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Root Down Farm Ramblings

Summer Share #15 of 22: 9/10+9/13 Winter Share Sign Up!

by Erin and Steve on 09/08/18

It's time to sign up for the Winter Share! All you current members don't forget to bring your payment and sign up for your Winter Share during regular share hours this week. We usually fill up in 3 weeks, so don't forget!
This past week has really emphasized the merging of 2 seasons. Wednesday it was 92 degrees, and now (2:30pm on Saturday) it is 62 degrees. It's looking more and more like this week will be the beginning of the end for the tomatoes. Low overnight temperatures and a rainy week ahead usually starts the process and there isn't anything we can do about it except appreciate how wonderful of a tomato year it's been. They've been so abundant and so tasty! The squash and cucumbers are also on their way out as they feel pretty much the same as the tomatoes about the upcoming weather. But it just means we have more room for all these transitional crops in the share. We continue to be overwhelmed with large harvests this season, and though it gets tiring it is well worth the effort.
Our field plan is also now completely focused on the winter crops and we will be transitioning the high tunnels on the property to all these cold-weather-loving crops that will be a part of the Winter Share.
But here we are in the final third of the Summer Share Season and this is what is in the share this week: adirondack blue potatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, onions, scallions, bok choy, radishes, winter squashes, sweet peppers, eggplant, hot peppers, melons, tomatoes, lettuce, and salad greens.
The fruit share will include grapes, peaches, plums, and maybe even some pears!

Summer Share #14 of 22: Labor Day Pick Up from 1-4:45

by Erin and Steve on 09/02/18

Yes, we will see all you Mondayers a little early on Labor Day, specifically from 1 to 4:45. You all were sent an email on Friday with more information.
It's finally September, and even though the kids are all mopey us farmers are excited! Yeah for lower temperatures (I hope), less bugs, slower weeds, no more transplanting and seeding in the fields, and more harvests. Maybe I'll even eventually get to where a heavier long sleeve shirt to work, soon. Last year September was insanely warm (80's and 90's for the first 3 weeks!!), so I'm thinking that this September may be similar as is the trend unfortunately.
So you are going to start to see some changes in the share produce as well as these storage crops continue to come in from the fields. The next 'creeper' is spaghetti squash followed by the whole winter squash line up. It's such a good change in direction in the season once we start clipping, curing, storing, and dispersing these guys. We also get to work on our hand-eye coordination as the fastest way to get them out of the field after they've been clipped and winrowed is to toss them to each other and place them into the big 22 bushel totes for storage.
On a different note, remember that Providence Creek Farm pasture raised meat is available for purchase in the small white building in front of the share room (we call it the pump house). There is an array of types of meat and cuts and you can use cash, check, or credit to purchase them. If you don't see what you like in the freezer just give Ben a call and he can put an order together for you for the following week. Make sure to read the directions in there (it's a cinch).
So here's what's available this week in the veggie share: potatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, beets, eggplant, peppers, hot peppers, scallions, melons, bok choy, radishes, hubbard squash, head lettuce, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, and garlic.
The fruit share will include peaches, plums, and certified organic raspberries.

Another Reminder About Labor Day

by Erin and Steve on 08/31/18

I know we are sounding like broken records with all the signs, emails, and blog reminders but HEY: Monday's Labor Day Pick Up is from 1 to 4:45!! Don't forget.

Summer Share #13 of 22: 8/27+8/30 Get to the Fair

by Erin and Steve on 08/27/18

Monday share please remember that we always have share pick up on Labor Day from 1 to 4:45 (**next week**).
Phew, we just had a fun time at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse. We've only been able to make it 1 other time in the last 8 years, but we made it a goal this summer, so it became a priority this past weekend...to get away from the farm. So, that's were I was instead of writing this blog post yesterday.
Now that the end of August is approaching we can start to see the end of the busiest part of the season. We aren't there yet, but I can feel relief just knowing it is coming! That also means this bounty is still coming as late August into September starts the mixing of the Summer and Fall crops. We clipped the first of the winter squash last week and it's looking like the first of our Fall fields are going to start to be harvested now. What a time of year.
This is what is in the share this week: potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers onions, cabbage, carrots, beets, eggplant, sweet and hot peppers, scallions, melons, lettuce, tomatoes and bok choy and edamame.
The fruit share will include grapes, peaches, plums.

