News From the Farm | August 2, 2021

As always, too many options for News from the Farm for this week. Here’re just a few things to note from the past week:

1) A cooler start to the week:

We started off the week with overcast, cooler days. It barely hit 90! A noticeable difference from the usual summer weather. But then we quickly returned to the usual three-digit temperatures.

2) Onion harvest:

Remember those onions that were being hand transplanted back in early April? About four months later, they’re ready to be harvested. This means going through the field and clipping the tops, leaving them for a day or two, then pulling them from the ground. In some years, we need to use a tractor to loosen the soil (they haven’t been watered in about three weeks), but not this year. We put the onions in burlap bags, which stay out in the field for 5-7 days, depending on how hot it is. It has definitely been hot, so we’ll be on the shorter end of the spectrum this year. Then the onions are ready for storage. We treat our summer onions differently than the ones that grew over the winter that you received earlier in the spring. We store these in large vented macro-bins (about 4 feet by 4 feet and 2 and a half feet tall) and while we’ve kept them in a barn with a fan in previous years, this year we’ve got space in our new cooler for them!


3) Animals:

This week, our newest batch of chicks ventured out into the real world for the first time. After the initial period in the brooder (basically the chicken equivalent of a greenhouse), they spent a few days in the coop, getting used to it. Then they were finally let outside, surrounded by electric fencing. Despite being cooped up (pun intended) for a while, they were surprisingly slow to leave for the freedom of outside. They also needed some help getting back in the coop at night for the first few days. But they seem to have figured it out pretty quickly.


One group of sheep is currently eating down some summer cover crop while the other is working on some old corn.  And the goats are on weed control in the equipment line.


4) Spicy peppers:

This past week, Andrew and I both had spicy peppers from varieties that aren’t supposed to have any spice. He had a piquant gold Corno di Toro and I had a fiery Jimmy Nardello. So – you probably don’t need to be too worried, but it just goes to show that you can have some genetic diversity even within a species!

5) A sobering end to the week:

The main topic at our Friday morning all-staff meeting was the return to wearing masks in the shop, office, other indoor spaces, and in vehicles, per county and national public health guidance. We take this virus very seriously and are committed to protecting the farm and our customers’ health. Please remember to maintain social distancing and follow other COVID-19 protocol when picking up your CSA box.

And then right at the end of the day, there was a small grass fire across the street from the farm, which was quickly extinguished. Farm owners, neighbors and the volunteer Capay Valley Fire Department were on the scene in minutes. Not the first fire we’ve had this (dry and hot) year, nor likely to be the last.

What will this upcoming week bring? Definitely moving the onions out of the field, and lots of other harvesting (eggplants and watermelons being two of the main crops).

Elaine Swiedler, CSA Manager