This was a great year to be a Summit Springs Farm CSA member! We’ve crunched the numbers, and they are impressive: This season a full share cost $475, and the total value of the food members received was worth $669.25. That’s almost $200 more than folks payed for, and that total doesn’t even fully include all the tomatoes that were offered!
On the one hand, we’re thrilled. To have a season like 2010 after the past two very wet, very challenging seasons is inspiring, and we feel as though we and our CSAers have earned the bounty. But on the other hand, we worry about setting the bar too high. This was the best growing season we’ve ever had, but no growing season is perfect, and the variation from year to year can be extreme. Even this season, we had some disappointments. Our strawberries were small and funky due to early maturation because of unseasonably warm weather in the early spring followed by a late frost. Our eggplant crop completely failed because of a population explosion of a little critter called the tarnished plant beetle. Those beetles ate 95% of the eggplant flowers, and the plants were never able to fruit. Broccoli was also almost non-existent due to our lack of knowledge about the correct planting dates (Sonya thinks she’s finally nailed it down thanks to all the help and support she’s received as a participant in MOFGA’s Journeyperson Program). Cauliflower was also a bust; we lost one planting to weeds and another was planted too late. Our chard didn’t do particularly well, either. We try to have lettuce available weekly, but this summer it just couldn’t make it through the heat and most of it bolted.
For the most part, however, we had more than enough of everything else we grew. We hope we didn’t overload you with too many tomatoes or cucumbers or summer squash, and if we did, we hope you froze/canned some of them for winter use or gave it away. John will soon be looking at all the surveys we got back and blogging about the results. The surveys give us a more detailed sense of what you all really thought of the season, but from talking with members individually and glancing at surveys as they came in it seems that most of you were happy this season. We just want everyone to keep in mind that things will be different every season. It’s worth recalling the numbers from 2008 and 2009: Last season, members lost a little less than $30 due to, essentially, a complete absense of the season known as “summer”; in 2008, which was also a pretty crappy, wet, cool season, members received almost $80 more in value than they paid in. It’s a rollercoaster ride, folks; there’s a lot that we have control over and a whole lot more that’s completely out of our hands. That’s the dangerous allure of farming, and we certainly appreciate your support during the highs of positve, productive seasons like the one just ending and during the lows of the challenging ones!
If you are interested in knowing exactly what veggies you received each week during the 2010 season as well as their cash value, we would be happy to e-mail you that information. Just let us know by calling 998-2196 or e-mailing the farm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, a reminder that the season still rolls along. If you’d like to be added to our weekly e-mail listing what veggies are still available (kale! beets! parsnips! bok choy! cabbage! carrots! eggs! much more!!), please let us know. Don’t forget to come see us at market on Wednesdays in Portland and Saturdays in Bridgton, too. And, once again, please bring us your leaves!!! We’ve still got plenty of mulching to get done.