This has most certainly been the most trying and most difficult year of farming I have ever encountered...ok, ok, it's the FIRST farming season I have ever encountered! Seriously though, this has been a very difficult season so far. Rain is good, sometimes. This year, it's ridiculous! Not only does excessive rain cause root rot, seed rot etc., but it causes low soil temperatures, breeds diseases and fungus and can cause a whole host of other related issues including the encouragement of certain pests.
I am linking to an article by Jason Plotkin of Ekar Farm and Golden Acre Farms. It is important that you read this article: HERE
Jay talks about the struggles with the weather - struggles that we (local farmers) are all facing right now. In the article, he mentions that Denver's YTD rainfall is 14 inches, and yet Denver has already received 11 inches! With Jay, a 16 year veteran of farming all over the country he states: "I have been growing food now for 16 seasons across Connecticut, Vermont, New York, and Colorado and this season is by far the most challenging and the worst season I’ve seen."
As bad as that is, I want you to get a glimpse of what is happening in Peyton, where Ahavah Farm is located: The average YEARLY rainfall for Peyton: 16.2 inches. The YTD rainfall for Peyton: 15.72!!!! Yes, that's correct, we have gotten almost two inches more rain than Denver, in their "most challenging and worst season" and less than a half an inch will complete our total yearly average. We have even gotten over three inches more rain than nearby Colorado Springs! Yikes!
In short, if we did not have our hoophouse, we would have virtually nothing, and that's what a lot of farms have right now: nothing! How does this translate to our customers: It translates into higher prices, less selection and a shorter season. It means we need your support, financially and emotionally. This is tough. To come home from the farmers market to see the garden over-saturated. To plant new beds and see no new growth. To see your tomato plants turning yellow because they can't handle all the water...it's frustrating to say the least!
It's not all bad news, however. For what we are going for, even regardless of the conditions, we are doing alright. From what we know, we are the first farm with carrots and we are the first farm with squash and zucchini. That's something to celebrate! We also have peppers that are almost at maturity, and green beans as well as a host of other items. Below is a list of our current crops:
Ready for harvest / being harvested:
Crooked Neck Squash
Black Seed Lettuce
Noble Giant Spinach
Purple Top Turnips
Purple Top Turnip Greens
Almost Ready For Harvest (2-4 Weeks):
Sugar Snap Peas
The bottom line is that to some this list sounds great. However, what you aren't seeing is the quantities. We have an entire garden growing at a pace of what seems like a negative rate. Plants need water, yes, but they also need sun and warmth and drainage. If we do not get those things, this is going to be one tough season!
Please continue to support us. We are working an extreme number of hours trying to produce as much of the best, purest and healthiest food available. Yes, your financial support is important, otherwise we cannot provide clean, sustainable food to the local area. However, your words of encouragement, your patience and understanding when your CSA share doesn't have what you were hoping for, these are the things we need the most from you. Emotional support.