Summer Share #12 of 22: 8/20+8/23 Back to School

by Erin and Steve on 08/18/18

I can't believe we are getting so far along in August. We got the largest rainfall of the season Friday night at 2.5 inches, which was a shock to wake up to. I think the weather tides are turning. We are crossing our fingers that the melons still ripening in the fields won't split too much. All that water absorbed by the plant all at once can cause a lot of damage. Everything is ripening and the largest harvests are underway...there's so much to do with so little time. How awesome would it be if there were an extra day a week just in the Summer? I guess if it were true I would still complain about not having enough time! So all this change in the fields makes me think of all the kids gearing up to head back to school if they haven't already. It kinda fits.
As for the farm we are so proud of the amazing yields we have been pulling from the fields (ha, that rhymed). It means some of the changes we made this year have really paid off. I'm sure you can feel it in your biceps when you've come to pick up your share recently. There have been some hiccups and missteps along the way but I'm pretty sure that's just life.
So if you have little ones starting school soon or bigger ones heading away for school I'm glad they've had the exposure and gained the knowledge they have by stopping by the farm and seeing how real food grows, as opposed to fake food (what I like to call all that processed food at the grocery stores ;)
Here's what's in the share this week: potatoes, squash of all sorts, cucumbers, onions, beets, carrots, cabbage, sweet and hot peppers,eggplant, melons, scallions, lettuce, greens, tomatoes, fennel, and some edamame.
The fruit share will include peaches, plums, and nectarines.

Summer Share #11 of 22: 8/13+8/16 Sorry Not Sorry

by Erin and Steve on 08/12/18

Holy cow, we've worked hard to set up a wonderful harvest this season. Every year we take what we've learned from previous seasons and invest in making the shares and the farm better. Well, now there is so much to harvest that we are a bit overwhelmed and we don't have time to do things like weeding and general maintenance because we are harvesting all the time! The bulk harvests of the season always start with garlic, but once the storage onions start coming in then it seems like the flood gates open. From there the first carrot planting comes in and the tomatoes start really pumping. We've had an amazing squash and cucumber year, so every time a new planting comes in the time it takes to harvest them increases (we just started the third planting yesterday).
So we are having to tell ourselves that this is a good problem, even though we are looking around the fields at how much needs to get done but simply isn't. We are also having a bit of a turf war with the deer that continue to demolish the beans in the upick fields. Hopefully with the recent rain (and the rains coming this week), the deer will have other things to eat instead of our irrigated beans. We are hoping to open them, if we can fend them off and the plants can recover.
So week 11 marks the halfway point in the season and here is what will be in the share: potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, onions, beets, carrots, cabbage, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, cantaloupe, scallions, fennel, tomatoes, salad greens (hopefully) with the addition of watermelon. The fruit share will include peaches, plums, and nectarines. We are also hoping for more apricots.

Summer Share #10 of 22: 8/6+8/9 To the Brim

by Erin and Steve on 08/04/18

Well this is what happens in a good year: there is a lot of vegetables coming out of the fields and we can't stop it! So the share is another big one this week and we're not sorry about it. We worked so hard to get these vegetables to this point so it's awesome when it works out. We might be a bit tired as the hardest part of the season has mostly passed. The amount of seeding and transplanting we are doing at this point in the season has dropped off. Almost all the fields are completely full or already done, we just have about a half acre left to plant for the season. But the weeds and bugs are still working and for some reason they don't get tired this time of year like we do!
I want to remind share members that Providence Creek Farm will have pasture raised meat available every week in the Pump House, so check it out if you haven't already. Also, please read the rules for the u-pick fields if you haven't already. And please speak up if you see someone not following the rules. Just be nice and let them know what they are doing is incorrect. We are a community here so we need to help each other out, and remember that when we are harvesting we are harvesting from a crop that belongs to everybody here.
So the tenth week of the share looks like this: potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, onions, cabbage, beets, carrots, kohlrabi, sweet peppers, hot peppers, lettuce, flowering broccoli, radicchio, tomatoes, scallions, fennel, tomatoes, and the addition of eggplant. We are hoping to have sweet corn and possibly cantaloupe, too. Phewww.
The fruit share will include blueberries, peaches, plums, and apricots.

Summer Share #9 of 22: 7/30+8/2 Out of Office Reply

by Erin and Steve on 07/29/18

About this time of year every year I write a post about the busiest part of the season...which we are currently in the middle of right now. At our core we are farmers, not any sort of office worker. We don't have an office or a designated person who only works in one. This means at the busiest time of year we are in the fields and when we aren't in the fields we are sleeping. So please remember to talk to me face-to-face in the share room if you ever have any questions that have a time frame attached, otherwise a response to your email will come in 2 to 4 weeks. Apologies.
Another note: there are some rules to using the U-Pick fields. If you are unaware of them please take a moment to read them in the share room before heading out to the fields. They are very important and there is some evidence that some people who are using the fields have not read them.
Now for the important part: this week's bounty is HUUUUGGGGEE. Yep. All this work is starting to show. The share will include- potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, patty pan squash, cucumbers, cabbage, beets, onions, scallions, kohlrabi, sweet peppers, hot peppers, lettuce, salad greens, kale, tomatoes, carrots and maybe even some sweet corn. The corn is on the verge so we are crossing our fingers.
The fruit share will include: cherries, plums, apricots and clingstone peaches.

