August 29 2012, Week 20


Please take a few minutes to fill out our short, anonymous, ten question (mostly multiple choice) survey at:
This is the last week of deliveries for the year, bringing us to our target of 20 weeks.
We have delivered you shares in paper grocery bags this week so you will not have to worry about bringing a box back after this week. PLEASE remember to return your boxes this week (and we will take any of the green pint container cartons as well).
We will be in touch late October to Early November to let you know how to reserve your spot for next year if that is something you would like to do.
Remember your Butternut Squash HOLDS for MONTHS, so set it up in a pretty bowl with your sweet potatoes this week and have counter art! With the cooler nights it makes me think of fall to have winter squash and sweet potato counter art.

What's growing on???

Hello Members:
Thank you for your support this season! We feel very fortunate to have dedicated members that have enabled us to achieve a 75% return rate for the past five years now. Of course there are members who may be moving or have realized the CSA is not right for them for one reason or another. Either category you fall in, we hope you are willing to fill out a survey we have put together on We are already planning next year’s plantings, harvest and post harvest systems. We want to know how we can better meet your needs. The survey is short with just ten (mostly multiple choice) questions, and should only take a few minutes to fill out. Follow this link to complete your survey:
In thinking back about the year we realize we have learned many things, like we do every year. Each year new pests, diseases and weather phenomenon challenge us to broaden our knowledge of how to better manage our ecosystem here to produce our desired results. While thinking back over the year, I would like to highlight some of the challenges we faced and what we learned, along with some of our successes from overcoming previous challenges.
Spring successes: We feel really good about the crop of Cauliflower and Broccoli produced this spring. Both are heavy feeders, requiring a lot of nutrients. Our sandy soil with low organic matter due to decades of conventional tobacco production is really put to the test with these crops. We have learned to add organic nutrients every couple of weeks to the soil, while they are growing, so these guys have a continual supply and do not suffer from rain leaching nutrients away quickly. We feel good about our carrot and beet crop this spring as well. Those are the crops our sandy soil was meant for, as they are not heavy feeders and like to have easy access into the soil depths which the sand readily allows. We have learned over the years the importance of thinning these two crops so that they have enough room to grow to full size. If they are too crowded from too good of germination in the field, they will simply not size up, period.
Spring challenges: While we were thrilled with our lettuce production for the first six week of the CSA, we were frustrated that the crop came to a halt two weeks prior to our target date. Our sandy soil does not hold moisture well, and with the added challenge of early 90 degree weather, we must have missed one afternoon (which is all it takes) of the soil getting too dry and the lettuce turning bitter from the heat and lack of water. Next year, we plan for lettuce all spring. We also missed having more spinach, due to bad germination. We have plans to facilitate this better next season. We also hope to have a little bit more Sugar snap peas for you, with one idea ready to implement for their overall productivity already in the works. If you follow the newsletter you are aware of our spring strawberry challenges and how excited we were to have found what seems to be a potential solution in our new friends, the parasitic mites. As we prepare to plant strawberries in a few weeks for next spring’s harvest, I find myself super excited for next year’s crop with my new tool in hand.
Summer Successes: I am pleased with our tomato harvest once again this year, as we have overcome MANY challenges with these guys in the past. Tomatoes can be extremely challenging to grow in our humid climate as they are susceptible to numerous diseases (and pests). Oh yum, nothing like a fresh summer tomato straight from the field. Peppers! We think we have found a pretty good way to protect these guys from enemy #1 for us, Southern Stem Blight. That disease took out our entire crop last year. This aggressive soil born disease can persist for years, waiting for wet conditions to activate it for attack. We found that delicate balance this year between allowing enough water for proper growth and fruit development YET not too much for fungal activation. Farming really is quite a dance with Mother Nature!
Summer challenges: We were sad that both the basil and green beans did not make an appearance this summer (at least not much of one for the basil). We faced both germination issues with the green beans and extreme pest pressure. We are planning some preventative measures for next year. I feel that green beans are a nice crop to add some diversity to the summer selection. I also hope to have summer squash and cucumbers a bit longer next season, although once the heat really kicks in (like it did in July this year), that can be a hard thing to accomplish.
That is a BRIEF summary of the year in review from our perspective. We hope you can take a few minutes to fill out the survey and provide us yours!! Thank you again for your support this year! Whether you show your support as a CSA member or by shopping local at the market, it is what makes our livelihood as farmers possible. So thanks! Have a great fall. Best, Elise.

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What's in the box?

Full Share
Crop Amount  

Sungolds (1 pint)

Sweet Colored peppers

Butternut Squash


Sweet Potatoes (3 lb.)

Half Share
Crop Amount  

Sweet colored peppers

Mixed Cherry Tomatoes (one pint)


Butternut squash

Sweet Potatoes (2 lb.)