June 04, 2013

CSA Update #1 from the UVM Farm

We've got a small CSA this season, just 10 members, that us until you count the 28 program students and staff. Along with that we have some wholesale accounts and are selling at a farm stand on campus Thursday afternoons.

Here's an update I recently typed for our CSA members:

As cool spring weather dragged through the month of April and we waited for warm weather, our greenhouse filled to the brim and our transplants yearned to be outside. In early May hot weather arrived along with 24 students taking part in the Farmer Training Program.

It was a beautiful chaos for the first couple days as we learned each others names and rushed to plant potatoes and beets. With spring turning to summer in a matter of days, the fields had dried out and we were able to get in there with the tractor to cultivate and plant.

While the tractor took care of preparing long rows for onions, leeks, and other large crops; we used muscle-power to prepare the garden for a diversity of small and specialty crops (over 60 different varieties). A winter cover crop of Rye grass had bounced back and was thriving in the heat. We pulled it out clump by clump in what became an arms race against the Rye’s desire to spread seed. Now it’s in a great big pile of compost that will be added back to the soil. Its part of a balance on the farm to not only grow great food but to practice less impactful ways to work the land by hand.

There’s a special buzz on this farm that’s apparent in the enthusiasm brought to simple tasks like weeding the fields and technical lectures on greenhouse management. The sheer number of us together on the farm, learning and working is a sight to behold.  Now the gardens are looking good and the fields are growing well. Our first harvest is coming soon and we hope you’ll enjoy the food. 

Inline image 1
Farm students and seed flats in the hoop house.

Inline image 2
Onion planting extravaganza!
Inline image 3
Head lettuce successions 1 and 2. A couple weeks from harvest.

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