Bird list & natural events, September 2013

September was extraordinarily busy, but also mostly glorious on the weather front. Temperatures were stable to slightly warm, putting off any threat of early and unwanted frost. Though it started as dry as previous months, we finally started receiving meaningful rainfall and ended up above average for the first time since May (4.46″, over the 3.87″ average at the Columbia gage). It’s a measure of just how dry things were, that after receiving 2.76″ overnight in mid-September, our stream never flowed and there were virtually no puddles on the farm. The parched soil and vegetation sucked all the water up as fast as it fell. But this month as a whole positioned us for a lovely fall. Continue reading

CSA distribution #22 & newsletter

The next CSA distribution will be Monday October 7 and Thursday October 10. The week after (Oct 14 & 17) will be a break, during which we’ll celebrate our anniversary and continue to catch up on farm work, then we’ll be back to a weekly schedule of deliveries for a few weeks. At this point, it appears that we should have plenty of produce to do a distribution for the last week of October (the 28th & 31st), a week that we had initially marked as uncertain. With a couple weeks of visiting help adding to our workforce, we’re currently working hard on fall cleanup and frost preparation, enjoying the sensation of being ahead of the curve on this for once (thank the pleasant weather and late frost as well). Under the circumstances, this will be a minimalist newsletter. Continue reading

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CSA distribution #21 & newsletter

The next CSA distribution will be Monday September 30 and Thursday October 3. The harvest quantities are currently bounteous, and one of our biggest worries right now is how to fit everything in the bags. We’ve started to put shares that are overflowing due to lots of extra requests into two bags. We’re afraid that even standard full shares may be pushing the overflow level by next week, now that multiple bulky leafy greens are ready for harvest. On the other hand, several summer crops have dropped off in production enough to retire them, including cukes, zukes, okra, and ripe tomatoes. But lots of great fall flavors are appearing in their place. Continue reading

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CSA distribution #20 & newsletter

The next CSA distribution will be Monday September 23 and Thursday September 26. This return to regular weekly distributions will also mark the transition into fall crops, as a number of long-running summer items will be replaced by new ingredients for you to enjoy. It’s been a busy few weeks of catching up with overproduction and work backlogs, but we’re cautiously optimistic about moving forward into fall.

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Help free Shakir Hamoodi, for his sake and ours

Once again, supporters and family of Dr. Shakir Hamoodi are mounting an effort to convince President Obama to commute his current 3-year jail sentence to time served, achieving his release and return to his family & business (past efforts have been ignored). Beyond our personal opinion of the matter, discussed in this piece from last year, this situation affects every member of the Chert Hollow Farm CSA and all those with an interest in the stability and success of our farm. Continue reading

CSA distribution # 19 & newsletter

This share is staggered over two weeks in an attempt to give your tired farmers a bit of a break; thus the distributions will be Thursday September 12 and Monday September 16, with normal distributions resuming Monday the 23rd. The impressive produce abundance is wearing us down, with near-constant harvest & food preservation sucking up time and energy, particularly in the hot dry conditions that also make irrigation a constant management concern. This is not unique to us, as noted in recent newsletters from both Happy Hollow Farm and Fair Share Farm. Thus we present a minimalist newsletter; enjoy the abundance of produce while it lasts. Continue reading

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Bird list & other natural events, August 2013

August was our third dry month in a row, and with the rising heat by the end of the month it really began to feel like a flashback to last year’s brutal summer. Overall it was a remarkably stable month in terms of weather; very little variation in temperature, few notable weather systems: it was like farming in California, for better and for worse. The days just quietly passed by, crops grew like crazy, and the natural world puttered along. Horseflies grew really intense toward the end of the month, with Joanna killing 42 in one evening’s session of field work, and Eric multiple times killing 4 in one blow on the pigs’ backs. Continue reading

CSA distribution #17 & newsletter

The next CSA distribution will be Monday August 26 and Thursday August 29. The following Monday (Sept. 2) is Labor Day, and we WILL be delivering as usual that day & week. As noted on our web calendar, we have a break built into the schedule in mid-September. To avoid the build-up of too much produce, we are staggering the days that won’t have shares. There will be NO share on Monday September 9 or Thursday September 19. Deliveries will be normal on Thursday the 12th and Monday the 16th. We skipped the break that we had hoped to take in June due to the weather-induced late start to the season, but at this point we are on track (barring catastrophe) to have 26 or 27 distribution weeks by Thanksgiving, so we think we’re justified in taking a breather.

Don’t forget this Saturday’s CSA potluck & farm tour, your best chance to see the farm in mid-season, meet other members, and explore their culinary skills. Leave a comment, or email us, to let us know you’re coming. Continue reading

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