Late Spring report, Strawberries, and musings from Riverland

I know some people are eating a few of last fall’s sweet storage carrots with this spring’s green onions…Full circle local eating–woo-hoo!!

In the last couple of weeks I cleaned out my root cellar (okay, yes, there were a few sprouted potatoes in there), defrosted the freezer…and picked my first couple quarts of strawberries : )

News from Picadilly is that the flowering strawberries survived the late frosty weather this May just fine and this year’s crop looks to be a good and plentiful one.  Of course a little sun would help that along, too!

Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury is open for PYO strawberry picking!  Looks to be a drier weekend with pleasant temperatures.

From Rob, Meghan, and Cayden at Riverland Farm:

“At long last the time has come…We ate through the roots we had stored and finished up the greens in the high tunnel in early March and ever since we’ve been yearning for this day.  A day that we can walk out into the field and decide what to eat for dinner.  A day that we can fill bin after bin and truck after truck with the specific purpose of delivering a bounty of vegetables to all of your smiling faces.  A day made possible by plans that were hatched and executed over the last 6 months. We are now being reminded with each bite why we chose this life and we’re remembering the worth of this work.

    As with every spring we’ve had our fair share of curveballs a late start, a dry spell, a wet spell, and some extreme temperatures on both ends of the mercury…With each week that passes in June, July, August, and September our workload increases.  It increases because we need to weed and maintain all the crops we already have in the field while continuously planting more both in the greenhouse and the field for later season harvest…[As many experienced CSA shareholders in the Northeast know by now,] the growing season here is relatively short (though it has gotten longer in recent years…. you told us it would Al Gore) but we have many tricks up our sleeves to get crops earlier and later in the growing season.  To name a few….we use a lot of row cover which is a spun bound polyester material that we can cover the crops with to provide a warm pest free environment that still allows light and water to penetrate.  We can transplant a lot of crops like beets, chard, and bok choy to get them earlier than we would by direct seeding.  We use black plastic mulch on a lot of our “hot crops” (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, melons) in order to be able to plant and harvest them earlier in the season.  In a nut shell what we are doing is growing an abundance of different crops all season long and in so doing pushing the limits of the number of frost free days the growing season has to offer…Thanks for joining us in this delicious journey of Riverland Farm eating.  We hope to be your farmers for many years to come!

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