Summer Share #8 of 22: 7/23+7/26 It feels like July

by Erin and Steve on 07/21/18

As July continues to kick our metaphorical butts the lack of precipitation is starting to slap us in the face. We are starting to wrap up our field schedule of transplanting plant starts from our greenhouse. It will continue until the end of August, but it slowed down a lot. We of course will be seeding directly into the ground until the middle of October. We aren't complaining about the lack of rain, just explaining. Our peppers are taking a hard hit even though they are on drip irrigation. Unfortunately we've lost a good deal of the peppers, but the rain looks like it might show up here soon and sort things out. I might just be writing about how wet things are this time next week ;)
This week's share will include: potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, patty pan squash, cucumbers, fresh onions, cabbage, beets, scallions, kohlrabi, radicchio, salad greens, salad turnips, escarole, lettuce, and tomatoes with the addition of sweet peppers and hot peppers.
The fruit share will (hopefully) include blueberries, cherries, apricots and plums.


Summer Share #7 of 22: 7/16+7/19 Seven Weeks In

by Erin and Steve on 07/14/18

The first 7 weeks of the Summer share season always fly by. The second seven weeks are the most difficult, which is where we find ourselves. And just FYI the last 7+1 weeks always fly by, too. These are the trying weeks that test not only our skills, but our brains and grit. So here's to the hardest 2 months of the year!
I know we had a surprise tomato harvest last week. It was weird because there were a decent amount of red tomatoes out there, but no orange ones. In other words, there were ripe ones, but no ripening ones. So this week we are not planning on harvesting tomatoes, but we are thinking that there will be another harvest in week 8 that then builds in numbers like normal. This year is proving to be anything but normal!
So here we are with a bounty of vegetables and we are only 7 weeks in! How awesome and intense is the growing season here in Western New York! This week's share will include: zucchini, yellow squash and patty pan squash. **If you haven't tried the patty pan summer squash you are missing out**...cucumbers, cabbage, beets, salad turnips, salad greens, kale, chard, bok choy, radicchio, escarole, lettuce, scallions, kohlrabi and the addition of fresh onions and new potatoes. New potatoes are generally smaller and have very think skin. They are great pan fried!
The fruit share will (hopefully;) include cherries and apricots.

Summer Share #6 of 22: 7/9+7/12 The Golden Rule

by Erin and Steve on 07/08/18

I was at a grocery store earlier this week because there was a few things we needed and I thought I could quickly go in and grab everything and get back home because I was pretty tired. I grabbed one of the handheld baskets and made my way through the store grabbing the 8-ish items I wanted Unfortunately the quick check out lines were closed so I picked a line where a woman was standing with her cart and all her groceries were bagged and she had her wallet out. I immediately realized that something was up when the woman started looking around and the cashier was just standing there. The woman then said, "Oh just cash me out, she's taking too long and I don't want to hold up the line." At this point the line was just me. I figured out the woman's daughter was somewhere in the store grabbing something and the wait for when she would return was well underway. I didn't say anything.
The woman then offered, "I'll just pay for that separately at Customer Service just cash me out." The cashier totaled everything, the woman got her money out and the cashier hesitated. The woman looked around a couple more times and spotted her daughter, "Hurry up I don't want to keep this woman waiting." I again said nothing. The cashier re-totaled their receipt. The woman handed over the cash and said to me, "I'm so sorry." I finally replied with a smirk, "Don't worry, if one minute ruins my day then that would be on me." They chuckled and I was happy. I had been in a hurry and I was tired, but not so much to get upset at a woman and her daughter for making me stand still for 1 extra minute. I was serious when I said what I said. Being in a hurry isn't an excuse for being angry or rude to people. Everyone has a lot to do. I was more upset that she felt she had to apologize repeatedly. So now that we're all older and our parents aren't around to remind us all, I will: "Treat others as you would like to be treated".
That all being said what a wonderful week we have ahead of us! It will include zucchini, yellow squash and patty pan squash, cucumbers, scallions, scapes, salad turnips, kohlrabi, fennel, radicchio, beets, bok choy, kale, chard, maybe broccoli and cauliflower depending on how it handled the heat last week, cabbage, lettuce and escarole.
The fruit share will include cherries and apricots. We will also have pickling cucumbers again for sale in the share room. If you plan on making pickles then plan on grabbing some this week!

