Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Customer Satisfaction

This blog post is another "picture this" type of post.  We've had a few pictures that were enjoyed by those who use Facebook, but we know many people do not see those and like to see them here.  

Plus, we get to say more about them here.

The Sandman has spoken - this is a good spot.
We are all about customer satisfaction - as you can clearly see in the picture shown above.  That is one satisfied customer.  I'm not sure the Sandman understood exactly what it was we were planning on doing with the tray or the cart, but whatever it was didn't happen for a while.
CSA truck tetris
 I tried to take a few pictures of the truck in its various states as I packed it during one Tuesday this month (September).  But, as I expected, I ended up getting a bit too busy to take many pictures.  So, here is one that is a few steps away from done.  Once our workers leave at the end of Summer, I adopt a few different techniques that work (more or less) for packing.  One is to pack as I get things done.  *Usually,* I avoid missing something if I put it in the truck - or by the truck.  It is a little inefficient sometimes when I have to pull a few things out to repack, but it works most of the time.

Heard on a commercial:
  the *******  team is dedicated to providing you with an amazing home loan experience.

I'm sorry, but I'm afraid this just started Tammy and I laughing.  Apologies to the people in the store that thought we'd lost it.


Peach Blow Sutton tomato
It turns out one of our new tomato varieties is an excellent tasting tomato IF you let it sit on the counter and get softer.  It is alot like the Wapsipinicon Peach in that regard.   So far, several thumbs up *as long* as you let it sit for a couple of days.  If you eat it while it is still too firm, the taste is pretty bland.

Red Xpress cabbage
We've been getting a nice batch of small red cabbage.  For the most part, we are going on the assumption that most of our CSA members like the smaller cabbages.  Of course, this isn't the only variety we grow.  But, the 1/2 to 1 pound size seems to be less intimidating when you are getting a big bag/box/bucket full of produce.

Guest appearance by Pippi Longstocking
Every once in a while I see something that amuses me *and* I have the camera around.  I saw this Dwarf Blue Scotch kale plant and decided it reminded me of Pippi Longstocking.  Either that, or the little girl in Emperor's New Groove.  Both have the pig tails sticking out the sides.  How many of you read books about Pippi? 

Flowering buckwheat

We are doing a cover crop trial for Practical Farmers of Iowa.  That, and we have a plot that needed rehabbing anyway.  It's given us trouble for several years.  The plot has sections of millet, clover, field pea and buckwheat.  The picture above shows you what our buckwheat section looks like.  Lots of flowers and excellent coverage.  The bees and other pollinators love this patch.  We've always wanted to do more with buckwheat as a cover crop, this experiment will encourage us to do much more.

What is a cover crop?
In essence, a cover crop is a planting of a (potentially) beneficial plant that farmer puts in to cover the soil during a period when it might otherwise be bare.  Cover crops are selected for ability to cover the ground and hold it and for the potential they might have to improve soil health.  For example, clover pulls nitrogen into the soil.  Tillage radish breaks up compacted soil.  Buckwheat chokes out difficult weeds, such as Canadian thistle.  We have used cover crops over the last several years.  But, we don't feel we have done very well with them.  This project is helping us to work with them more effectively.
Dr Wyche's Yellow tomato
Dr Wyche's Yellow is a tomato that seems to have peaks and valleys for production for us.  This year is a rare 'half-way' year.  We'll take it.  We'd probably classify these in the beefsteak category, though the size can be variable. 

Rouge d-Hiver lettuce
The Fall lettuce is growing and looking great.  Two varieties that may not be as familiar to everyone in our CSA are shown here.  Rouge d-Hiver is a romaine type.  However, unlike many romaines, it does not have a tightly packed 'heart.'  The taste is outstanding, especially in the Fall.  It looks like we hit the timing right for them this year. 

Amish Deer Tongue has a texture that reminds us a bit of spinach.  They grow in a tight cluster, making them very dense.  They may not look impressive next to the large loose-leaf lettuce, such as Grandpa Admires.  But, you'll get plenty of lettuce to eat from one of these.  The texture alone makes a person who loves spinach and is less fond of lettuce happy.
Amish Deer Tongue lettuce
We periodically get asked why we don't have more pictures of the farmers on our blog and elsewhere.  Well, Tammy got ahold of the camera this past weekend and told Rob to hold up the carrots he was carrying.  An excellent likeness.
The farmer has carrots for you.

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