Root Down Farm Ramblings
News from the FarmCSA SharesU-Pick AboutFAQContactRecipesJobs

Root Down Farm Ramblings

Week #16 of 21: 9/22+9/24 Chill Out

by Erin and Steve on 09/20/20

The Winter Share has sold out. Thanks to everyone who signed up! We also had a good turnout for the Case Sale, too, yesterday. It was the first time we've done that so it looks like we may try to do that again!
Yesterday was a beautiful day that I'm sure had you thinking of Fall. Which is no joke, the first full day of Fall is this Wednesday! Usually this time of year I'm trying to slow people down to savor the last few days of Summer while people are running as fast as they can into Pumpkin lattes, Octoberfest beer and corn stalk decorating. But something was different this year. It is more like I'm telling people Fall is coming. It seems like the pandemic really has slowed people down, which may be a good thing (not the pandemic though of course!). We had to cover tender vegetation out in the field so that it wouldn't get damaged by the frost. It is the earliest frost we've experienced and we were not ready to say goodbye to all the peppers and eggplants out in the fields. There are some tomatoes, too but most of the rest of those are under protection of the high tunnels. This year continues to be a challenge.
But the shares continue to be big, which is something we should all be celebrating. I sometimes get a long face from a member saying that some of the share is 'going to waste'. My reply: does nothing you buy from the grocery store ever 'go to waste?'. Having an abundant harvest because your farmers are frickin killing it this year is a good problem...if you want to call it a problem at all. It means given the extreme weather challenges this year we've rose to the occasion. We've continue to make improvements year after year. The land is responding to regenerative techniques and yields per square foot keep increasing. When you aren't here to grab your share we are donating it to the Clarence Food Pantry. In my mind there is nothing negative about supporting a local food system that will be there when giant conglomerates around the country fail due to say...a pandemic, and you have more food in your fridge, on your plate, or in your stomach than maybe you can handle this week (while you're saving the moola mind you). It's not a problem. It's a solution ;)
This week's share will include: Winter/Fall squashes, carrots, beets, peppers, eggplant, salad turnips, onions, brussels sprout tops, lettuce mix, greens, kohlrabi, zucchini, bok choy, kale, and tomatoes, spaghetti squash, and spinach for everyone.
The fruit share will include peaches, apples, pears, and seedless table grapes.
Renewal for current members for the 2021 season will start the first full week of October!

Case Sale Pick Up Today the 19th from 2 to 3!

by Erin and Steve on 09/19/20

If you placed your case order by midnight on Thursday (yes we got your emails ;) then don't forget to pick up your veggies at the farm today, Saturday the 19th from 2 to 3 pm under the white tent. Bring your mask and your cash or check... And then get to preserving!

Week #15 of 21: 9/15+9/17 Last Chance to Sign Up for the Winter Share!

by Erin and Steve on 09/13/20

**Yes, there are only 20 more spots left in the Winter Share. The share starts when the Summer season ends and continues until the beginning of February. Check out the CSA Shares tab at the top of the page an click on the Winter Share link for all the info. BRing your payment of $240 with you when you come pick up your Summer veg this week.
**Last week for the U-pick fields as well :(
**If you haven't seen already on our Instagram feed, we are having a Case Sale. Bulk pricing on tomatoes, peppers, onions, kale, beans, herbs, and more in order to fill your pantry or freezer! Ordering ends this Thursday for pick up at the farm on Saturday the 19th from 2 to 3. Orders filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. Click on the Instagram camera icon at the top of the page for info. Email of DM me your order
We've had an exciting week on the farm. I keep singing "Everyday I'm Harvesting" to the tune of Party Rock Anthem (instead of Everyday I'm Shuffling) because that's what's happening PLUS we got our new well hooked up by Frey Well Drilling. We also hosted a Farm Walk for our farmer friends. It was an excuse to see people safely and talk about farming practices and experiences. When you've had poor yields on a specific crop and 5 other farmers confirm they've had the same problems it helps solve issues for the coming seasons. It's also a way to build comradery, connections, and friendships amongst us. It's also a way to build a cooperative local food system as opposed to one about individualistic farms fighting, undercutting, and being secretive. That's just not our style.
We're coming into the last full week of Summer and it's beginning to already feel like Fall. Last week I noticed the first leaves on the edges of the fields starting to turn. I'm gonna have to put off thinking about everything that needs to happen before the first frost.
Enough rambling, this is what is in the share this week: zucchini, acorn and delicata squash, beets, carrots, peppers, eggplant, salad turnips, onions, brussels sprout tops, flowering broccoli, kale, arugula, and bok choy. Everyone will also get head lettuce, tomatoes, and spinach.
The fruit share will include peaches, pears, apples and raspberries

