July Seventh

july-2010-001July is like a pilgrimage that I seem to go on every summer. The pilgrimage often carries on for an extended journey into the first couple weeks of August. It is a pilgrimage that often humbles me, teaches me strength, and spits me back out again a better person that I was when I went into it, but to be completely honest with you, I do not like the month of July because in my mind July equals temperatures in the mid 80’s and 90’s that make the lovely profession of vegetable farming a sincere challenge.

June Thirtieth

I was really beginning to worry about all that rain.  Secretly, quietly, and with a small amount of erosion to show for it, a wee bit of anxiety was building in me.  I don't want to say the "F" word, because I'm hopeful the weather is going to take a turn towards the sunny side, but I'm not sure my soggy heart could handle another swampy summer cleaning up after a fl#$d.  That feeling we got in the spring of 2006 and in the Summer of 2007 returned to me in the last week or so when I looked at the weather forecast and saw more severe storms on their way.  The rain not only makes it difficult for cultivation (weeding), but it also makes it hard to get your workers motivated to get out there and help you in the mud and humidity wearing rain gear and peeling a layer of muck off the bottom of their boots.  We were even tossing some kohlrabies during kohlrabi harvest that looked like they were starting to rot from all the rain-something I've never seen before.  But as I wipe the sweat off my brow today, there are three more gleaming days in the forecast with full sun up ahead!  I'm not a big fan of the heat as it is, so I never thought I would be so happy to see so much sun and heat in the days to come.JILL-AND-ADAM

All the rain sure made everything start growing!  The water loving celery looks like it grew three inches in the last week, cabbages are filling out, cucumbers are vining out and the tomatoes are looking like they need trellising already.  Is it really Week 5?  Wow!  We started picking summer squash and zucchini this week and we know that this will become an every-24-hour ritual for the rest of the summer, along with cucumbers once they begin as well.  It have a sort of love-hate relationship with those three crops for this reason.  Broccoli is in full force.  We will also be harvesting broccoli every two days for the next few weeks until every last head has been harvested.
Our lettuce patch is on the defensive.  We're still battling woodchucks and a very serious part of our lettuce patch has been gravely chewed upon by our furry little friends, but we're hopeful that their numbers are down.  We seem to see less and less of them as we catch them one by one.  We have one bed of romaine that has been a sacrificial bed for the woodchucks, distracting them with the romaine while the red leaf grows.  In previous years we were giving each member 2 or 3 heads of lettuce per box, but this year it's been difficult to get one head in every box because of the woodchucks.  All of our fall successions of lettuce will be planted out in a bigger field where we have seldom seen any damage from wildlife (other than raccoons invading our sweetcorn).

June Twenty-Third

Kohlrabi growing in the field                          Garlic Scapes all twisted up in the bins.


I realized that we've made it all the way to Week 4 of our deliveries and I haven't talked much about us, the farmers.  A proper welcoming you've received, but a proper introduction seemed to have slipped my mind.  I guess that sort of thing happens when you're left to introduce yourself.

June Sixteenth

Adam and Drew weeding Potatoes                           Julie Harvesting Swiss Chard


This week I thought of writing a little more about us, your farmers, how all this rain is putting a big "damper" on our progress in cultivation, and how the rest of the crops are progressing along.  But the truth is, I have two big things on my mind these days, woodchucks that are invading our lettuce patch and my dog that has taken a serious propensity to biting visitors to the farm.  Both are rattling my brain and the brains of the rest of the farmers who live on your lovely Small Family CSA Farm.

June Ninth


Our field of squash with mulch between the rows of plastic. --- Momma Jane washing Royal Oakleaf Lettuce.

The Small Family CSA farm is truely a family farm. We are composed of Adam Varney (my fiancee), Jane Even (my mother), Julie Jacquinot, (my sister), Drew Coonon (my sister's very serious boyfriend) and myself, Jillian Jacquinot. The five of us live on the farm and provide a good source of the labor that is needed to get the planting, weeding, harvesting, post-harvest handling and deliveries done. We do not have any hourly workers that come to work on a daily or even weekly basis. On occasion, in a pinch, we'll hire some neighbors to come over and help bail us out. This year, and I'm very happy to say, we have 7 worker-share members who come out the farm and work a 3-hour shift every week to earn their CSA box (I love our worker share members so much!). Our family farm is small. We're just the right size that we need to be for the farm to financially sustain itself.