I know the holidays are well passed us, but some of the best packages of the season are about to arrive on our doorstep! Thanks to the support of our members who where quick to renew their CSA subscriptions we were able to make our first and most important investment of 2019. Seeds!
The process of ordering seeds makes our nerdy, big, plant loving hearts soar! We can read 10 or more seed catalogs from cover to cover each season looking for the right seeds to make the perfect match in our system. We take into consideration everything we want to improve from the year before. For example: last year was a great year for peppers, we found that our most popular pepper was the poblano, but poblanos were the least productive peppers we planted. They where always the first to run out! With our limited space we can just plant one more row of poblanos, so we set out to find a variety of poblano that will perform better in our crazy On-top-of-a-parking lot urban farm eco-system! Also we found that people were crazy about stuffing peppers, so we found a variety that bares larger peppers making them all the easier to eat in our favorite way!
We love growing rainbow carrots, but we were not thrilled with the purple carrots we used for the mix. We have found them to be tougher than the other varieties. It was also frustrating that for some reason their tops fell off easily after harvesting, making bunching, and cleaning harder then it should have been because we had to be gentle with how we handled them. So in a round about way, better seed selection can mean things like cleaner carrots for your boxes and less hassle in the kitchen.
Of course over the years we have found our beloved standbys. I can not imagine a summer without growing my favorite tomato, the Paul Robeson, but we still scour the seed catalogues for the best strain! Their heirloom flavor is prize winning, but in years past we have had so much trouble with the tops cracking that we almost decided to stop growing it for production. However, we found a seed company called Adaptive Seeds in Oregon where lots of rain mean lots of cracked tomatoes. They have been selecting Paul Robeson seed to withstand wet seasons without cracking! We gave that seed a shot last year with great success. We've ordered it again from the same company, but this year we will be saving that seed in the hopes to get an even better match for the farm!
We’re always happy to get the seed order, our first major investment of the year, checked off the list. As our CSA fills up we will gain the capacity to order improved tools and supplies. Last year was a horrible year for beets! We had a pest called a leaf miner burrow into the leaves stunting their growth. This year we are going to protect our beet crops with brand spankin' new row cover, a thin white sheet that simply acts as a natural barrier to keep the bugs off! Seed selection does miracles in helping us grow more delicious food, but the supplies we use have an equal impact. With your CSA support we become better equipped each year to offer better boxes of green goodness.
with warm regards,
Taya, Seamus & Obie (the cow spotted farm dog)