After Irene

September 1, 2011 at 11:22 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dear CSA Members,

There is nothing more humbling than the force of water. On Wednesday morning we trekked into the woods that surround our field to search for the winter squash that Hurricane Irene’s flood almost swept away. Under the calm and sunny day, we were all awe-struck at the might of Sunday’s flood. We felt both a sense of mourning for the crops we lost and gratitude for the preciousness of what survived.

You, our CSA members, are our highest priority. The produce that survived the flood will continue to fill your kitchens each week and we will do our best to keep bringing you the highest quality food we have left. We are grateful that, in addition to the lowland field that flooded, we also grow on a field that is higher up. Our commitment to growing a diversity of crops is also showing its value. Some low growing crops like cucumbers were ruined but tall trellised crops like tomatoes did well as did most of our root crops.

Here are some of the ways that the shape of the CSA deliveries may shift going forward:

  • The flood decided to bring in an early winter squash harvest by uprooting most of the plants. They needed a few more weeks of growing to become fully mature so we brought a random sampling to the chefs in the Isabella Freedman dining hall for a taste test. The amazing squash and Adamah Bomb Jelly soup we ate for lunch convinced Freedman staff and retreat guests of the worthiness of our early squash. Because they did not finish on the plants, we are not sure if the squash will store as well as they normally would. We will therefore be distributing them to you early and you should cook them in the next few weeks.
  • We lost the heads of lettuce we were going to distribute to you over the next few weeks so today we seeded new beds with quick growing spinach and salad mix.
  • We may distribute produce with a few more blemishes than we otherwise would. We have been giving you our highest quality produce and using things that look a little funny to our dining hall. Because we have less to choose from overall and won’t be giving as much to the dining hall, we may occasionally send you peppers with scars or tomatoes with cracks.

Thanks so much for your support all season. We hope you all fared well during the storm. Our hearts go out to the farmers and others who sustained deeper losses as we reflect here on our role, as farmers, in the goings-on of nature.





Pre Flood


Post Flood

Winter Squash in the Woods


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