Week #2 Farm News—Great Spring Disaster of 2013

Phew. Katie and I just finished a long, hot, and muggy work day at the farm. The sun really makes you tired, even if you take long breaks under the shade tent and drink lots of water. This is really one of the busiest times of the season because we have so much watering to do, seeds to plant, and young plants to transplant into the ground. It’s nonstop and as we check things off the list, we just add more and more things to it. As you walk onto the farm, you may have noticed trays full of plants in the rows between the beds. These are the subject of my news bulletin for the week–The Great Spring Disaster of 2013. As many of you know, Spring can be kind of a scramble for any person silly enough to try their hand at growing crops of any sort. Many things can go awry in this business, not to mention the unpredictable weather (e.g. never ending winter!) Many of you may remember back to our first year doing Patchwork when there was a hail storm at the end of June that probably lasted under a minute but managed to destroy half of the crops that we had planted in the field. Yes, we lost a lot of beautiful squash and melon plants to those golf ball sized nuggets from hell. In spite of this, we recovered and had an awesome year with lots of delicious squash and melons. Last year, you may remember being invited to a lot of “parties”  in April. These soil moving “parties” were an attempt to move an entire garden’s worth of soil onto our Chicago lot after being booted from a lot in Garfield Park. What a mess, but we did it with the help of a lot of friends. This year was no exception to the trend of Spring mishaps. In a nutshell, all of our plant starts failed. We bought our seed starting mix from a reputable Chicago company and it turned out to have a nutrient imbalance and all of our plants grew about 2 inches and then just stopped. We have a lot of diminutive tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cabbages, and kale sitting in our hoophouse right now not doing much of anything. This was a pretty big blow for us, watching all of our carefully selected plant varieties suspended, never to grow into beautiful plants.Thankfully, this company replaced a lot of our plants that we lost and we have been able to purchase some as well. City Farm was nice enough to give us some extra onion and kale plants, too. If you haven’t been to City Farm (at Division and Clybourn) you should definitely go. It is an awesome place, very inspiring, and the people who run it are wayyyy cool. Anyhow, I just wanted to share with you some of our unfortunate history, but I also want to give you a sneak peak at some of the exciting things to come this year. We are expanding the chicken area and welcoming 20 or so new chickens to the farm. We are also starting to grow mushrooms and doing a farmers market for the first time. The Logan Square night market will be every Wednesday from 5-9 in Palmer Square. You should come by and say hi and tell your friends to come, too. Also, we are having a show/party/bbq on Sunday June 9th at the farm. There will be more details to come. That’s pretty much all for now. Please share your recipes with us as you invent them and be ready to take home a potted parsley plant next week in your csa share. If you can’t take it home for some reason we can keep it until you can figure something out. Thanks everyone for your excitement and positivity. We love growing food for you!

Molly

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