September and October have been much sunnier and warmer than they were last year. What a difference that makes to our moods, and the ability to ripen summer crops!
This is the final week of our 22 week farm share. What a ride it has been! Our market has taken a leap forward, especially with the help of a very bright, energetic, and creative woman, Zoë Sevenants. She has made friends with so many customers, as well as fellow market staff, fellow farm staff, and other collaborators in the Ca-Hoa building we all share. Dave Wolpin also has helped the Warehouse Market develop by convincing us to import organic produce from other regions so we can offer a more varied selection of produce. He also brought in wild mushrooms and introduced the surplus box delivery system, which were both big hits. The Surplus boxes allow us to quickly distribute items remaining at the end of each market week. This has three effects: (1) very minimal produce waste at the end of each market cycle; (2) very fresh new produce at the beginning of each market cycle; and (3) happy people who get produce delivered to their door on Sunday. We are planning to continue the Surplus boxes year-round, so please spread the word!
The farm this year was more challenging, but we learned a lot. With every crisis comes opportunity. A very cold wet spring delayed planting, but we learned the value of raised beds and deep compost. During a near-hurricane in September the ginger hoop house got damaged and the ginger crop suffered. However, we learned more about hoop house construction to resist high winds. We learned more about how to foil the nasty squash bugs that go after our squash and cucumbers.
We also learned how much we depend on each other. Two of our former farm employees, Marshall and Bruce, have now established their own farms near to ours. Both farms have begun to supply our Warehouse Market and farm share with fantastic products to supplement the products from Abundant Acres. Marshall and Hilary (Fill Yer Boots Farm, next door) have been supplying eggs, garlic, strawberries, sweet potatoes, and squash. We share land, infrastructure, equipment, facilities, and even staff. Bruce (Glass Family Farm) has been supplying bunching onions, and over the winter will supply winter squash. It is very heartwarming to see this new collaboration and we look forward to watching it develop.
So thanks again to all of our customers, employees, friends and family for supporting us through another season. Running a farm is a huge challenge, and we could never do it without all of you.