From the Farmer

In the Cultivation Game, Timing is Everything: CSA Week 3

Hello CSA Members!

Welcome to a rainy CSA week 3! It’s almost June and the weather still has us waiting for summer – hope you are all ready for another week of stormy weather! Here on the farm we crossing our fingers it won’t last too long and the amount of precipitation won’t be much – we’ve got fish to fry! I’ve been rushing around over the past few days trying my best to shape, amend, and prepare the soil for our next succession of plantings, and working to get the plants in the ground before the rain comes again. The combination of slowly increasing day length and spring showers has encouraged a healthy emergence of spring weeds, and so we are also working hard to stay on top of “cultivating”. In the farming world the word “cultivation” means the practice of weeding crops. Cultivating is one of the most important aspects to farming vegetables and in the cultivation game, timing is everything! Best to get the weeds when they are small and easy to destroy quickly using a simple hoe. Weeding grass when it’s in its adulthood is certainly nobody’s favorite activity. Oof, I’m cringing just thinking about it. There are of course different ways to cultivate – conventional or non-organic farms often use chemical cultivation methods like spraying herbicides to eliminate vegetative competition, but farms like WSF that follow organic practices commonly employ mechanical cultivation methods, meaning weeding using hoes, hands tools, and tractor implements designed specifically to disturb the weeds between the rows of crops.

The positive side of all the recent rainfall is that our veggies have been properly watered and are looking SO vivacious and healthy. We have started to see a flush of red in all of our strawberry fields, and are very excited to share these sweet berries with you all this week! In addition we have beautiful Swiss chard that is as delicious as it is colorful. Pro tip: chop up the stems of the chard and sauté them with garlic and onions for a couple minutes before throwing the rest of the chopped leaves in the pan. Also on the docket are sweet and spicy salad radishes. I like to eat them fresh in the field, or quickly pickle them with apple cider vinegar and throw them into a salad for crunch and a kick. I also stumbled across this GREAT recipe from Epicurios for Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter Lemon and Radish Tops, that mellows the spicy flavor out nicely.

This week’s shares are as follows:

Small Shares

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Broccoli or Sprouting Broccoli
  • Salad Mix
  • Radishes
  • Strawberries

Large Shares

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Broccoli or Sprouting Broccoli
  • Salad Mix
  • Radishes
  • Strawberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Mint

Thanks so much and we will see you all at pick up this week!

Be Well,

Anya, Deb x 22 goats, Dan and Ann, Lex x 800 laying hens and x 17 hogs, James and Rocko, Nate, Christina, Kate, Amanda, Julia, Anna, Radish the feline queen

Important Notes: 
  • EGG SHARES START THIS WEEK! Yay! Go hens! And thank you all for your patience. Remember, we will touch base a little later in the season when we have enough eggs for everyone to double up, likely in July
  • FLOWER SHARES START THIS WEEK TOO. Please note, because flower shares come from Greenstone Fields in Purcellville and are delivered to order, per shares, twice a week, missed shares cannot be made up or picked up later in the week.
  • PICK-YOUR-OWN STRAWBERRIES for CSA members is tentatively scheduled for next weekend, Saturday, June 9th and Sunday, June 10th, from 12 pm to 5 pm. Members will receive coupons and directions in shares and via email next week.
  • FARM STAND PARKING LOT. Reminder, we installed a parking lot for the Farm Stand for your safety and convenience. We know everyone is accustomed to parking on the street, and it is permitted on the same side of the street as the store, but the parking lot is much safer and we encourage those of you with young families to park there instead.
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Willowsford Conservancy

41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

Phone: 571-440-2400

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Willowsford Farm Stand

23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

Phone: 571-297-6900

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