Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Long Days And Short Nights

Sorry for the prolonged delay in writing this. The past weeks have seen long days (12-14 hour days have been routine for David) in extreme heat and short nights. Not complaining on David’s behalf (at least not too much), but long hours are a natural part of farming. To reconfigure an old expression, if you can’t stand the heat (or rain or long hours, or the bugs, or the cold), get out of the field. The fact of the matter is that if you are going to farm you have no control over the elements and have to find a way, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically, to get things accomplished. And so it goes. Here is a brief summary of the past weeks events.

Some crops have been doing great. Some crops got consumed by weeds. Some crops got eaten by bugs. Some are being decimated by disease. The situation is chaotic and all is normal. Overall the spring and early summer have been less productive than had been hoped. However, as the season is continuing things are turning around and a good late summer into fall is anticipated. On a positive note, if you are a tomato head, some of the heirloom tomatoes, as well as some cherry tomatoes along with a couple of ‘regular’ tomatoes have started producing. A limited supply of tomatoes have been available the past couple of weeks, but the quantity and diversity of available tomatoes should start to increase within the near future.

Both farm and market share members of the farm have been able to take advantage of the bounty. The farm share members indicate that they have been enjoying the varied produce that they have been receiving as determined by David. The market share members indicate that they have been enjoying the flexibility of being able to buy what they want, when they want (in some cases stopping at the farm both Wednesday and Friday). Overall, the expansion of the membership of farm/market share members has been successful. If you are not a member and think that either a farm share, full or half (this latter being new for farm season 2013), or a market share is something of interest for next year, please let us know and provide us your name and email address. (Stop by the farm on a Wednesday or Friday or send an email to David at dzaback@gmail.com). Sometime in the fall you will be contacted to assess your interest and will then receive information spelling out the program in detail.

The farm stand has been busier than the past two years. Some of this is due to the increased number of members who come to the farm to pick up their produce. Beyond the members, there are a core group of regulars who come to the farm on Wed or Fri or both. In addition there are an increasing number of ‘first timers’ who have discovered the farm stand and are now coming on a regular basis. To all of you, a heartfelt thanks! Your patronage of Z Food Farm is greatly appreciated.

The Rittenhouse Square Farmers’ Market is now in its seventh year and seems to have become an integral part of the neighborhood. The impression is that the people who frequent the market do a significant part of their weekly shopping on Saturday mornings. Rain or shine, heat or cold, the people of the Square area come to the market. Thanks to all for supporting Z Food Farm in its third year at the market.

The New Amsterdam Market, now starting its second year as a weekly market, is still in the process of becoming an integrated part of the area in which it is located. There are not as many people who live in the immediate area as there are in Philly, but there are a growing number of people who make the Market a regular part of their weekly routine. What is most exciting about the New Amsterdam Market is the vision that the market manager has for the future of the market and the old Fulton Fish Market, in front of which the NAM is located. To find out more about the history of the area and the visionary plans for the future of the market go to www.newamsterdammarket.org. Coming up in August are two special events. On Sunday August 19 there will be the Ice Cream Sunday where various vendors of artisan ice will present their creations. And on Sunday August 26 there will be a Tomato Fest. Hope you can attend.

As July heads towards August David and crew are moving full speed ahead with seeding, germinating, planting, weeding, harvesting, and selling at markets. Again, thanks to all for your support and we look forward to seeing you at markets.

Happy and healthy eating to all. Support your local farmer. Support sustainable agriculture. Support organic farmers when possible.

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