This weekend we will be hitting the nineties and are hopeful that this will really jump start the growing season. So far the only crops taking off have been our lettuces, kale, chard and beets. We call these our cool crops. Strawberries are about to kick off as well. We began planting tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers and eggplant around May 7. These are our warm weather veggies. With all the wind, cloudy and cool weather they have not really taken off. In fact we’ve had to do some replanting to replace the ones that didn’t make it. We will be direct seeding sunflowers and greenbeans starting this week as we begin harvesting our cool crops.
We have been in a bit of disagreement with the weather so far this season. Where we made the decision to open early, mother nature has decided to make us wait. Everything seems a bit later than usual. To compromise we have been selectively filling our tables with quality produce from sources not as local as we would like with the intent of replacing them as ours become available. We’ve heard from some members a bit of disappointment at finding stickers on our fruit, however most have expressed gratitude of having filled tables with lots of choices. At the markets and in our CSA I am counting some 28 local produce items and this will only improve over the next few weeks. Although it’s difficult to make everyone happy, we aim to do so shortly so bare with us. To peruse our entire catalog and find out what’s local check out our online marketplace.
At Norman’s we value our relationships with other growers and have cultivated a farmer-to-farmer network which has spanned over five decades (since the late eighties). This week we are heading to the Carolinas for blueberries and that’s where the strawberries have been coming from as well. To justify the freight we work with a few other partners and go in together. Soon we will be picking up peaches, nectarines and melons. We are also heading to Virginia’s Northern Neck for many of the vegetables we grow, however their’s will be ready several weeks earlier. Across the bay bridge we are picking up asparagus and will get the early sweet corn, and a majority of our summer melons. While from the Amish growers up in Lancaster, PA we will source our fabulous high tunnel tomatoes and fill in with lots of other odds and ends. Most of our tree fruit from early season cherries and apricots to late summer freestone peaches and even autumn apples and pears will be coming from our growers in Adams County, Pa just over the Maryland line.
From our farm we will be harvesting lots of berries, sunflowers, tomatoes of all shapes, sizes and colors of the rainbow, salad greens, beans, squash, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic and onions. We’ll start picking this week and go through October with cauliflowers, broccolis, brussels sprouts, cabbages and kales. We are hoping our successes outnumber our failures through the lessons we’ve learned in seasons passed. But are humbled by the realization there is always unforeseen circumstances, and new challenges. We approach the season with a resourcefulness toward finding solutions and pacing ourselves with a marathon runner’s mentality (I can only guess).
So enjoy the summer weather this weekend and stick with us as your source for good things to come. We feel honored to play a role at your dinner tables and summer cookouts. See you soon.