Summer Share #14 of 21: 9/8+9/10 Sign Up for the Winter Share

by Erin and Steve on 09/06/20

**Reminder to everyone in the Summer Share that it is now time to reserve and pay for your Winter Share. Info about the share is on this very website under the tab 'CSA Shares'. Please bring your payment of $240 with you to pick up your vegetables this week. It looks like we are on pace to sell out in the next 2 weeks. If you have emailed me with interest in the Winter Share I will email you back with more info at the end of the week**
Week #14 of the Summer Share means week #9 of tomatoes!! Yeah, that's right. We keep thinking the tomatoes are trailing off and then BOOM, we harvest and have just as much as the previous bi-weekly harvest! But I really do think THIS is the last big harvest, I swear...unless they surprise me again. What makes this such a great tomato year you ask? Well the plants had amazing fruit set from the jump. That paired with a hot, dry-ish Summer means a lot ripened and we are still harvesting quantity. Now these cool nights are the real red flag that the tomatoes are starting to call it quits for the year (which reminds me to remind you to grab any extra tomatoes from the share room when you come to pick up your share this week...they will only be less sweet from here on out because of shorter days an cooler nights).
Now if you're one of these crazies whose like, "MORE tomatoes?, there's been so much" then I'd like to remind you that we are on week #9 of tomatoes of the 52 weeks that exist in the year. Tomatoes from the grocery store, or out of season tomatoes from some other region or country, or from a hydroponic business don't count as tomatoes BTW because they taste like foam and probably have the nutrition of it, too. If you don't like to can tomatoes, you can always just freeze them...whole...in a zip lock bag...it's that easy. Then you can use them to make your own sauce of any kind once you thaw them.
As for the farm, we are trying to get things done in a timely manner in-between harvesting everything. It wasn't until Thursday around 10am last week that I finally got to do something on the farm that did not include harvesting. Which means it's difficult to get a lot of essential farm tasks done related to the change of seasons when you have to harvest.all.the.time. Believe me I am thankful for the bounty of the year for sure, and also for some of the failures because I do not know how we would get everything done otherwise! Ha.
This week marks the end of the Summer cover cropping season and the beginning of the Fall one. It also marks the transition to doing things now for next year. Seriously. We are doing things now in the fields for next season already. I'm also having to put in serious time in the office to aid in the planning. We finally made it to September and the crazy part of the season is past, but the workload is the same just filled with different work.
This week's share will include: zucchini, winter squashes, carrots, beets, peppers, eggplant, kohlrabi, kale, onions, cabbage, celery, salad radishes and turnips, as well as head lettuce, brussels sprout tops, tomatoes, greens, and spinach for everyone.
The fruit season continues to surprise us. We were informed by the grape grower that the grape harvest season will be fast and furious this year. We usually get grapes every other week, but this season they will be back to back since they are comin' in hot. So the fruit share will include table grapes, peaches, nectarines, and plums.

