Welcome to the first delivery of the 2013 season! It is with great anticipation and pleasure that we're once again cleaning the pack room, tuning up the CSA line, and preparing to pack boxes this afternoon for the first time in 4 months. A great vegetable season lies ahead, and we're delighted that you're along for the ride!
I'll be honest and admit that we'd planned for this delivery to be quite a bit fuller than it is. We worked like crazy all spring on "early season" crops that we'd hoped would be ready by now. Those crops are still there (in the field) and they're super healthy and happy with the rain. It's just that they won't be mature enough to harvest for a week (or 3!).
Considering the field conditions we've experienced all spring, it's a minor miracle that we have anything to harvest whatsoever this week. The persistent cool and rain- the most intense in recorded history in southern Minnesota- have set us fully 4 weeks behind last year, and 2-3 weeks behind normal. Our neighbors are experiencing devastating flooding in fields once again, but our new location has kept us safe and dry so far (thank goodness for that!).
The salad mix, spinach and radishes that are normally part of this first delivery are simply not big enough to pick. Neither are the leaf lettuces in your box, really. They'll be super good eating now, but they would need another 2 week's growth to get to "full size" (even with sunshine and 76 degrees). This is where having a significant commercial-scale farm backing up your CSA program is a major benefit: we simply "robbed" the lettuce field that we'd planted for our commercial customers, to come up with the lettuces in your box today.
Many new things are in place this spring for CSA members such as yourselves, thanks to all the great work of Katie and Greta through the winter. I invite and encourage you to check these things out on our website: the Local Thyme meal planning service, the Affordable Share Program, the new website itself. I'll be writing more on a number of subjects this week, including reflections on the wet spring, on my recent vacation, and on the upcoming graduation of our #1 son (and his last season working at Featherstone Farm). Please keep an eye out for these things and more on our farm blog.
In the meantime, thank you so much for joining our CSA program this season. We are humbled and grateful for your faith in us. We will do our very best to make sure that your deliveries are bountiful and healthful throughout the season, despite the rain and flooding.