PHCSA Newsletter: Week 9

Prospect Heights CSA Newsletter

2016 Season – Week #9

In this Issue:

  • Pick Up Information

  • News

  • News from Ted

Pick Up Information

Don’t forget your pasta this week.

Important News

2016 Farm Visit

Visit Windflower August 27-28!

Join your fellow PHCSA members for a family-friendly weekend trip to Windflower! Meet Ted, Jan, and the crew, enjoy a deluxe potluck dinner, pitch a tent in the Windflower fields, and mingle with other members from around the city!

If you are willing to drive (your car, or a car rented by PHCSA), please e-mail Johanna.thomsen@prospectheightscsa.org. Stay tuned for a dedicated e-mail with more details.

News from Ted

Hello from a wet and pleasantly cool Windflower Farm!

This week’s share:

  • Green crisphead lettuce

  • Green cabbage

  • Sweet corn

  • Cucumbers

  • Squashes

  • Cilantro or dill

  • White (‘Bianca’) or yellow (‘Candy’) onions

  • Tomatoes

  • Yellow wax or green snap beans

The rain that is falling as I write is bringing relief to both the farm and farmers who tend it. The intense heat and infrequent rainfall that has defined this mid-portion of the summer has been a source of stress, and has resulted in, among other things, a small gap in our lettuce harvest. We won’t have any lettuce for next week. But we will have piles of tomatoes. And we’ll send basil, new potatoes, carrots, sweet corn, Swiss chard, red cabbage and more.

Save the date: you are invited to the Windflower Farm Open House, August 29-29. More information to come.

You’ll be getting sweet corn this week – for some of you it will be for the first time this season – and I’m proud to say it’s our own organically grown corn. It had been many years since we last grew our own corn, and we had never done it on any kind of scale, choosing instead to buy it from the Moses Farm largely because we did not have enough land. The Moses’s grow truly great tasting corn, but they don’t do it organically. Last year, we began renting a 24-acre field, one that had spent the previous 15 years in an alfalfa/grass mix, which has given us the opportunity to experiment with corn this year. So far, so good. The chief problem corn growers face has to do with bugs: corn earworms, corn borers and corn armyworms, the last suggestive of the battle a farmer engages in when choosing to grow corn. This batch appears to be bug-free, which I’m willing to attribute to beginner’s luck. I will not be abandoning the Moses Farm entirely. I have much to learn about insect management, scheduling plantings for a consistent harvest and more, and I like the farmer-to-farmer swapping that we do – that is, their corn for our sunflowers. But organics matters to me, and avoiding any confusion as to what’s organic and what is not is important. Their corn, by the way, is the ONLY non-organic item you’ll ever find in your Windflower Farm vegetable shares. Theirs is a large farm, and sales to us do not have much of an impact on them, but I’ll be sure to make it is an easy transition.

August is the month when we begin to say goodbye to our youngest workers, most of whom are heading back to school. Two who left this weekend are the children of CSA members from the city. We especially enjoy the cultural exchange when CSA members spend time working with us. One has gone on to start her own successful small farm, another has gotten into agricultural policy in Washington, and a third is entering an engineering program with agricultural applications in mind. Consider spending your summer vacation working on our farm and living in our little cabin. You won’t be paid, but you’ll certainly find out where your vegetables come from! I have not had much to say about the people who plant, weed, harvest, wash and deliver your vegetables with us, but I’ll remedy that in upcoming newsletters. To start, here is a little something from Andrea, who has been with us for eleven years this year and is our membership coordinator. She was inspired upon witnessing a harvest to write this haiku in honor of cabbages.

Gleaming green cabbage

A towering wagon load

So tender and sweet

The variety she saw coming was named, aptly, ‘Tendersweet.’ And here is another,

Remember the taste?

The first tomatoes delight

A sight for sore eyes

Have a great week, Ted

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