Summer Share #13 of 21: 9/1+9/3 Everyday I'm harevesting/Winter Share Sign Up

by Erin and Steve on 08/30/20

Woohoo, here we come September! Why are we so excited? Because the bugs and the weeds are officially trailing off, that is cause for celebration! After a season full of battling bugs using USDA/NOFA-NY Organic Standards (though we are not certified, instead we are a NOFA-NY Farmer's Pledge farm), and sometimes failing, it is a welcome time of year as we are all starting to notice how tired we are. No, the bugs aren't gone, but they aren't destroying entire crops anymore and that helps us free up valuable mind-space to start focusing on the plan for bringing in the harvest. That's right, the start of September marks the last dates we can safely plant Summer-ish cover crops before being forced to plant Fall/Winter ones, and it is also the time to start bringing in ALL the storage crops. From now until the beginning of November marks the heavier lifting part of the season. It also means that I think the rains will start picking up as it's been a pretty dry year.
Storage crop harvest actually begins with onions, but they are on a different time schedule than the other storage crops. We just finished bringing in the last of the storage onions last week (which, as mentioned before, is way later than normal). For all the info you need on our onion crop please read previous posts as well as clicking on the camera icon above this post to view pictures of the farm and the onion harvest on Instagram (you do not have to have an account to view our pictures). But the real storage crop haul starts with the fall and winter squashes. They have all matured way faster than normal because of the heat...they never had to live through the cold May that the onions had to. So the kabochas, acorn, and spaghetti squashes have already come in from the fields, but we still have more squashes like butternuts and pie pumpkins to bring in once they are ready. Then it moves on to tubers and root crops all the while still harvesting everything for the shares! It's a lot of heavy lifting, did I mention that already? Hmmm.
2 Reminders:
1) Tomatoes are still for sale for a $dollar a pound again this week in the share room. We definitely had our last 'big' tomato harvest of the season so get yours now (and make sure not to can tomatoes grown with chemicals that then get concentrated in your tomatoes that you are preserving...this includes everything called 'home grown' and 'amish grown')
2) Don't forget to sign up for the Winter Share. Look in your inbox for all the info you need to sign up!
Anyhoo, this is what is in the share this week: zucchini, yellow squash, kabocha squash (the tastiest of the winter squashes), beets, carrots, eggplants, peppers, kohlrabi, kale, onions, cabbage, salad radishes, celery, and potatoes, as well as tomatoes, greens, lettuce, and more winter squash!
The fruit share will include seedless table grapes, peaches, plums, and nectarines.

Summer Share #12 of 22: 8/25+8/27 Summer "Break"

by Erin and Steve on 08/23/20

Since COVID hit we have actually had quite a lot of interest from young people to work on the farm. We hadn't ever considered hiring someone under 18 years before, but with the interest we were facing we figured 'why not'? The youngsters that ended up working this season were all self starters. They had the interest and initiative to work here (not their parents) and were probably motivated by boredom I'll admit. But in the short amount of time they are here they give us old-timers a small injection of energy while we move into harvest season (which coincides with burnout season for us farmers).
Steve was talking about schedules with one of the new hires and asked him if he knew why there is even a Summer break from school. When there was no answer Steve piped in, "because almost everyone used to be farmers. Kids had to be home for the Summer to help on the farm and bring in the harvest."
"That makes sense," was the response. It does.
There are a few points I need to mention during this post:
1) We are signing up Winter Shares starting next week. Look at the 'CSA Shares' tab for info about the share. It is $240 for 8 pick up days (generally picked up every other week) from November thru February. More info coming in an email next week.
2) Face masks are required in the U-pick field. I've heard too many stories of adults not being considerate of other adults in the field. Not everyone feels comfortable around you without your mask so be safe doesn't really explain, so I'll go a little deeper. You do not know what health conditions the person next to you has. You also do not know who they live with or if they are a caregiver to someone. Though the person you are next to looks healthy, like they could weather the virus easily, the people they have at home may not. Be considerate, wear your mask. It can reduce bacteria and droplets spewed from your mouth from infecting others by 70-90%. And said bacteria and droplets spewed forth by you into your own mask will not cause you harm...because they already came from inside you. Super simple.
As for the share this week: zucchini, summer squash, beets, carrots, eggplant, peppers, cabbage, onions, fennel, kale, kohlrabi, and the first of the winter squash as well as tomatoes and a choice of celery or escarole.
The fruit share will include blueberries, peaches, nectarines, and plums.

