers) as people that are contracted to grow produce on behalf of those that eat it. With that in mind, have a think about what you have enjoyed or not enjoyed about the produce, how the CSA operates and what you would like to see moving forward and let us know your thoughts!

Our website

During the past few weeks I've created a new look for the Wairarapa Eco Farms website. It is a work in progress and I'd love some feedback and ideas. If you haven't already checked it out, have a look at wefs.co.nz.

As is immediately obvious from the front page, the site is roughly broken down into 4 areas:

1. The shop – where you can purchase our produce online to be delivered alongside your regular CSA order

2. Information about the CSA – what is a CSA, how does our CSA operate and the joining form

3. Our farms and crops – background information on Wairarapa Eco Farms, details about the crops we grow

4. Food quality – this area will develop over the next few weeks and months into an information resource about growing quality food - where the focus is on the 'guts' of the soil and the guts of the people that eat the food.

As we develop the website further over the coming months, I will endeavour to keep you all up-to-date with developments.

Facebook

Check us out on Facebook. Whilst not a big Facebook user myself, I can see its value as a means to spread the word about the CSA and help us grow to a more sustainable size. So, would love as many of you as possible to 'like' our page and share within your networks.

In your bags this week

Small vege bag:

1 kg potatoes, 1 bag of either curly kale or cavolo nero kale, 500g carrots, 1 lettuce, 170-250g bak choy or pak choy

Large vege bag:

1 kg potatoes, 1 bag of curly kale, 500g carrots, 1 lettuce, 170-250g bak choy or pak choy, 1 leek, 1 bag of cavolo nero kale, 500g beetroot, 1 bag of Italian parsley, 400g Jerusalem artichokes

Fruit:

700g pears, 1kg kiwifruit, 1kg Fuji apples

 

Have a good week - hopefully staying dry and warm!
Matt and the rest of the team at the farm