We have made it to the end of the 2016 CSA season. I hope all of you have enjoyed all the fresh vegetables and my ramblings. It was certainly a very strange year for us. A pregnant lady in the spring, a baby in summer and no rain to be found during any season. Emmaline has changed our lives and by having her around we were able to break down what are the most important parts of the farm operation. By having less time and a little thing whose future depended on us my planning was kicked up to the next level. Next year will be another year of great changes. With better storage we will be able to produce far more vegetables then we can currently. No pigs, chickens or milking cows will free up time to be more efficient with our time and do the things we like most.
Just like last year I had a mad dash of rice harvesting on tuesday. On monday right before dark I walked down to the rice paddies to grab a 55 gallon drum and to my dismay found 15ish turkeys right on the edge of on of the paddies. They had hit it a bit but only half were in it when i found them. So I made a bunch of racket and the flew away. Figuring it was almost dark and they would probably be calling it a night I headed back up to the house after 5 or ten minutes of pushing them further and further away. Chasing turkeys hanging out up in the trees is a strange experience to be sure. That night was just a bit rough. I kept waking up thinking I was hearing turkeys, so by the time the sun was up I was ready with rice sickle in hand. But i was still a bit slow they managed to beat me out there and eat a section. I’m estimating they pounded down 50-70 pounds of rice over between the evening hit and the morning strike. If only our rice wasn’t worth that much a pound it wouldn’t be such an annoyance. But its the tough life of a grain grower. We probably lost another 60-70 pounds to sections that were too weedy and another 50-60 pounds to small birds eating the rice. And then a whole lot of pounds because of the dry weather. But with all that plus our other crazy summer adventures I’m guessing we end up with 200-250 pounds of rice this year. Not to bad considering and I know we would have been much farther a head by having just a few little changes that will happen next year.
We had our first touch of frost this past week. It didn’t hurt anything. Only the front yards grass seemed to catch the cold. But its a slippery slope. The real cold nights start popping up more and more frequently then somehow the ground is frozen and days are to short to get things done. Last year was strange in that we had a really hard frost up here in late september then it was relatively warm through november. Our goats instead of having nice hard rice paddies had to deal with finding high ground to avoid the wet mess that was being made. This year we are planning on giving them a section of woods to go along with he field and paddies incase of another fall like that. We won’t have much stuff outside that needs to be covered by the dreaded Remay. Remay is the light weight spun plastic that looks like a blanket that we use to protect veggies from light frosts this time of year. It is a pain to work with if there is even a hint of a whisper of a light breeze. And then it catches on some random stick and tears negotiating its benefits. But it is magical stuff. If it could hold more weight it would protect spinach all winter long outside. In the high tunnels it’s not nearly and trouble unless you forget to cover stuff up and it ends up being a frozen wad of white ice once the sun goes down.
We really hope that everyone has enjoyed this year’s vegetable adventure and somehow spring will show up again and with it fresh veggies. But if you need a fix the rutland market runs every saturday through out the year. We always want to hear feed back from you guys to help me plan for next year and make any changes that we can do make sure everyone is getting an excellent CSA experience. Thanks again for a great summer and we hope to see you soon.