Summer Share #11 of 21: 8/18+8/20 Shop Talk

by Erin and Steve on 08/16/20

The majority of the fields on the farm are actually starting to wind down. We have all the Fall brassica crops in one block still growing and awaiting their harvest dates...sometime in September. We also have the Fall and Winter root crops and greens in the ground awaiting their time. But right now the solanaceous crops (the nightshades) are strutting. The eggplants are amazing this year, and so are much of our peppers. The tomatoes are at their peak now, so if you want any canning tomatoes make sure to purchase them at the farm during your pick up time. Right now is the time to can or dehydrate or freeze your tomatoes for the Winter. **And if you already have any of our baskets because you've previously bought some tomatoes from us please bring them back, we need them!**
Anyone who follows us on Instagram (or doesn't but just clicks on the camera icon at the top of these blog posts to see our pics) knows we are in the middle of our onion harvest. We are curing and cleaning our sweet onions and our specialty onions while our storage onions are still in the field (able to be seen by both Roll and Shimerville roads). We will be bringing in the storage onions this week. We had a hilarious conversation about onion bags in the share room last week, so if any of you are interested in purchasing bulk onion bags of your own click here: https://www.amazon.com/Mesh-Bag-18-5-x32-Pack/dp/B002RN0ICI/ref=sr_1_25?dchild=1&keywords=50+lb+onion+storage+bags+mesh&qid=1597599588&sr=8-25
for your very own 50 pound onion bags.
Also...in need of wax produce boxes? We get ours from Uline here (we also get the blue squash bins from them).
Vented Harvest tray? Here
Produce Lug? Here...don't forget to pick your favorite color!
We even get our t-shirt bags from Amazon, too.
Even small farmers mean big business for all the companies run in support of and supplying farmers. Everyone needs to eat. Therefore everyone needs someone to supply us farmers with what we need to bring in and store our harvest. This is all reminding me of a quote by JFK, “The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.”
This week's share will include: zucchini, summer squash, beets, carrots, onions (that are now cured so you can now store them in your pantry), eggplant, sweet peppers, cabbage, fennel, potatoes, scallions, melons, as well as head lettuce, garlic and tomatoes.
The fruit share should include peaches, nectarines, and plums.

Summer Share #10 of 21: 8/11+8/13 If You Enjoy the Fruit Don't Forget Who Planted the Tree

by Erin and Steve on 08/09/20

We collectively made it to August. This is a BIG moment for farmers across the country. If you as a farmer have made it to this point in the season without burnout then good on you. But most likely the farmer(s) in your lives are in burnout mode right now and waiting for some give in August, which may or may not happen. We try to have most of one day off a week during the season, but it doesn't happen often. Case and point this week; we only worked until 3pm yesterday and are hoping to be done again by 3 today so we can be "rested" for our 10 hour work day every Monday. Now you might be saying to your self "Woooooo 10 whole hours of work" or something like that, but I just explained we don't get days off. So 10 hour work days come August when it's going to be 90 degrees can feel like drudgery. Not because I don't like the work or don't like to work. It's because I'm tired and the nature of our work is tiring.
This is the time of year we lean hard on the endless planning we did over the winter. The timing and amounts of every variety of every crop that we grow is selected and planned for starting in December (who am I kidding, there are lists of notes for next season already). And yes, I'll say it again so I am sorry to all of you who have to read this 2 or 3 times a year: WE GROW EVERYTHING IN THE VEGETABLE SHARES! As stated on the website you are currently on we grow all the vegetables, melons, flowers and herbs in the share. We do not grow anything in the fruit share, which is why on the Fruit Share Board we state where the fruit has come from that week. There have been years that we have had entire crop failures. The last one was in 2017 when we lost between 60 and 70% of the potato crop due to an unfortunately timed 4 inches of rain in 2 days. If we buy something from someone else for any share we right down where it came from, but this RARELY happens.
So here is all the stuff we grew that is being harvested this week: zucchini, summer squashes, beets, carrots, cabbage, onions, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, scallions, head lettuce, fennel, potatoes and sweet corn and melons and tomatoes.
Here is the stuff we did not grow that will be in the fruit share: blueberries, peaches and plums. **As always fruit farmers are having a tough year due to the insanely cold first 2 weeks in May when there were multiple days and nights unseasonably below freezing. These temperatures froze the flowers and buds on fruiting trees and killed the crop that should be being harvested now. Yes climate change affects your food supply.**

