On-the-Fly Pre-Season Update

June 4, 2007 

Hello All, 

Have not been in the writing mode due to heavy
planting and shovelling, but thought I’d give a little
update on goings-on at the farm. Things are shaping up
for a lively subscription season this year, we’re
shooting for 25 subscribers and have nearly gotten
there. If you’d like to subscribe and haven’t yet,
email and let me know. We’ve planted a great salad
mix, radishes galore, snow peas and sugar peas, chard,
basil, oregano, bak choi, tomatoes, ten different
winter squashes, kale, collard greens, muskmelons,
peppers - bell and habanero and scotch bonnet,
watermelons, turnips, callaloo, string beans, corn and
popcorn, cucumbers, and ... close to 500 pounds of
potatoes! And a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember.

The weather has been a trip this spring, with wide
swings alternating between 80-degree days and
40-degree nights. The heat led to many of the early
crops - radishes and daikon - bolting, meaning rather
than forming good eats they formed seed pods, which
lead to bad eats. Then the downright cold nights meant
that many of the warm season crops that were planted
out - squashes and cucumbers and the like - got real
stunted. But not to worry, we are nothing if not
flexible farmers, which I think will be a benefit for
the period of dramatic climate change we have no doubt
already entered. The upside of all this is that with
all the radishes - and we planted A LOT of radishes -
flowering rather than ripening, the land is completely
covered with beneficial bugs attracted by the flowers
right now, especially ladybugs.

Other developments out our way include the first
inklings of the tentatively named “Just Farming”
group, a small farmers confederation of Southwest
Michigan or lower Lake Michigan. We had a first
meeting in March, and have begun to pool our resources
in order to create a farmer-generated distribution
network to benefit farmers and eaters, within a vision
of food justice. Our solidarity work continues with
God’s Gang, the fantastical group that got its start
in the Robert Taylor Homes in the ‘80s and is still
going strong and farming on the same land as us. We
continue also with some form of relationship with the
Puerto Rican Cultural Center’s Conuco Market, which
serves the primarily low-income Humboldt Park area. As
we work on the details of that relationship, one of
the options that has come up is for our farm or the
Just Farming confederation to have a stand at the
Saturday market, selling organic for less than the
price of conventional produce. As no final decision
has been made on this project, the delivery day for
your subscription is still a bit up in the air.

At any rate, deliveries will begin the last week of
June, run for 15 weeks, and hopefully deepen ties
between eaters and farmers! Likely deliveries will be
Friday evenings again, but I’ll let you know as soon
as we know, if there is a change to that.

Thanks for your great support!