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Archive for December, 2014

With another season over it’s time for us farmers to reflect on the season that has past and to look towards the next. During the season we keep notes in order to help us refine our growing practices each season. But each year this gets more and more difficult as the effects of climate change get stronger. Climate change means more unpredictable and extreme weather and with each passing year it gets more difficult for us farmers to adapt, though sometimes it does work to our advantage. Our season began with a hail storm.

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Now that our beds are constructed and hoops are installed our crops will always have a protective cover/barrier on them to mitigate hail, insect, and (light) frost damage. As the season progressed it became obvious we were going to have a cool, wet Summer (which is highly unusual in this area). This meant that not only were the Tomatoes greatly delayed due to lack of heat but they, and other crops like Basil, were decimated by diseases that thrive in wet and cool conditions. If we had known in advance we would have planted more Lettuce and put out the Brassicas sooner (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kohlrabi). We took a chance with our final week – hoping that the weather would remain mild so that our crops could continue growing – but we lost that gamble when a deep Winter freeze arrived. While our beds are all covered the barrier cloth only gives a couple of extra degrees of heat and cannot protect against hard frost and a foot of snow. We felt it was better to take that gamble than to end the season early and not fulfill our commitments. After tallying the totals for the season we did manage to provide $520 worth of produce (for the $500 paid) – not the amount we were aiming for but not a total failure either. We will take what we have learned this season to further refine and perfect our growing techniques so that we can further mitigate losses and unpredictable, extreme weather due to climate change.

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In an effort to continue to provide an excellent CSA experience for our members we have created a short survey so that you can let us know how we can improve and what you enjoyed about the 2014 season. We are currently discussing different options for the 2015 season and your input will be invaluable. You can find the survey here ~ https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XY6M792

This season would not, COULD NOT, have happened without the help of many people. We could not have asked for a better intern (and we’ll be lucky to find another half as good) nor for a better work-share crew (who often brought extra family members along to help). All together – our work-share crew and our intern – brought a feeling of camaraderie, friendship, laughter, dedication, and took on every harvesting task we threw at them with ease. These folks are what made the season happen and made sure all the veggies were harvested on time. We also had the incredible help throughout the season doing everything from building + filling beds, harvesting, delivering, weeding, planting, and doing all manner of hard, sweaty work from: Chris, Paul + Sam, J + B, Nat + Anna, Marie, and Lennon + Faenin + Islove. Huge thanks go out to Deb, aka, Grandma extra-extraordinaire – the bedrock, the one who works behind the scenes keeping everything together and without whom everything would fall apart, And to Mike – who can build or fix anything and whose countless years and knowledge of farming are worth more than any book, he still works harder than most 20 year olds.

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Many thanks to our pickup locations – The staff at Shop Eco, James from The Urban Greenhouse, Mike + Landon and the staff at Take Back The Farm, and Faerie Willow Farm. We also want to thank the fantastic managers of the Belle River Farmers’ Market, River Bell, Sunshine Farms, Sunparlor Honey (who have Bees on our farm), and Linda at New Earth Organics. Without any of these folks our season would have fallen apart. It takes community to make the world go ’round. And of course we must thank all of YOU, our loyal and dedicated members, without you there would be no reason to continue growing and sharing our sustainable, local food.

Photo courtesy of B

Photo courtesy of B

We will release details of our plans for the 2015 season in the next few weeks but until then we are currently OPEN for memberships for 2015 for those who will be doing on-farm pickups. We will be offering different share options so please email us at locallygerminated@gmail.com for more details. You can secure your spot for next season with a $200 deposit. There will be perks and incentives for folks who sign up early! If members in Windsor want to sign up in advance that is also fine but we have not finalized details for how pickups will happen for next season as of yet.

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Thank you again for all of your support and encouragement and for supporting sustainable, local food in Windsor-Essex Chatham-Kent!

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