Summer Share #9 of 21: 8/4+8/6 Bye July

by Erin and Steve on 08/02/20

I've talked a lot on here about the odd ways time passes, usually too quickly. I try my best to create new memories, do new things, in order to make time seem like it lasts instead of flying by. This pursuit has led me to live in 14 different states in my life (Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, Maine, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Vermont, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachussetts, and New York) and I have explored all the states but 6. The longest I've stayed in one place is to farm on this land. In this time we've made wonderful friends. We've also met wonderful people from our customers to the chefs and restaurant owners we produce for. After 10 years of farming this land I keep inspired by working alongside people who love food and farms, too. This manifests itself in conversations I have mainly with chefs and farmers that grow in a manner similar to us in the area.
If you didn't know, we supply produce to Elm Street Bakery, The Grange Community Kitchen, Sienna, Farmers and Artisans, 800 Maple (a new comer), and The Little Club on a regular basis along with some others. The chefs at these restaurants keep me engaged and inspired to be better at my job, and have pushed me in ways I'm sure they are not aware of. I am thankful for it, and am a better farmer for it.
One chef I have had a lot of conversations with, Dan Borelli, has just passed away. I'm sad today. I feel like some of the success we've had over the years is in part because of Dan sharing his passion with me. I wish he were still here.
Instead our farm community marches forward with one less person, all watching out for each other from afar.
This week we are putting in some of the last seedlings in the fields. We just planted kale that will be harvested through February. Sometimes planting Winter crops seems like an act of faith (February is a half a year away). The world today is already different than it was yesterday, but the farm always brings us back and puts our feet on the ground. Come pandemic, elections, storms or whatever this year has in store, we sow seeds and grow food to harvest during the shortest days of the year. We tend the soil now knowing that people will need food, and that since we are able we should grow it.
This week's share will include: Zucchini, summer squashes, beets, carrots, fresh onions, scallions, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, fennel, head lettuce, radicchio, potatoes, and chard as well as tomatoes and melons for everyone.

Summer Share #8 of 21: 7/28+7/30 Real Fresh, Not Fake Fresh

by Erin and Steve on 07/26/20

I had a whole blog post finished and went to publish and the internet (thanks again Spectrum...you really suck) cut out again and since I pushed the publish button at the same time all that post is lost and gone forever.
Don't worry, you didn't miss much, it was all "blah, blah, blah" anyway.
This week's share will include: zucchini, summer squashes, salad turnips, beets, fresh onions, carrots, cabbage, scallions, new potatoes, fennel, radicchio, chard and the first of the cantaloupe and sweet peppers and hopefully some cucumbers. Everyone will also get tomatoes and sweet corn.
**Remember we never, ever, ever spray our sweet corn ever. So if there is a little corn worm at the tip just cut it off. It is a reminder that while you consume our sweet corn it is chemical free (which is insanely difficult to come by these days).
The fruit share will include cherries, plums and peaches!

Summer Share #7 of 21: 7/21+7/23 It's Gettin Real

by Erin and Steve on 07/19/20

We are at a point in the season where the farm is now set up to start pumping out food. Any mistakes or missteps are now going to be fleshed out in lower yields (but there's always next year to correct those, haha) come harvest time. We are still putting plants and seeds in the ground, but not at the same rate; the planting season is largely over. We now have to take care of the crops already in the field, and make quick decisions about harvests, weeds, pests, and fertility. We are still 'in the struggle' right now and have some time to make some corrections and saves, but not for long. The weeds are firing on all cylinders right now, and will be for another month.
We are also staying vigilant against the pandemic 'struggle'. I hope you all are to. Keeping a safe distance and wearing a mask even around friends and distant family can save lives. It's when we think it's over and done and put our guards down that COVID will come roaring back (case and point Florida, Texas, and California). Wearing a mask affords people more freedoms at this point in time.
I'm not sure how many of you were or are aware of how sick I was at the end of the season last year. Some of you noticed I wasn't in the share room much at all, and in fact I wasn't able to work much either. I didn't know it at the time, but I now know I had pneumonia (a respiratory illness). I had it for 5 months before I was able to finally kick it. It left my lungs injured and I developed asthma. It has been a weird journey for me at 39 to have to learn about what asthma is and how to help myself. I use an inhaler every morning, and sometimes another one throughout the day as needed (yes, I'm on 2 different inhalers). To this day my lungs haven't felt the same...there are times I completely forget about it, but every day at some point I have to manage my breathing. I wear a mask in public, in close quarters with our employees, and for the 4 1/2 hours 2 times a week I spend in the share room. And I wear it to keep you healthy, thanks for wearing yours to keep me healthy.
We are still working on getting more fruit for the fruit share, we are sorry that right now all there is is cherries...once we make it through this stretch of time where the fruit flowers were zapped by the cold May temperatures there will be an abundance of variety of fruit, of course I hope that farms have labor to pick it all by then too.
As for the vegetables, they are kickin right now. This is what will be in the share this week: zucchini, summer squashes, cucumbers, salad turnips, beets, carrots, fresh onions, cabbage, scallions, potatoes, head lettuce and tomatoes, and garlic for everyone as well as a choice of radicchio, escarole and chard.
If you are going to U-pick this week you must have your own scissors and you must use scissors. If you do not have scissors you cannot pick flowers or herbs as you will pull the plants out of the ground which will kill them and then no one can harvest them srsly.

