Farm Update August 2

Hi all,

Hope you are nicely warm, dry and it good spirit.  Our farm is deluged with rain and Frank is finding it hard to motivate himself to go out and work outside. Lets hope it all soon comes to an end and both we, the soil and the plants can enjoy some better weather. Long periods of wet weather have devastating effects on crops as nutrient uptake comes to a stand still in the cold and wet weather and plants stop growing, and nutrients do not reach all parts of the plant with the effect that they become yellow. Even worse, the plants get overwhelmed by bad bacteria and dies from rot. The picture below shows you 2 endives; the one to the right is in perfect condition, the one to the left has rotted away due to the wet conditions. 

It is great that you as our CSA members understand that a CSA is not a shop where produce comes from far and wide, always looking splendid, and one has no idea (but also cannot have a feeling) what immediate effects or impact local weather conditions have on local growing conditions. One could argue that all the everyday and immense variety of produce in supermarkets is the result of human progress to do, make anything everywhere at any time.  And we have all become accustomed to it, we take it for granted in our Western society, and we even expect the shelves to be full in these days. However, at what cost have we become accustomed to this. The cost to the environment is immense, but also when I think about my young children, who do not know any better, I feel there is a human cost, in that they have lost an important connection with the natural world, for example the influence seasons have on the growth of plants and animals and the natural life cycles of plants and animals.

Who for example still knows that cows only give milk after having given birth to a calf.  That the first milk is called colostrum and is is full with life, vitamins and antibodies. That in the natural world the cow only lactates while the calf drinks milk, which is only for a few months and than the gut changes and it cannot longer drink milk, and thus starts grazing more. The cow's milk production is good in the first few months, but than it gradually stops until it comes to a full stop in around 9 months and this is only because we make the cows body believe that she still has a calf to feed by milking it once or twice daily. That if the cow does not get pregnant again it will not give milk. So cows are pregnant every 9 months of every year to keep the flow of milk going. A tough life which I think every mother can appreciate and understand. I feel that the more we get used to pre-packaged, pre-cooked and pre-everything, the less we remember, and thus the less we can appreciate what life on earth has given us. 

It is great that as a CSA member you understand and appreciate what we are trying to achieve on the farm and want to be part of the natural cycles of life and have access to fruit and vegetables that might not always look too great but have not been sprayed or treated to make them last longer.  Have a look and wider effects and implications of chemicals and GE products on our natural world. The following U tube clip rewinds us of the effects of GE fodder and pesticides on animals and the food we consume.

It is great that you appreciate and understand that winters are hard to get anything growing, that we rely more on storage crops like potatoes and apples (and while they are called storage crops, they do not get any better over time.  The only crops that do get better over time would be fermented products like sauerkraut and raw cheese.) So please bare with us while we go through the last month of winter. As a thank you we have dropped in a complimentary bottle of apple juice in your fruit basket. Taking into account that the days are slowly getting longer and warmer, we can only go one way and that is into the better times of the growing year! 

Our main Winter Season is coming to an end with the last delivery of CSA shares happening next Thursday. We invite everyone who has previously been part of the CSA back and rejoin the CSA for what we believe is going to be a great growing year ahead.  

Your Harvest Shares this week:

Fruit Share: 1 kg Pacific Rose Apples, 1 kg Kiwifruit, 500 grams of mandarins and one complimentary bottle of apples juice.

Small Veggie Share: 1 Cauliflower or Green Cabbage, 500 to 600 grams of Winter Carrots, 1 Lettuce, a bag of Kale, and 400 Grams of Jerusalem Artichokes.

Large Veggie Share: 1 Cauliflower or Green Cabbage, 500 to 600 grams of Winter Carrots, 1 Lettuce, a bag of Kale400 Grams of Jerusalem Artichokes, 1 Pumpkin, 100 grams of baby Spinach or Rocket, 1 Sugarloaf Chicory or Swede, a bunch of Spring Onions and 2 bulbs of Florence Fennel.

Have great week and stay warm,

Josje and the farm team.