harvest season

Hook Family guldann at ix.netcom.com
Mon Sep 17 08:21:01 EDT 2001

Hi list,  I enjoy the season in review posts but am sorry some of you had
such a difficult time.  Our year has been sorta mixed.  Big picture I'd say
it was a success.  We have a 43 member CSA.  I think when we close up in
about a month and we look back their veggie shares will be nothing to
complain about.  Well I know some can always complain.  Usually about what
you didn't grow, are you going to grow "whatever" next year.  No way way to
difficult :).
Anyway we had a few huge success:  potatoes beautiful, lots of big ones,
just about no bugs, great yields (last year the opposite), butternut squash
those beauties good harvest, pumpkins as well (didn't plants lots just
enough for generous amount for members).  Corn not sprayed and just about no
bug damage it was beautiful.  We "promise" 3 dozen ears per share and I
believe those who came as scheduled (once a week no vacation etc) got their
3 dozen.  Of course it seemed so fast corn for about a month 4-6 pick up
days then gone.  It would be nice to plant two bunches so there'd be some
ready now but it takes so much space.  Some members don't have a clue.  Most
are great.
Not so great peppers.  My favorite thing to grow.  From an 80 ft row if I
have picked 12-24 bells I am lucky.  Even hots not many.  The plants did
develope a virus.  Some very dry weather seemed to help but I am not sure in
time for any yields.  Many plants have blossoms now.  I am in zone 5.
Eggplant put out on schedule plants look great.  Hardly a blossom or fruit.
As the peppers some blossoms showing up this past week.

Tomatoes ok.  We planted less because we had way too much waste past 3
years.  But we could have used maybe 1/2 row more.  Not that 12 tomatoes
each pick up day is bad but in some years it was like 30.  Which is not
necessarily a good thing.  We have been victims of our own success with a
few members asking for small shares.  We let them but when they leave no
more new small shares.  I know other CSAs offer them but we don't want them.
They are completly the same amount of work, newsletter, pickup day sparkling
conversation and garden work, but less $.  I think we'd quit before going to
lots of 1/2 shares.  I have sorta learned that even if there are a ton of
zucchini you can't pass out 6 per week.  Its better to compost them
(although that wasn't a problem this year).

Broccoli my own fault didn't plant enough or should say planted enough
plants but not enough insurance.  Yields low.  However I have a second
planting a 100 ft double row that looks fabulous.  I think late summer is a
good time for many plants.  I expect, hope, for a good yield just as we
close up shop.

Other stuff ok.  But weeds.  Yuck.  We started as normal but the weeds
overtook us.  So weeding was done enough to save yields.  But it has not
been a beautiful garden this year.  My flowers and herbs which are in a way
a bonus first priority are the veggies.  The weeds have overtaken.  I weeded
enough for yields and to  tell where each variety is.  But its just a place
to go get flowers and herbs its not attractive :).  I am decreasing the area
of that garden next year, going to work with some cloth mulches (looks like
black remay) and or newspaper mulch or even look into planting clover living
mulch. Any successes with clover mulch?

Got hubby excited about clover mulch for melons and maybe broccoli.  He
weeded hours and hours.

So in all it was a "sucessful" year.  But it was a hard year.  For months
now I have been saying (not out loud) can't wait till frost.  I actually
picked a close date this year. I have in the passed waited for frost, of
course it ended up being about the same date.  I told everyone last day Oct.
12.  Its been good for me a goal.    But another headache can I keep up a
nice mix of veggies?  I have enough in pure volume but I need a nice mix,
that has me nervous.  Any creative suggestions for something intesting.  I
haven't passed out any eggs this year (2 just for a taste) so I might.
Thought of jam, but frankly thats alot of work and expense.  Or I could just
past out 20 lbs of potatoes per week :).

Good luck to all of you folks  Beth

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