Casey Gooding- CSA Coordinator, Olympic Peninsula native, California transplant
Hello to all our CSA-ers! You hear from me all the time so what more can I say? Oh right… melons are soon to show up in your shares!! Get ready for melon season folks! We have our delicious Sarah’s Choice making their way in from the fields with perfect timing as our strawberries are on their way out. We grew three varieties of melons last year as a trial and those of you who were members last year got to try all three. Sarah’s Choice was the winner and so we only planted that variety but we planted multiple successions so our melon season will stretch out a bit longer if everything goes according to the farmers plan.
Speaking of fruit… I know not all of you were able to receive the blackcap raspberries. This was the first year of production and the yield was small with a very short harvest window. We are hoping next year the crop will produce even more so all of you will be able to enjoy the unique flavor of the black raspberries. We have five varieties of raspberries in the field all of which are planned to overlap each other with their production so as one crop stops producing the next one is on. We are down to our last two varieties but there is still a lot of green fruit on the canes so you’re sure to get another round or two of raspberries in your shares.
Speaking of cane berries… We used to grow two varieties of blackberries, one of which seemed to struggle with pests & disease resulting in less than favorable fruit so we mowed that one in to focus our attention this season on our more “fruitful” variety. We are finding that one to now be struggling a bit with setting quality fruit. We haven’t diagnosed the problem but we think we may just go ahead and till that crop in too and plant more beds of raspberries! The blackberries are very tricky with harvesting. It’s ideal to pick them when their flavor is at it’s peak but that means picking them when they are already a bit soft causing them to spoil very quickly before making it to market or to your home in your CSA share. Therefore, they tend to get picked a tad too early which is why if you’ve received the blackberries this season you may have noticed they were really tart. We will probably end the distribution of any more blackberries in the CSA but if you join us on our Field Day you can come pick your own perfectly ripe ones!
Speaking of the Field Day… If you haven’t made it out before I highly suggest you do. This time around Uncie Ro is serving up his famous wood-fired pizza topped with our produce!! You’ll get to see where ALL the food in your CSA share (& what goes to market) is grown, you have the opportunity to learn about the unique food system & farming practices that you are directly connected to, and you can ask your farmers all those questions you have that keep you up at night. September is a great time to tour the farm with the fields occupied by both summer & fall/winter crops. You get to see baby winter squash, baby Brussels sprout plants, the process of our dry bean harvest, and besides all that the apple tasting and cider pressing are both fun and delicious activities to partake in! Oh and plus, we get to finally meet each other and put a face to the emails!! I love meeting CSA members and talking shop!
It’s always a pleasure to “talk” with you ~Casey