Summer Share #6 of 21: 7/12+7/14 Over It

by Erin and Steve on 07/12/20

**A reminder to anyone calling the farm to bag a share for you. Please do not show up before 6:30 expecting your share to be ready. We serve customers in the share room until then and sometimes they run late. It happens. If you could aim for 6:45 or later that would be the best. Also, please wait in your car if someone else is picking up their bagged share the moment you get to the farm. Give them space. They are picking up after hours so that they do not have to come in contact with anyone. Thank you.**

The heat this past week has changed a lot of the crops on the farm. The last planting of broccoli couldn't handle the heat and threw in the towel before we could harvest it. Other crops in the broccoli family are also not so great in the heat, but the Summer crops are soaking.it.up. My mind wasn't ready to accept the reality of what the high temperatures would mean for the farm last week, but now that the week is over I'm ready to welcome the Summer crops with open arms! Think squashes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, melons, and sweet corn. All of these crops like the heat, even if the farmers don't. So as long as we can keep everything irrigated, because until yesterday it hadn't really rained in over 10 days, then these crops will hopefully be entering the share room soon.
I do have some bad news, too. The cucumbers we planted before the heat couldn't handle the transition from greenhouse to the field when it was that hot last week and we lost over half of them. This, of course, made me sad because the last few seasons our cucumber crop has been bountiful...but not this year :( We will continue to have some every week, but not as much as usual. Oh well, every season it is something.
So this is the 'strange' in between part of the share when the Spring crops can't grow anymore (including spinach...don't ask me about spinach...it only grows during cooler times of the year...if you ever wonder why our spinach tastes so good it is because it is in season...that other spinach-like spinach you get at the grocery store isn't in season, doesn't taste as good, and isn't as nutrient dense as our spinach is in season...so don't ask me about spinach anymore...watch someone will ask me about spinach this week), but the Summer crops are juuust starting to mature. So embrace the in between because it happens every year.
This week's share will include: zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, beets, carrots, salad turnips, scallions, radicchio, onions, new potatoes (these are small, fresh potatoes with very thin skin...yes they are supposed to be small....just take the small ones...they taste the best anyway), kale, and chard as well as a choice of cabbage or escarole and also head lettuce.
The fruit share will again be cherries. We are trying to find fruit to replace the apricot and early plum season (which would be starting now), but are having problems. You may have heard it on the news, but I am here to tell you farmers are having real problems finding staff this year for multiple reasons. So some farms and orchards that usually supply our fruit share have no one on staff to harvest their crop, and it doesn't seem like the situation will be changing soon. We'll keep searching, but as we warned before the fruit share began, we may have to skip a few weeks that would then be made up later. We are continuing to work to solve the problem and monitor the situation, but since we do not grow anything that is in the fruit share (we grow everything in the veggie shares) it is largely out of our control. Just add it to the pile of crap that 2020 has collectively dropped on us.

