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Farm Update

It was great to see a few minor tweaks at the CSA make such a difference this week! By extending the pickup schedules, allocating time slots and adding a second check-in person we all but eliminated the lines and wait times. We also fine tuned the order for each location to assure lots of choices which we will continue to improve each week.

From my tent in the woods overlooking the farm, with my laptop and Mifi hot spot, I conducted Zoom interviews with potential hires for our produce stands. I even got to see my first pair ever of Baltimore orioles playing around near the back of the tent during an interview. I had many great conversations with college students scattered across the country in their dorm rooms during finals week. I also got to meet with lots of local high school students that have grown up as CSA Members or stand customers. As much as I’ve enjoyed hearing each unique story and how they’ve adapted and overcome challenges over the past year, I also realize I have some tough decisions to make. This year we have over 80 applicants (so far) and twenty five positions to fill. They are primarily students looking to save for the school year or get their foot in the work force door by gaining some experience. I’m hearing that many are craving a sense of socialization and a desire to interact with customers and co-workers after a long year of isolation. I’d like to thank everyone for their interest and am excited to build a great team this season.

On the farming side we had lots of warm weather transplants to take out of the greenhouses and get into the ground this week. We concentrated on heirloom and cherry tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers and eggplant. Our first planting of determinant tomatoes is delayed by a week because of the “Great Tomato Caper”, in which our seeds went inexplicably missing and had to be reordered. We are now picking our perennial herbs: chives, mint, rosemary and thyme which you will find in Step 3 of the CSA or online for purchase. Our lettuces, kales and chard are really taking off as well.

Our strawberries are still a couple weeks away. Unfortunately that last frost at the end of April hit the blossoms pretty hard so our initial picking will be light. We’ve had bad luck do to weather with strawberries ever since we’ve started with them six years ago and it’s really starting to feel like playing black jack against a dealer that always wins. We are starting to consider whether or not it is the best use of our resources.

That’s all for now. Wishing everyone a great week and don’t forget to wish mom a Happy Mother’s Day.

John Norman

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