What's New at the Farm

October 17

Thanks for being flexible with this two week break around our daughter's wedding. All went well and we had a lovely time sharing the farm with family. We lucked out with beautiful fall weather and were able to have the event outside. Photo by farm member, Steve Jacobs.

Now we find ourselves at the end of another growing season, so grateful for your commitment to the farm. It is no small thing to commit to eating in season, to supporting our farm, to creatively cooking with what is in your box each week.

From the memories of the warmth of summer to this last box with its fall bounty, we hope you feel our deep gratitude for another season of friendship and connection to the earth and to each other.

We wish you all the best!

Until next spring,

-- Margaret and Dan

September 12

We hope you are enjoying the cooler fall weather. Look for leeks and the first butternut squash in your box this week.

Last week we said goodbye to Isaiah. We were so privileged to have him be part of the crew this season. Isaiah grew up eating Common Harvest vegetables and when he was little, had thought someday he would like to be an intern at the farm. Well, it worked out this summer. He is off to North Carolina where he will be working for the Conservation Corps. We wish him all the best as he works on trails in the Smoky Mountains.

-- Dan and Margaret

September 5

We hope you all are having a nice Labor Day. I always find this holiday bitter-sweet. I love thefall and all the beauty it brings, but I still want to hang on to summer. You will notice a bit of "September" in your box with the first harvest of winter squash. This smaller sweeter acorn squash variety is called Honey Bear. It is the first winter squash variety we harvest and is ideal for baking in the half shell and serving. So here is to the changing of the seasons but as a nod to summer, and not to let it slip away too quickly, I've included a picture of the sunflowers at the farm.

All the best to all of you in this transition time.

-- Margaret and Dan

August 29

Thanks to all who were able to come out to the farm for the potluck. What a great afternoon with great food and great people!!

As Labor Day approaches, and along with it our fall schedules, we wanted to let you know that the last delivery of the season will be October 13th.

Also, there will be no delivery on October 6th. Our oldest daughter, Annie, is getting married the next day! We will send out reminders of these dates as they get closer.

This week we say goodbye to Charlie. Charlie begins his senior year in high school. Besides all his work on the crew (see photo of him harvesting green onions, he has entertained us with his music. He is a fantastic musician and we were so grateful for his willingness to bring his keyboard and provide music for us yesterday at the potluck. We wish Charlie all the best!

-- Dan and Margaret

August 22

This week we say goodbye to two more of our interns who are returning to college. See photo of Seamus and Nora finishing up the Monday cherry tomato harvest. Seamus returns to classes at Macalester College next week. He is a junior majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Spanish. Nora also is a junior at Macalester. She is majoring in American Studies. We are so grateful for their help, their questions, and their great energy and laughter. We have just loved having them be part of Common Harvest this season! We wish them all the best!

-- Dan and Margaret

August 15

It is hard to believe, but we are beginning to say goodby to our interns. Finn and Renee leave us at the end of this week. The picture is of the two of them harvesting onions. Finn begins his junior year at the University of Minnesota. He is majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Renee (who has worked at Common Harvest for two summers) returns to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa for her sophomore year. She is majoring in Environmental Studies. We are so grateful for their help and have just loved having them be part of the farm. We wish them all the best!

-- Dan and Margaret

August 8

We got rain! Over the weekend we got a little over an inch and a quarter. We are feeling replenished!!

*A note about the cabbage and tip burn. We mentioned this issue a few weeks ago and did a little more research. The dry and dark edges of the inner leaves are caused by an inability of the plant to take up calcium. Plants get adequate calcium intake when moisture levels remain even. The extremes of temperature and dryness are the underlying culprits. For more information: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/IPM/english/brassicas/diseases-and-disorders/tipburn.html

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, August 28. We are hoping to have a gathering at the farm this season. Instead of the fall, we will do an end of summer celebration with a potluck and farm tours. We feel it would be best to see each other before school starts and we all start spending more time indoors. More details to follow.

Have a good week.

-- Margaret and Dan

August 1

We continue to miss the rains so we are irrigating as much as possible. In the fields we are done harvesting from, Dan is planting cover crops and even though it is dry, it is good to be staying on schedule knowing that when the rains come, the seeds are there to germinate.  We know you are experiencing this dryness in your own gardens and yards too. My mom used to say, "There is nothing like a rain from heaven!" We find ourselves thinking that a lot lately. It will be so nice when that first good rain replenishes all of us.

Have a good week.

-- Margaret

July 25

The purple cabbage you will find in your box this week is beautiful but we wanted to let you know that you may find brown leaves as you peel back the outside leaves. We think this is related to the dryness as the leaves were forming. Trim the brown but the rest of the cabbage should be fine

The photo this week is of the interns on the transplanter putting in fall beets. We have a great crew! Pictured left to right, Seamus McCarthy, Nora de Rege, Finn Salveson, Isaiah Bischoff

Enjoy this cooler week,

-- Margaret and Dan

July 18

On Friday we harvested a beautiful crop of garlic. (See photo) You will find a fresh garlic bulb in your box this week.

We are starting to get dry. After receiving more than two inches of rain in the middle of June, we have received less than an inch of rain over the past four weeks. We know that many of your lawns and gardens are also in desperate need of water as well. Most garden crops need an inch of rain a week during the peak of the growing season. We are starting to see some crops suffer. We are irrigating, but there is nothing like rain.

This has been an odd season in many ways with some crops early and many crops late due to the cool spring which delayed spring planting. In a normal year the harvest flows from spring greens to the heat loving crops of summer. This season however, many of the summer crops are sluggish and slow to mature resulting in some gaps in our harvest schedule. We are sure that many of you are seeing the same inconsistency in your own gardens.

We are busy trying to transplant our fall crops and the winter squash crop looks to be bountiful. We should have new potatoes in the coming week. Every year is different, yet we know that whatever the garden gives we will enjoy. We hope you are enjoying many garden meals this summer.

-- Dan and Margaret

July 5

We hope you all had a nice 4th of July holiday. As we move into July, you will begin to see more variety in your boxes. There is something entirely new this week. When we went to harvest a new variety of broccolini, we were surprised to see that it had already flowered. But we tasted the flowers, and thought "Why not?" so you will see an unusual flower bouquet in your box that is very nutritious and tasty. You can cook it as you would broccolini or use the flower and the buds (uncooked) in a beautiful fresh salad. We always say, "Mother Nature is the boss" so we are going along with her and her creativity on this one.

All the best,

-- Dan and Margaret

June 13

After our slow motion spring, it feels good to be able to start delivering produce to you this week. Cool temperatures, recent dry weather and a late frost have resulted in planting delays and slow growth for most of the garden crops. One of the most important temperatures for produce is the nighttime temperature. We have been running nearly ten degrees below normal for May and early June.

In addition to the cool nights, we have experienced some heavy insect pressure from the flea beetle. Insect life cycles and reproduction are calculated in heat degrees. The flea beetle hatches early in May, and in a typical year, only causes minimal damage for two to three weeks. This small black bug happens to love the cool nights and has been persistent for more than five weeks. With the sluggish growth of the plants, the flea beetle damage is much more noticeable than in a typical spring. You may notice that the bok choi in your box this week has lots of small holes in the leaves. (We have included a picture.) Although the damage is just cosmetic, we know it is a bit unsightly.

Sunday was a beautiful day at the farm. We received nearly an inch of rain! What a great way to start our first week of deliveries..

Thanks for joining us for another season. It feels so good to be in this together.

-- Dan and Margaret