The end of our growing season is here. Despite the hot, beautiful weather Mother Nature is giving us this weekend, the garden is officially done! We have started removing all the plastic mulch, irrigation lines and weeds in preparation for next spring. While we get the groundwork done, we are also setting some goals for next year: improve efficiency to get more done in less time, improve soil fertility, increase variety in products offered, and grow much more of everything.
While we are excited to get a break from planting, picking and packing, we aren’t looking forward to the long winter of eating out of canning jars and freezer bags. This time off from the garden goods makes that fresh food taste that much better next spring. All those broccoli shoots, the patty pan squash and all that arugula… we might be sick of it now, but we will be excited to see it again after almost a year away.
On the farm this week, we started the ground work for our packing shed. This building will be a modest beginning to a facility that will eventually be enlarged to include cool storage and perhaps even a greenhouse on the sunny end. The beauty of the CSA system is that we receive some income in advance to allow things like farm improvements to take place before the season. Everything will run more efficiently in 2016 because we will have a place to wash and pack vegetables, store tools and seed, and keep records. We are looking forward to better organization. We will not be able to expand without this facility.
As our members seek other means of obtaining vegetables in the coming months, we will be making a plan to provide more to our members in 2016 including extending the season with better fall and winter crops which may mean a winter storage “root cellar.” Time will tell.
Still working hard for you,
Rebecca & Eric
It is extremely important for us to incorporate your suggestions into planning the upcoming season. Please take five minutes to either fill out the paper survey included in your week nineteen share or got to wegrowfoods.com/survey to complete our brief questionnaire online and save a stamp. Your input will help us improve our program. Thank you!