News From the Farm | April 1, 2019

Prom Corsage? (Thank you Margaret Dollbaum, for this photo!) 

The weather prediction is that early April will bring more late rain and coolish weather to our already soaked and saturated soils.  These late spring rains have made it impossible to prepare our fields for planting, let alone get crops started for spring. In some years, our Mediterranean climate provides windows during the winter and early spring that allow us to prepare ground, plant seeds and keep a lineup of a few crops coming, but in other years, like this one, there are no openings, and we can’t work our fields because they are wet.  So we are slowly harvesting our way through each and every field of crops planted before the rain started, with one eye on the weather reports and the other on the calendar.

Our cover crops love the rain and the periods of blue sky and gentle sunshine in between.  Actually, the weather has been wonderful if you can let go of your farmer worries!  As Chica, our greenhouse manager said about the weather and rain predictions: “It’s good but it’s also bad”. The cover crops are tall and vibrant, but also ready to get knocked down and turned into the soil as soon as it is dry enough.  Cover crops help us to build soils that hold and store water during the winter, but they take careful management.  Many of our cover crops are going to seed — and we would have preferred to see them breaking down and feeding our soil microbes before the seeds formed.

Many thanks to all of our CSA members. You are so important to the Farm.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture with the idea that farms and their communities can can be connected by more than a financial relationship — in fact the soil and natural cycles that keep this farm ticking are in a certain way community property. We know that the food that we send to our member is an important part of their year-round nourishment and health. We are doing our best to care for and understand this patch of land that we call Full Belly Farm with the understanding that our CSA members are looking forward every week to a share of the harvest.

The hosts at each of our pick-up sites also deserve special recognition for all that they do to keep the CSA program running successfully. Last week, when an error occurred in the number of boxes left at one of our pick-up sites, the hosts were very helpful, and available to take a few moments out of their busy days to help us figure out what had happened.  We apologize again to our members who did not get their weekly vegetables as a result of this snafu.

We would be so happy if our CSA members were able to come and visit us on Open Farm Day, Saturday April 6th.  This will be an opportunity to walk around the farm, visit our newborn lambs, picnic on the grass and taste the delicious pizza that we bake in our wood-fired pizza oven. The farm will be open for visitors from 10:30 to 3:30.  Please leave your dogs (except for service dogs of course) at home.  The farm owners are looking forward to meeting you!

—Judith Redmond

Blue sky, tall cover crops, wet soil.