Friday, January 28, 2011
The first item on our list of things to do is to thank Ryan Campbell for coming out yesterday and going through what, seemed to be a frustrating day of starts and stops. As in life, things that seem easy can be deceiving and so it was with the greenhouse yesterday. The bracing had to be readjusted which meant back tracking a bit. In the process of making mistakes we learn and move forward, and so, today Steve, Chris Long, Scott Rogers, Neth Hass and our buddy Phil raised all of the hoops today! A big day on the farm. Thank You to everyone who came out today. Steve and I are truly blessed with good friends and a good community.
A little aside, Chris's dog looked on with approving wags of his tail.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
We have been trying to hash out the details for our winter season shares. There is much to think about and decide when it comes to growing produce in Illinois in the winter. We will have green houses to further enhance the possibilities. However, with over 30 years of experience, Steve knows that there are many different variables in the winters in Southern Illinois even with green houses and mulch, and we are going to make sure we do everything possible to have the best produce available for the Winter Shares and not fall short for our members.
First item is the question everyone asks, what vegetables are winter or cold season vegetables? Well, they are your root vegetables like carrots, beets, parsnips, celery root etc. and they are broccoli, greens and lettuces. They can also be storage vegetables like sweet potatoes. We will not try to grow vegetables in the green houses that are not in season. We do not believe that tomatoes, for instance, taste as good when forced to grow in a green house as they otherwise would in the warm sunshine in their proper season.
The type of winter weather we have will also determine availability. A lot of mulching and covering will have to be done for the cold weather vegetables if the temperatures gets too cold, and even that does not guarantee root vegetables will survive.
We will be setting the winter/Cold Shares up separately from the 24 week season we already have. This will give people the option to continue, or extend their membership and will give others an option to join solely in the winter if they prefer. Our current members will have first sign up rights. We do know that it will be run slightly different from the 24 week season. We will be distributing every other week. All vegetables grow more slowly in cold temperatures. The off week will give the vegetables more time to grow. Beyond that, we are still making some decisions. We will be emailing some questions, along with our initial ideas, to our current members. The answers to the questions will assist in finalizing our Winter/Cold season share plan.
There is a reason that many farmers, conventional and organic, have not attempted much of this in Southern Illinois. This year will be a trial year and we will need a lot of our members input and understanding to get this Winter season share section of our C.S.A. up and running smoothly. We will keep everyone posted.
Friday, January 21, 2011
We have finally started to put up the new high tunnel greenhouse this month. It is a process, not an event. The weather has slowed Steve and friends down a little bit, but it has not dampened our excitement.
The greenhouse project has shown us what a community is really all about. There are many friends who are helping to make this second greenhouse come to life. So many thank yous will be going out along the way. To kick it all off - The first thank you goes out to Neth Hass our neighbor and friend who is meticulous about measurements and math so he got all the wholes drilled and the stakes spaced out spot on. The second thank you goes to Ryan Campbell who, along with Steve, dragged all of the hoops down to the plot of land we are building the high tunnel on and the two of them put the bracing on the hoops and set them out ready to be erected when the weather breaks.
The greenhouse project also reminds us that spring is right around the corner and the new season begins. It promises to be our best C.S.A. yet and we can't wait!
We will keep updating the greenhouse story so stay tuned.