our season thus far

Happy September!

I’ve had many thoughts rumbling around in my head for a while now, but haven’t formulated them into words. I wanted to take some time to communicate with you about our growing season this far.

Looking back, our spring farm work days making beds and planting seemed to change quickly to selling our vegetables in mid-June. We had out-of-town family come visit mid-July and we were a stop on the annual Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour on July 28th. We had about 600 cyclists come through our place and see and hear a little about what we do. It was a really neat day.

We ran our Summer CSA Vegetable box in Chilliwack for the first time this year and in Abbotsford again, serving the total of about 60 CSA members each week. We continue to be at the Abbotsford Farm & Country Market weekly and plan on being there each Saturday till Christmas.

Most of our crops have been working out for which we are thankful. We had a couple carrot crop failures – one to poor germination, the other to weeds we didn’t have time to attack. We’re very happy with our mini-leaf Salanova lettuces that we grew for the first time this year. They’ve definitely been a hit at the Abbotsford Farm & Country Market and with the local restaurants we supply. We are glad to have a garlic harvest again after a few years without garlic due to a crop failure and moving our farm last spring.

We experienced many firsts this year, since our family only moved to live on the property we are farming last September. I got to be more involved with the outside farm work – from planting, to weeding and harvesting. I remember saying a few months ago, “I’ve never done so much planting in my life!” After years of being commuter farmers, it is amazing for me to be able to pack significantly less picnics, do laundry and harvest vegetables simultaneously while saving heaps of time.

That said, we are still finding out how much the two of us can handle. We are making mental notes for next year, about how to space farm tasks more evenly so we don’t get a huge pile up at the end of spring and in early summer. We also are taking notes about how much to plant. How many rows of pole beans can we realistically keep up with once they are ready to harvest, every two days, for example. As one farmer in, “The Greenhorns” book put it, “burn-out is our nemesis.”

It was, overall, quite a dry summer. Our warm-loving crops like tomatoes and summer squash thrived and Andy was kept busy with managing sprinklers and irrigation.

We are thankful for the helping hands of some family and a few close friends who have blessed us with help preparing beds, planting, prepping leeks to plant, training tomato plants, and weeding.

We are grateful to have you support our farm. It still amazes me how many different vegetables we can grow out here in Chilliwack and it’s great to see how thankful you all are for that food. Thanks for your encouragement in person, through email and at the market. Thank you for sharing recipe ideas with us too, or asking questions about something that is new to you.

Wishing you all the best as we head into Autumn.

~Cara, for Andy and our children too

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