Summer Share #5 of 21: 7/7+7/9 Once I Saw An Egg Cooking On the Road

by Erin and Steve on 07/05/20

**The U-pick Field will be open this week (for CSA members only) with flowers and herbs. It is not a lot, but we wanted to open it up slowly. If you choose to go to the field you must bring your own scissors, none will be provided by the farm. You do not have to wear a mask in the field, but you do have to stay 6 feet away from other people. If your children are with you they must stay with you. If you attended a large gathering (over 10 people) for the 4th of July please do not enter the fields this week.
When I was young, young enough to be at the babysitters house during the Summer while my parents worked, we were going on a walk. It was 1988 in Battle Creek, Michigan. This was the year of the drought that I, as a 7 year old, remember. My sisters, my babysitter and her daughter were walking on the road in her neighborhood towards a path in the woods at the back of the cul de sac. On the way we happened upon an egg someone (I am now assuming) cracked there on the road. I remember seeing the egg bubbling while it cooked on the street from the hot temperatures. This is still a strong memory to me, and I have since heard other people say that people used to do stuff like that on hot days all the time. I had never seen it before and haven't ever since. That memory combined with some others that year have stayed in my mind since....since the drought of 1988 in lower Michigan.
Do children have memories of adverse weather anymore, beyond mega-storms? Or do they just go from air conditioned home to air conditioned car to air conditioned destination and never think about the oppressive, odd, heat wave we are going to endure this week. Air-conditioning is adding to the warming of the planet, which in turn make people use more air conditioning. How will anybody grow up with an imprint of a changing climate if they never experience it? One thing I've said before is that it doesn't matter your political beliefs, every farmer in the country, or heck on this planet, knows the climate is changing. We experience the slow changes from season to season. I just wish everyone would.
So that being said it's going to be friggin hot this week. Record setting hot. The share will include: zucchini, summer squash, patty pan squash, cucumbers (limited), cabbage, beets, carrots (hopefully), kohlrabi, salad turnips, scallions, radicchio, fennel, arugula, cauliflower, some ugly-but-yummy broccoli (it hates the heat), as well as head lettuce for everyone and a choice between kale, chard, collards, or escarole. The fruit share will be cherries again.
A side note: if you were in close quarters with a gathering of people celebrating the 4th please just be aware of how you are feeling over the next 2 weeks. The outbreaks we are currently seeing across the country largely stem from Memorial Day gatherings. In some of the 'hot spots' they started seeing a steep incline in cases 2 weeks after Memorial Day weekend. If you are not feeling well please text the farm that you are quarantining and we can work out a plan to get you your veggies. You could also have your share bagged so you can pick it up after hours on your pick up day to avoid contact. Please do not come to the farm if you are sick.

Surprise Start to the Fruit Share

by Erin and Steve on 06/30/20

Last minute info from Bittner-Singer Orchards that they started picking cherries, so...SURPRISE! The fruit share is starting this week. If you have a share your name will be on the fruit share sign in form. Woohoo!

Summer Share #4 of 21: 6/30+7/2- Staying Vigilant

by Erin and Steve on 06/27/20

We are thankful for the rain we have been getting, because irrigating for long periods of time can get exhausting. Even on weekends (which are supposed to be more relaxing for us) we have to irrigate when it gets really dry, and when it's really dry it seems like you can't irrigate enough. Yes the forecast is all sun all the time with averages in the high 80's for this week, but I'm looking at the cup being half full right now (literally I wanted at a minimum a half an inch today;).
We are also already starting to clean up some areas of fields that are done for the year and only have 1 more large field, plus of course a bunch of smaller ones, to fill up before planting season is done. There's a lot to keep track of as a CSA farmer simply because of the vast array of veggies we grow, and some grow very (VERY) differently from others. I know why monocultures are a thing. How much easier would it be if I only had to think about one crop all the time? The answer is much, much easier by the way. Crops mature at different rates, too. So remembering to check on everything at the right moments becomes essential. It's the actual farming part of farming we always say. We have to stay vigilant in our observations.
This is also true for us and coronavirus, we have to stay vigilant. I want everything to be normal again. I hope for it. But you can't hope coronavirus away. We are staying vigilant by watching out for each other by staying 6 feet away from people and wearing masks.
This week's share will include salad radishes, beets, zucchini and summer squash, cabbage, scallions, garlic scapes, bok choy, fennel, radicchio, cauliflower, kale and chard as well as everyone receiving lettuce, greens and a choice of salad turnips or kohlrabi.
We are hoping the fruit share will start the week after the 4th, but haven't gotten an exact date from Bittner-Singer Orchards (who grow the cherries). The fruit share will be under the tent in front of the barn. We are going to see how it works there. People will still be required to keep a 6ft distance from their neighbor. Everyone in the fruit share will be receiving an email from the farm soon. We were also told that there are no apricots or japanese plums this season, which makes me super sad. Remember how freaking cold it was in the beginning of May? Well that's when the apricots and plums were flowering. Bummer.

Instagram
Root Down Farm
5850 Shimerville Rd 
Clarence Center, NY 14032 
csa@therootdownfarm.com

Pick up hours:
Summer Share M and Th 2-6:30
Winter Share M and Th 3-6
Spring Share M and Th 4-6
Follow us on Instagram