June 29th, 2021- Harvest Share Update “Romaine Calm…Extreme weather and your veggies”

We are sending this email to our harvest share community (that’s you) to fill you in a bit about what’s been going on at the farm this past week.  We had hoped that this week would be the first of our fun weekly newsletters, but instead have been doing a bit more triage type work.  Just how it goes sometimes!

Long story short, everything is OK.  The farm team is smiling, the veggies are being harvested, and hopefully Mother Nature is going to take a deep breath soon.  However, it’s challenging to farm in a changing climate and it’s been a rough series of days.  Without sounding too dramatic (we really do love what we do),  want you to know the reality of that.  We also want you to know that we are doing everything possible to keep the farm and the farmers safe and to keep on bringing in the harvest for you.

As you may have noticed, it’s been hot.  Really hot.  Above 45 degrees by the afternoon on the farm, kind of hot.  This has meant very early mornings and strenuous working conditions for our farm team, running irrigation full-time to try to keep the crops cool enough to survive these temperatures, and monitoring all of the animals on the farm as this weather can be hazardous to their health (the work horses have needed the week off of work, and this lack of cultivating has meant some weeds are getting real bigl).  

On top of the current heatwave, the farm is situated between two rivers with disconcertingly high water levels.  Folks a few kilometers to the south of us were ordered to evacuate over the weekend, so along with all of our usual farming we were also making contingency plans for possible flooding and arranging trailers to make sure the livestock could be moved if needed.   Luckily everyone is staying put for now.  Fingers crossed, the river levels seem to be holding steady and it looks like the 40-degree days will soon be behind us.  So it’s been stressful, and we are OK.

So, you may be wondering, how are the vegetables faring?
It’s hard to know what the longer term effects of these temperatures are on the crops, but in the near-term I’d say things are looking pretty darn good all things considered.  Harvesting was done in the early morning but it’s still been pretty warm out, so some things may not keep quite as long as usual.  We did need to make a few substitutions on the fly this week (the salads did not appreciate the baking sun), but your veggie shares are looking fresh and tasty despite everything, so we hope you will enjoy them immensely.
Folks who were lined up to get Zesty Salad Mix will get bunched Mizuna instead (which is a delicious zesty green…I like it best cooked in peanut sauce); anyone slotted for other mixed greens like arugula will get a substitute item (luckily we’ve had some broccoli and Romaine lettuce that’s been eager to get out of the heat and into your fridge).  We were secretly hoping that summer squash would be ready to be a sneaky “Farmer’s Choice” item, but the plants have been too heat stressed to do much of anything this week, so you may get something different at random or simply an extra helping of an item on your list.  We are pulling everything out of the fields that we can and hope it brings you creativity in the kitchen!

Thank you for your support through this harvest share program.  It really is Community Supported Agriculture, and we feel so fortunate to have such an understanding farm-ily to help us weather storms like this.
Sincerely,Naomi and the Four Beat Farm team
P.S… Whether you’re getting delivery or picking up, please go ahead and give our farm crew an extra big thank you.  They deserve it!

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