We had a small but hearty group on Saturday for the Lida Farm tour. I think when it’s 90% humidity at 7 am, only the most motivated decide to walk around farm fields in the heat listening to me talk about organic agriculture. Thanks to all who made it out and thanks to OCIA (our certification agency) for sponsoring refreshments.
When doing the tour, one thought came to me which I’ve had many times before. Boy, every season is the same, but different in so many ways. I know that sounds like politician-speak, so let me explain.
THE SAME: When I look at ‘what’s in the box’ on our blog back to 2006, the vegetable season is pretty much the same thing over and over. Spinach is in the first box with some radishes and then spinach re-appears in the last couple boxes. Green onions go in early-season boxes and then I transition to regular onions (which we started last week). Same pattern over and over. This makes sense because there are only so many crops that grow in MN and everything has its season.
DIFFERENT: Even with the same pattern of production, the quality and yield of crops is different year to year. I’m staring down the biggest and best tomato crop I think I’ve ever grown in my life. Maybe I’m jinxing myself by writing it, but I’ve never seen so healthy a stand of tomatoes with so much fruit on the vine. When these things ripen, look out! Last year, in contrast, I had these sad little plants. Early heavy rains in June beat down the tomato vines and they were set back for the whole year.
The differences come with weather, certainly, but the differences also come with the workflow of the season. Juggling 30-some crops, some years I get celery weeded at a good time and other years it becomes the forgotten crop. As I told the tour this weekend, some plantings are abandoned each year – I’ve let go about four so far this year. It’s nothing personal, plants 🙂
In the box:
- Cherry Tomato mix
- ‘Trinity’ Bi-Color Sweet Corn
- ‘Norland’ Potatoes
- Bunch of Carrots
- Sweet Onion
- Red Torpedo Onion
- Little Green Leaf Lettuce
- ‘Ace’ Green Pepper
- ‘Islander’ Purple Pepper