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from the Field

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January 28, 2018
Winter Days
Notes From The Field
By Derek McGeehan
Winter farm scene at Anchor Run.
We're still enjoying fairly mild weather for the middle of winter. February arrives this week as we eclipse the 10-hours-of-daylight mark. We're also halfway through the Winter CSA and now daylight is going to increase rapidly as we move towards the spring equinox. During these mild winter days we walk around the farm while brainstorming ways to improve the farm for the upcoming growing season as well as farther into the future. Annual produce crops will give us immediate enjoyment this year but perennial crops like asparagus, raspberries, fruit trees, and blueberries will take a few years until they bear fruit. As we fine-tune our crop plan and rotation we realize that due to better yields and improved decision making our growing footprint is actually shrinking, allowing us to use new available land for long-term crops like the ones previously mentioned, or a sustained cover crop fallow period for soil improvement.
Thus, new challenges beckon. Sweet fruits are definite crowd pleasers and we're striving to figure out ways to bring these additional crops to you. As a Certified Organic farm there's probably a bit of a challenge in growing chemical free and healthy fruit which is why you don't see any organic fruit and berries around. We're excited to try. We're hopeful that in the same way we're able to successfully grow high quality organic produce we can slowly add more berries and tree fruits to the mix. There will be some trial by error for sure, and unfortunately the longer term investment might not reveal the errors quickly, but that's what it will take to get it right. We still have a lot to learn, but over the past 3 years we've planted 65 fruit trees, 200 blackberries, and 500 raspberries. This upcoming season we're planting 500 more raspberries and 150 blueberries as well as expanding our strawberry patch. We think diversification is key to a healthy and successful farm. Thank you for your support.
Claytonia (aka miner's lettuce or winter purslane) toss on a warm winter day. Abigail doesn't eat much raw produce just yet, but she does enjoy munching on heads of claytonia, which should arrive in shares in week #7. The heads in the shares won't be munched on.
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