Our first CSA Summer Share program was oversubscribed before Christmas and got underway on 13th January. We have now been in full swing for four weeks and are really pleased with the food we are growing and what we are providing in the weekly boxes. The feedback from the 16 families who joined us for this short trial program has been wonderful with all telling us they would be extremely likely to recommend Transition Farm Community Supported Agriculture to people they know. The taste of the vegetables has been an overwhelming success. This has given us much encouragement as we plan for our first full CSA program that will start later this year.
We have had an oversupply of most vegetables and have been very happy to put this excess into the weekly boxes for those subscribers who have been able to use it. The remainder has gone to our local Salvation Army Soup Kitchen.
CSA Subscribers have been receiving a weekly CSA Newsletter a few days prior to their pick up day letting them know what produce to expect in their boxes. Our weekly “What’s in the Box” newsletters can be found under the CSA Newsletters on our website. Above is a photo for the 3rd week – showing subscribers what they will be getting in a 2 person half-share box.
The weekly newsletter has been accompanied with notes on the various vegetable varieties and recipe suggestions. The recipes are also on our website. We invite anyone interested to be part of our next CSA Share program to email us and we will add your name to our list.
FARM PLANTING PROGRESS
We have been taking photos of the farm since we arrived 4 years ago in an attempt to document all that we are doing. The below series of photos are all taken of the same view up the main drive – showing the farm upon purchase, the areas covered in cardboard and mulch, the growth of the indigenous coastal natives, fruit and nut trees, vegetable mandalas and pasture renovation.
We started doing all of this on sandy country in fairly poor condition, with soil imbalances and without much life. To see, smell and feel the land now, full of life and producing very tasty food, just makes us want to keep going and growing. It is not just the food for us, humans, but the whole ecosystem which is a constant source of amazement and interest for us. There is now a pair of wedge-tail eagles circling the farm and local farms, many lizards, skinks and baby lizards, birds, bugs, worms and we hope a countless number of microorganisms… The ecosystem is flourishing.
And like anyone else growing vegetables, we have had some “pest” challenges. Earlier in the year we had an infestation of white fly. That remedied itself with ladybirds arriving and the plants fending off the bugs. We are finding it really interesting observing what happens if we wait to address “pest” invasions and watch what might happen in the natural system.
We now have green vegetable bugs or shield beetles, mating, laying eggs, hatching and larvae. These are sucking bugs which can damage tomatoes, beans, eggplant, zucchini, to name a few. We have been collecting all stages to pepper them (a biodynamic method of insect control) but we have also been watching to see who might come to help us. Will a tachnid fly arrive to lay eggs on the larvae? Will a parasitic wasp arrive to help us? Is this “stink bug” actually feeding on other insects that would damage our crops? Truthfully, we do not know. So we wait and watch and trust.
For now there is ample food for our family and those of our members. We are very thankful!! And we are enjoying the food each day.
Gardening notes for this week have been posted. These gardening notes offer further insight into the biodynamic and sustainable farming practices that we are using as well ideas for the home gardener.
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On the right of the Seasonal Notes page, there are links to previous posts sorted by month. You can also click on any of the bold words under the heading “TAGS” and search for any posts on those topics.