Sunday, October 5, 2014

Crop Report - October

Rob spent a few moments to check in on some of the goals for the season.  We also thought this might let others see what we are aiming for and how well we get there.
White Wing onions were a winner this season.
We tend to set two goals for ourselves.   The first is a number we think is reasonable AND should provide us with plenty to meet obligations (CSA, etc) and provide additional sales opportunities.  The second is a goal we think we really have to get in order to just meet obligations.  Additional sales would be minimal in that case.
Edited with final numbers on April 3, 2015

Green Beans
   goal - 1000 pounds                                                   minimum goal - 750 pounds
   2014: 783.4 pounds                                                  2013:  478.4 pounds
   goal - 600 pounds                                                     minimum goal - 400 pounds
   2014: 674.4 pounds                                                2013: 517.2 pounds
   goal - 5000 fruit                                                        minimum goal - 3000 fruit
   2014: 2142 fruit                                                        2013: 5884 fruit
   goal - 3000 head                                                       minimum goal - 2000 head
   2014: 3153 head                                                       2013: 1959 head
Bell and Sweet Peppers
   goal - 4500 fruit                                                       minimum goal - 3000 fruit
   2014: 4405 fruit                                                       2013: 1552 fruit
   goal - 2000 fruit                                                       minimum goal - 1200 fruit
   2014: 1318 fruit                                                       2013: 1892 fruit
   goal -  750 pounds                                                   minimum goal -  500 pounds 
   2014 -  457.1 pounds                                             2013: 1034 pounds
   goal - 500 fruit                                                        min goal - 300 fruit
   2014 - 385 fruit                                                      2013: 153 fruit
   goal - 2000 bulbs                                                    min goal - 1500 bulbs
   2014 - 2298 bulbs                                                 2013: 0
Winter Squash
   goal - 1000 fruit                                                     min goal - 500 fruit
   2014 - 64 fruit                                                      2013: 250 fruit

This is just a sampling of our harvest so far and some of the general goals we set for ourselves for production. 

Not a bumper crop of tomatoes this year, but enough.
The general feeling we get from these numbers is that the majority of our crops are doing "well enough" to meet our obligations to our CSA Farm Share members.  You might notice that most of our current crop numbers are settling around the "minimum goal."  In other words, we're getting just enough, but not enough to do much with additional sales in most cases.  You might also notice that there aren't many complete failures this year.  The exception is the sad demise of nearly all of our winter squash again this season.  The cool weather and planting issues really set the vines back.  Then, a fairly early frost came in and took most of the leaves off of the vines.  Without leaves, the vines aren't getting more energy to develop the remaining fruit.  I expect we'll get something out of them, but it won't be much.

But, what does this mean? 
It continues to confirm that longer season crops continue to be difficult with extreme weather conditions.  On the other hand, multiple succession plantings of shorter season crops (and even some longer season crops) results in enough success to be able to meet obligations.  If the weather does something to take out one succession (like the first succession of cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash), another succession may well hit a 'good' window of opportunity. 
Our Fall radishes are making up for Spring shortfalls.
It also means that our efforts to split some crops up in the rotation is mitigating potential losses if difficult conditions occur.  We realize that eggplant is potentially a divisive vegetable (hate them or love them).  But, we know a number of our CSA members like them.  So, it would be disappointing if they all failed.  So, they were placed in more than one field this year.  The result is a reasonable number of eggplant (800 fruit) to get everyone in the CSA the taste they wanted.
A recently transplanted eggplant (June)
In some cases, the numbers are merely a function of decisions we make on the farm.  For example, it is possible we could have gotten to our goal for green beans this season.  But, the reality is that they started producing on the late side.  There were plenty of beans still to pick at the end of August, but we just couldn't spend the labor on them and keep everything else afloat.  We were comfortable that we had provided a nice amount of green beans for everyone, so we made the choice to prioritize picking them lower in September.  After all, our primary bean picker (Tammy) has other things to do at that time anyway!

All in all, we won't be crowing about record setting production this year, but we won't be doing much crying either.  It has been, and continues to be, a perfectly acceptable year for crop yields.  We'll build on this and aim for an even better year next season!


  1. Why didn't you post the amount of kale and chard harvested?

  2. Hi Kieran, I didn't include those because I am no where close to being finished picking them! that's a good thing.


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