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from the Field

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October 20, 2019
Almost Assessment & Reflection Time
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

Fast germinating wheat poking through the mat of straw in new Field 1 waterway.
Time moves quickly during the Main Season, perhaps due to the fact that there's hardly a minute to pause, reflect, and consider the passage of time. I do make an effort to take a second and make a note whenever something occurs with crop production that is worth having record of in the future. While my memory is probably okay, if I don't write it down (more accurately type it digitally) there's a chance we could make the same mistakes all over again. Farming, like many tasks and jobs and life, is a series of trials, experiments, experiences that one learns from and builds upon. Because some crops might only be grown once per year and because we have to wait a full year until we go about it all over again, it is helpful to have a good record of production. A lot of our 'off season' is spent reflecting, scrutinizing production and yield, finding ways to improve, deciding what may be superfluous, trying to identify what keeps members' tummies happy. Thus, we're about to depart the time of the season of serious hustle and bustle as we embark on the season of reflection and planning. That said, please let us know if you have any specific helpful tidbits of information to improve your/our CSA!
Last week we endured/enjoyed the first real rain event in a few months. It was definitely good to receive an ample soaker before temperatures and day length drop. It's worth noting that even though it rained outside and the ground is now saturated, we need to manually add water to our indoor tunnel environments where we exert control of most variables. The penultimate round of 2019 transplants was deposited in the soil last week and with each round the tunnel crops need at least two doses of watering with the wand followed by drip irrigation. When the plants are first transplanted their roots are confined to the surface of the soil; the goal here is to saturate the top of the soil profile to ward of transplant stress and encourage establishment of roots. After a few days they perk up and their roots begin to grow. We then water with drip tape about once per week, giving them a good drink, hoping their roots are now well established. Turning drip tape on is much quicker and easier than manually watering with a hose and wand which would take hours. Come December we probably won't have to water at all since evaporation will be minimal, roots should be well established, and soil moisture should be omnipresent.
The last few weeks of the Main Season are now upon us and we're feeling very thankful for what has been a pretty good year of farming. We're grateful for the support of our members and truly appreciate your support and trust. Since the light at the end of the Main Season tunnel can now be glimpsed with proper glasses we're confident the final few weeks will hold a bounty of good produce. Enjoy!
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