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News and Notes
from the Field

Posts Filtered by Month - February 2018 |
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February 25, 2018
Thanks Folks!
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
Will February showers bring March flowers?
We made it! The final harvest week of the Winter CSA is upon us and spring is in the air. Ten weeks ago we were deep in the throes of winter and concerned that some of the crops wouldn't survive the prolonged freeze. Most of them did, highlighting their resiliency while reminding us of our dependence on the warming sunshine to heat the tunnels during daytime and on row covers and greenhouse film to trap that heat to keep the tunnels above the low temperature damage threshold during the night. After those two weeks of extreme cold it's been fairly moderate with inside covers unused probably half the time.
Besides our extra focus in improved and increased quantities of fresh crops in the tunnels, we also knew we had to give more attention to maintaining the quality of the storage crops (based on our experience from the previous two winter seasons). We have three different rodent proof, insulated, and temperature controlled storage rooms in the barn where we also monitor and modify humidity levels with buckets of water, spraying roots with water, and adding water-soaked towels to keep crops from drying out. Different crops require different temperatures and humidity/moisture levels. Over time we've learned which crops do well in specific rooms and at what temperature and moisture level. Some of this information is published elsewhere and has been helpful but learning from experience about our micro-climates and site specific characteristics just takes time.
Forty-two weeks ago we embarked on the 2017 Main Season CSA and have hosted pick ups every week since then. Ten weeks from now the 2018 Main Season CSA will begin and we hope you will join us. We recognize that you have many options available when deciding where to procure your veggies and we are truly grateful for your patronage of Anchor Run CSA. Thank you for your support and trust in bringing you organic, local, and seasonal food!
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February 25, 2018
At the Finish Line!
Expected Harvest
by Dana Hunting
Catkins on the American hazelnut (not included in the harvest) getting ready for some wind pollination.
Winter CSA Harvest #10 (Week B) should include garlic, spinach, salad mix (lettuce, claytonia), red cabbage, rosemary, a potato/sweet potato choice, daikon radishes, greens mix (mizuna, tatsoi), and a root choice (watermelon radishes, scarlet turnips, celeriac).
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February 25, 2018
Bridge Closure Information
Other News
by Dana Hunting
Has spring sprung?
Starting Monday, February 26th, the 166-year-old bridge a few hundred feet north of the farm on Route 232/2nd Street Pike will be closed for repair work. For more information follow this link.
Check maps.google.com for your best alternate route to and from the farm. There are many options.
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February 25, 2018
Hope to See You in May!
Other News
by Dana Hunting
Planted in early November, this year's garlic has finally woken up and emerged from its winter slumber where it's been protected by a thick mat of straw mulch. This crop will provide: green garlic and garlic scapes in the spring, fresh garlic in July, and cured garlic through late summer, fall, and winter.
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February 19, 2018
Southbound
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan

Hiking in North Carolina (who can spy Derek?)
Apologies for the late newsletter! We left the farm for a long-weekend excursion to North Carolina to visit family so the newsletter is going out a bit late this week. And spending nearly 8 hours in the car after setting out at 6:15 this morning has left me mentally under performing. I will do my best to keep this coherent and concise!
Last week we coordinated our annual potting soil order with 7 other local farmers to get a full tractor-trailer load of organic mix from upstate NY. We also built some workbenches for our modest workshop and ordered the critical repair component (hopefully) for our greenhouse exhaust fan. Another long meeting with NRCS/USDA for water management and erosion control was held, which will - also hopefully - eventually turn into application and implementation.
On the agenda for this week is an all-day class on "Food Saftety Modernization Act Produce Safety Training". Attendance of this class is a requirement under the new Food Safety Modernization Act. Because we will begin seeding in the greenhouse next week we'll probably begin getting the space ready by cleaning up the winter crops, laying landscape fabric, and erecting tables.

This is the final week of pick up for Week A Half Shares, way to go seasonal eaters! Thank you for joining us this winter and hopefully we'll see you this spring for our Main Season CSA!

