Monday, June 27, 2011

Successes and Failures So Far

The week two share includes leaf lettuce, broccoli, green onions, kohlrabi or beets, mizuna, kale, sorrel, pac choi, radishes, braising mix, bean sprouts, and fresh herbs. It looks like members will be enjoying fewer salads and more stir fries than they did last week.

Now that we are in the second week of things, I've decided it is time to share some successes and failures of the 2011 growing season thus far.

When I told Scott that I was going to write this post he said "You don't think we should try to convince the members we're infallible?" We've known CSA farmers who tried to go that route, to never let their members see their failings. Man were they stressed out.

Farming is unpredictable, ever changing, and involves a lot of trial and error. It's pretty much like the rest of life but with conniving deer that occasionally stop by to eat one single bite out of 47 heads of lettuce.

So, before I get going on a post describing this week's share, here are a few photos of our best and worst.

Failure: Tiny Broccoli Heads
The picture at the top looks pretty good. This is the same head with my thumb included for scale. We've always started our own broccoli transplants, but generally we get them in the ground later in the season than we did this year. We thought we got a jump on things and we'd get nice big broccoli heads early (but not this early) in the season. Turns out we made our broccoli heads "button" or grow early and small by exposing them to cold temperatures after transplant. Lesson learned. Enjoy your mini broccoli everyone!

Success: Hoophouse Kohlrabi 
This year we are experimenting with various early crops. We want to expand our early season selection so that members have more than leaves (don't get me wrong though, we LOVE our leafy greens) to munch on this time of year. The hoophouse kohlrabi has been a whopping success. Plus, they're just so pretty!

Failure: Deer Attack!
Our perimeter was breached. Again. It happens every year but this time they are going a little too far. They took one bite out of about 1/4 of our tom thumb lettuce. Why not finish off a few instead of destroying several? Our conclusion: deer are gluttonous, or simply mean hearted.

Success: Radicchio in the making
As far as we can tell, deer don't like radicchio. Take that! Plus, we have many other varieties of head lettuce on the way so we should probably be optimistic and consider our deer attack to be a setback, rather than a total failure.

There are many many more of these I could share (so many green tomatoes in the hoophouse! not so many green peppers...) but I've got to get going on the share description. At least now you all know why your getting munchkin broccoli this week.


  1. A friend from work said her unce always had a bunch of Merigolds at the end of his rows in the garden because the deer did not like them. Also, hot peppers around the perimiter might work. I am new to gardening so I will try some of this myself too.


  2. Thanks. We use a low strand of electric fence around the garden. It works pretty well because as the deer browse they hit it with their nose and get shocked. There were a few cauliflower outside the fence that got eaten to the ground, but those inside have been untouched. Sometimes though, the deer sneak past it...