Summer Share #5: 7/2+7/5 The Fruit Share is Starting

by Erin and Steve on 07/01/18

Wow, climate change is kickin' it up a notch this week. The farm is preparing as much as we can, so make sure you do too. Unfortunately all those machines people use to keep things cool actually make the world hotter. So make sure to stay cool both literally and psychologically. We all got to get through this together!
Now, there is still a lot happening on the farm as the Summer really is just getting started. The upick is slowly opening and the Fruit Share is starting! So if you signed up for a fruit share that means you've already received an email from the farm reminding you. If you haven't received an email then you haven't signed up for one. The fruit share this week is cherries, cherries, cherries!
The vegetable share will look like this: zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, salad turnips and radishes, scallions, beets, radicchio, fennel, kohlrabi, garlic scapes, lettuce, salad greens, kale, chard, collards and the addition of cucumbers and mini cabbage.
**We'll also have some wholesale pickling cucumbers and grilling squash available in the share room, so don't forget your cash or check!

Week #4 of 22: 6/25 +6/28 Full of Surprises

by Erin and Steve on 06/23/18

So I hope you all were as pleasantly surprised by the presence of the first zucchini of the season in the share room this past week. We knew we had to check the plants on Monday, but we didn't think we would be harvesting 13 buckets of the stuff that day. So Summer on the farm started last Monday instead of it's official start on Thursday. It made us happy. This means cucumbers will be on the way. Then tomatoes, then melons, peppers, eggplant everything in between and even more surprises. So be ready. The growing season in Western NY is short by most standards, but the climate makes for some amazing produce.
Here's to another bountiful harvest: zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, salad turnips and radishes, beets, scallions, salad greens, broccoli raab, bok choy, kohlrabi, kale, chard, and the addition of fennel, radicchio, and fresh garlic.

Summer Share #3 of 22: 6/18 + 6/21 Feelin' the Heat

by Erin and Steve on 06/17/18

Holy moly it is gonna be hot this week. Now, the official start of Summer is on Thursday the 21st, but it has been feeling like Summer basically ever since it stopped snowing at the end of April. Some of our Spring crops are throwing a little fit because they hate the heat, but the Summer crops have nothing to complain about. It has been very dry so far this season, but I'm not ready to complain about that yet. So the farm is feeling the heat already, but so far it is nothing that a little irrigation and ice cream can't fix (for the plants and humans, respectively). We have over the years become more adaptable to the weather as it becomes less and less "normal".
This is also the week of the pests as every season it seems like the week of Summer is when the pests (of many different kinds) start their attempt at overthrowing the farm. When you drive past the fields and see all that white fabric it is to keep the bugs off the plants without having to spray. It's referred to as 'row cover' in the business and though it requires a whole management plan for it, we think it is well worth our time.
Finally this week marks the third week of the share, and it will look like this: broccoli and broccolini, salad turnips, radishes, kohlrabi, kale, chard, collards, bok choi, broccoli raab, salad greens, spinach, lettuce, and the addition of scallions, napa cabbage, beets, and garlic scapes.
The fruit share will be starting either the 1st or second week in July depending on when the cherries decide they're ready. Everyone who has signed up for a fruit share will receive an email from the farm before it starts, and all you have to do is pick up the fruit when you get your veggies.


Summer Share #2 of 22: 6/11+6/14 The Sophomore Week

by Erin and Steve on 06/09/18

When a new artist releases their second album it is often referred to as their Sophomore Album. Can they reproduce the magic that was in their first album that made them famous? It's a difficult task. Our first share pick up was probably the best first pick up we've ever had given the broccoli came in early, thanks to those summer temps a couple weeks ago. But will the second and third share be as good as the first? OF COURSE!! The season keeps rolling and the veggies keep trying their best. The only real problem we are running into this season is that it hasn't really rained here on the farm in 3 weeks. The irrigation is running almost around the clock and a good rainy day would help out some issues we are facing, but I refuse to complain about weather (haha I do it all the time).
Don't forget that the shares here at the farm are harvested the morning you pick them up. For instance, if you pick up on Mondays we start harvesting all those vegetables Monday at 7:30 am. We do the same for Thursdays. This means things are as fresh as possible and seasonal. That's right, everything in the share is in there because this is the time of season it is able to grow. This means the variety of vegetables in the share will change throughout the share season, and eating with the seasons actually helps mitigate climate change. Seems like a win-win to me!
So here's what'll be in the share this week: broccolini, broccoli, garlic shoots, bok choy, head lettuce, salad greens, spinach, salad turnips, broccoli raab, basil, kohlrabi and kale.

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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
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