From the Farmer: Week of June 27th

Published on June 29, 2016 under From the Farmer
From the Farmer: Week of June 27th

Dear Youth Farm CSA members,

Since this marks my first From the Farmer column this year, I wanted to warmly welcome all of our dedicated returning as well as our new Community Supported Agriculture members! Whether you realize it or not, investment in fresh, locally-grown produce and/or flowers from The Youth Farm also helps us to provide enriching, dynamic farm-based education to people of all ages from all around the city. The arc of the season is just beginning, and we are excited to share a great diversity of nutritious crops and beautiful flowers over the weeks to come.

The deeply tragic, painful attack at Pulse just over a week ago has reinforced for me the importance of creating community with others. I have a few communities I belong to: my community of family and close friends, my community of farmers and food justice activists, my Youth Farm community, and my immediate community of neighbors in Crown Heights. In a city as dense and busy as New York, I’d feel at sea without these communities as my anchors. But I also realize that the older I get, the more my communities seem to stagnate or shrink. I am grateful for each of you joining our farm community, and I’m excited to meet and see more of you this year –over a Volunteer Day or at of our special events, like the upcoming Moonstruck Dinner or our fall Harvest Festival. It’s really nice to learn about you, your families, what you do, why you’ve joined us, and what’s going on in your community (ies)! Please consider the farm your farm, and bring your family and friends by some time: good days are Wednesdays 2:30-6:30pm, or 1 st and  3rd Saturdays of each month. We have some big shady trees great for reading or pic-nicking under.

As for a farm report, we have just transplanted some of the last baby flowers for the season, and we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Zinnias and Snapdragons, Cosmos, Scabiosas, Bachelors Buttons, among others. This time of the season is a great time to witness rapid change and development in many crops, as they transform dramatically from tiny babies or adolescents into large, mature, fruiting and flowering crops. After trellising our long beans (just sent up their first longer vine-y tendrils) and tomatoes last week (constantly getting bigger and bushier!), we look ahead this week to giving some trellising love to our tomatillos, peppers and eggplants, as they’re climbing to over a foot tall and preparing to branch and flower.

Our summer squashes are forming big lovely blossoms (fruit is next!), our cucumbers are climbing steadily upwards and seem to grow a couple of feet each week, and our sweet potatoes are greening up and beginning to vine after a rough transition to hoop house life (they spent their transport as “slips:” just wispy little stems with a single root and single leaf), and now are creating beautiful green heart-shaped leaves– a great sign they’ve adjusted to their new home on the farm.

Thanks and have a great week!