Monday, August 3, 2009

FARM NEWS 8.3.09

Well folks, we hate to admit it but this week's newsletter topic is the late blight. You've probably heard and read about how this plant disease is hitting farmers hard throughout the Northeast. This is usually the week when we start harvesting the tomatoes in earnest. This year is a different story. Dan has done all he can to save the tomato crop from blight - diligently spraying with a hydrogen peroxide solution and feeding them extra calcium, potassium, and boron. Alas with all the rain his efforts haven't been able to provide what they needed most - warmth and sunshine. Now, we aren't quite ready to say there won't be any tomatoes this year. We do have one last round that we put in late that may still be harvestable. We're going to try liquid copper now. We know several farmers who have lost their entire crops of tomatoes.

We know that tomatoes are one of the most prized crops for CSA members so we plant tons of them - 3000 plants! It is hard to see all of the work that we did to raise the crop from the early seeding and potting on - to the transplanting, staking and trellising, not come into fruition. This is exactly the type of situation that CSA was made for. Thankfully we've had 8 great years without any major crop losses. Dan, in his 13 years experience, has never seen this. Not that every last crop has been perfect over the years. But we haven't had to deal with weather like this before. Just think of the market farmers who rely on their tomato crop for big farmers market sales. They are really hurting this year. Growing the varied crops for a CSA is demanding, but it is for just this type of year where diversity really is a good investment. And CSA farmers are grateful for members who understand the how important their support for the farm is regardless of the vagaries of the weather.

So thank you for your continued support and we'll keep you updated on the tomato situation. In the meantime enjoy all the other bounty the farm has to offer: Here's this week's harvest: lettuce, chard, cukes, zukes, eggplant, onions, thyme, potatoes, fennel


june said...

I cannot begin to imagine what it's like to do all that nurturing work on a crop and then have it fail utterly (or almost). Must be very demoralizing.

David Roth said...

As long as there's no such thing as fennel blight, we on the receiving end (at least in this apartment) will remain psyched, and happy to have what you're giving. Tomatoes are not the only fruit.