May 1, 2018

We are officially kicking off the 2018 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) season today!  The most notable thing is that 2018 is not like 2017. After one of the driest Februarys on record we had we go again with another drought…but then things changed. 
Last year we had our tomatoes in the ground by March 1st. This year we are a month behind due to both the welcome March miracle rains and a much cooler April than usual. Not to worry though, we are planting like crazy and though things are growing slowly right now the warm-up will happen and the plants will take off.
The earliest crops that we planted back in the February dry spell are coming into production now. Cool weather crops like kale, cilantro, lettuce, chard, dandelion greens and arugula are showing up in theCSA boxes. Another thing we’ve noticed is that the stone fruits have a really good fruit set on them, especially the Blenheim  Apricots, which are notoriously undependable around here. Not trying to count our chickens before they hatch, but so far, so good. Now if we can just keep those pesky tree squirrels away
We have left some ground untilled for now. Those areas contain the remnants of  our winter/spring cover crops that have heavy blooms of Phacelia, which attract more beneficial insects during the cooler weather. The wild bumblebees also love it. The very effective but tiny pest predators are difficult to spot but are definitely there feeding on the nectar. The wild Ceanothus, another blue flowered bee plant, is really going off in the surrounding hills outside of the fields, so there is no shortage of “good” insect habitat.
Other crops planted and in varied growing stages are a nice mix of potatoes, an expanded rhubarb patch that will complement our strawberry patch (a new addition for us), tomatillos, squash, eight varieties of peppers, dill, parsley, basil, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, sunflowers, gladiolas, a large patch of dahlias and many mixed greens.
We are looking forward to warmer days and the summer abundance, hope you are too!