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February 19, 2018
Penultimate Pick Up
Expected Harvest
By Derek McGeehan
Winter Harvest #9 (Week A) should include garlic, daikon radishes, cabbage (red or napa), potato/sweet potato choice, greens (spinach, arugula), salad mix, rosemary, and a root choice (watermelon radish, scarlet queen turnip, celeriac).
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February 19, 2018
Bridge Closure Information
Other News
By Derek McGeehan

Stacking wood on the porch for easier access
Starting Monday, February 26th, the 166-year-old bridge a few hundred feet north of the farm on Route 232/2nd Street Pike will be closed for repair work. For more information follow this link.
Check maps.google.com for your best alternate route to and from the farm. There are many options.

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February 11, 2018
Misty Moisture Majestic
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
Pre-deluge stroll around an already soggy farm.
It might have been a slow and sleepy time on the farm last week, or at least according to these current reflections on a sleepy Sunday misty morning it feels that way. We did submit our annual update for organic certification as well as put the finishing touches on our greenhouse seeding, direct seeding, and transplanting schedules. We also finalized the plans for the crop rotation and mapped out where all the crops will call home this season. Conversations continued with Natural Resources Conservation Service to improve water flow and erosion control around the farm. Concrete was removed, a hole was dug, and pipes were connected to install a 2nd sump pump in our basement. Fortunately I was able to hook it up just prior to Happy Hour on Saturday, or more importantly just before the heavy rain arrived. Now it goes off every 5 minutes or so. On the agenda for this week is organizing and building a workshop in our garage as well as harvesting and hosting the weekly pick ups. Hope you're snug and dry!
Big water flow in meadow.
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February 11, 2018
Number 8
Expected Harvest
By Derek McGeehan
Spinach in the hoop tunnel.
Winter Harvest #8 (Week B) should include potatoes, garlic, rosemary, watermelon radishes, arugula, a cabbage choice (red, Napa/chinese), a greens choice (spinach, mix), and a roots choice (celeriac, scarlet turnips, daikon radishes).
Chickweed for the chickens.
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February 4, 2018
Vegetable Family
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
A new farm family photo.
It's February, we're already past the halfway point of the Winter CSA, are embarking on harvest week #39 since last May, and are ever-so-close to beginning the physical preparations for the next growing season. According to our 2018 Crop Plan we begin seeding into flats in the greenhouse the week of February 25th, just 3 weeks away. That same week we may begin preparing beds in the tunnels for very early carrot and beet sowing. Outside soil prep probably won't begin until mid/late March, or whenever the soil is sufficiently dry/unfrozen, and planting into the ground won't begin until early April.
The Winter CSA essentially bridges the gap between two warm-and-official growing seasons in different calendar years and really makes apparent the continuity of (plant) life while we circle the sun. This is mostly due to the protective qualities of our multiple tunnels, allowing crops and plants to survive/thrive during the coldest time of year. Whereas we previously quasi-hibernated during the winter months, focusing primarily on indoor and administrative preparations for the warmer time of year, now we do that plus maintain live plants as well as a plethora of storage crops with differing temperature and moisture needs. (A long long time ago there also used to be some very nice pre-child vacations).
Winter growing was an original challenge we had in the backs of our minds in the very beginning nine years ago. Of course at that time we were primarily getting our feet under us as we took over farm operations from the previous growers, focused solely on the 25-week Main Season CSA. It's been sort of like building-blocks since then, one layer at a time, steady, a few topples and rebuild. Now that we're here we can think about the next layer, be it increased fruit production, year-round CSA harvests, grain growing, all of the above or none of the above. We'll see.
Fresh claytonia and lettuce mix in the greenhouse in January.
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February 4, 2018
Introducing Watermelon Radish and Claytonia
Expected Harvest
By Derek McGeehan
Winter Harvest #7 (Week A) should include garlic, potatoes, a greens choice (spinach, arugula), salad mix (lettuce, claytonia), a root choice (celeriac, purple daikon, scarlet turnips), rosemary, watermelon radishes, and a cabbage choice (red, napa/chinese).
Abigail munches on a head of claytonia.
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