CSA Box Content Pictures

Saturday, April 28, 2018

2018 CSA Planting Update

Our CSA planting is going well although the plants are somewhat behind in their growth because of the unusually cold March we had.  We even lost the initial planting of lettuce due to the frosts.

Our high tunnel is almost fully planted and the tomatoes and cucumbers are coming on nicely.
Last year we finished the high tunnel in late spring.  This year we were able to plant much earlier and expect to have cucumbers and tomatoes in June! (This is a big deal for a coastal farmer.)
You are looking at about 230 tomato plants, 130 cucumbers, 360 pepper plants, 100 basils, over 200 sweet potato plantings.  Soon to be added about 60 cantaloupes.

Also we are trying to grow sweet potato greens (not the tubers) in our high tunnel. This is a common food in Asian cultures, hope others like them.  Here we are planting cut up sweet potatoes purchased at New Leaf Market in HMB.

We are planting lots and lots of broccoli this year as part of the CA Healthy Soils Program grant we received.  See farm website for an article on it. Here are several broccoli rows with different amounts of wood chips and fertilizer mixed into the soil.  There will be over 1,200 broccoli plants growing.  Hope you all like broccoli.

A couple more trays of broccoli growing to plant out the last 2 rows of 7 total for the Healthy Soils trial.

Here is the green bean patch.  Looks like a bunch of weeds doesn't it?  Actually it represents the ultimate in restorative agriculture ... no till, no weeding, letting native plants grow alongside your crops.

We planted perennial green beans here last year and hope they will be able to outgrow the weeds this year on their own.  So far it looks good.  Here are photos of the beans plants starting to sprout from their tubers.

Mustard greens will be a new crop addition this year. Currently the flea beetles love them, so they should taste good!

A long row of zucchini type squash.  This year we are trying a couple new varieties in addition to bringing back the Magda variety from last year.  There is a big difference in flavor between different varieties of zucchini and squash. If you pay attention to it when eating a medley of different types it becomes quite evident. From the ones we've tried, Magda is tops in flavor so far, but we are still trying new ones.

Here is Ken, the farm co-manager and overall maintenance and facilities man, keeping our farm/golf carts running.

Rows of lettuce and baby chard.  This year we increased our path width from 2' to 3'.  It makes it much more enjoyable for the humans tending the field not to feel crowded when working the rows.  Since we have plenty of land, squeezing rows close together isn't necessary.

Row of Phacelia flowers that will attract bees and beneficial insects when blooming, and should look beautiful also.  We will be planting many rows of flowers this year for beauty and bees.

The Brewster Blackbird here is on bug patrol. We very much appreciate his efforts in eating pillbugs, cucumber beetles and other crop pests.  Last year a lady doing PhD research came to the farm to study all the birds.  She exclaimed how wonderful it was to have so many birds on a farm, very unusual.  We agree, it makes it nice to hear so many of them chirping while working.  Now if we could just train the Quail not to eat the young transplants we wouldn't need to put bird netting over most of our plantings.

Finally for now, here are seedlings waiting to get out into the fields and start growing for you.

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