August 19, 2010

CSA Yields

Important news from the farm:
We hope all of you are enjoying the vegetables we have been providing so far this year. For those of you who have been members from the beginning or if this is your second season with us you may have noticed a decline in yield of some of our crops like salad greens, lettuce heads and cooking greens as well as the size of our peppers and cucumbers. We have been been facing some different challenges this year especially with irrigation and water supply. We wanted to update you as to what we have been encountering and share our concern for potentially lower yields in the weeks to come.

This year we had implemented a new system on a new field we call,"Gadbois Field". The system is drip irrigation which utilizes drip tape the runs the length of each bed that we grow in and as the word implies water drips out of the tape to irrigate our plants. The drip tape and bed is covered with plastic mulch to stop weed growth and the paths in between each bed is mowed to keep everything accessible for harvest and a healthy environment for growth. The water source is a pond adjacent the field that is pumped to the drip tape that runs up and down 60 beds (about 4 acres). We noticed about 2 months ago that our veggies were not growing as expected and started a comprehensive fertility program using fish emulsion and calcium, and irrigated more often. Still something was not right and as we were planting our fall crops last week we discovered the answer when the pond went dry during an irrigation attempt. It became apparent that we had been irrigating less water then needed by clogging up the pumps filtration lines with sludge from the "near" bottom of the pond. This is not good news as what has not received enough water during this period are a good amount of the vegetables we had planned for the next 4 weeks. So expect some sparse pick ups in the near future.
For the fall crops we have hope that a well the neighboring farmer agreed to let us use will pull us through the remainder of the season. It has only been 3 days since our discovery and that we have been using the well. It is not a deep enough well to irrigate all 60 beds at once so we have started with 3 at a time and will be adding a bed at a time until we find the wells "breaking point" and irrigate as often as we must to save as many crops as we can.

Rain...Rain...Rain!!! We need rain. We have had only a few rain falls since May which plays into our struggle greatly. Both the pond and the well is dependent on rain fall.

As all of you are part of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program we do greatly appreciate your understanding and continued commitment through all the good and challenging times the farm has had in the past and the struggle we are encountering currently. Thank You!



"Know Your Food!"

Julia and David Smagorinsky
Woodbridge Farm LLC
30 Woodbridge Road
Salem, CT 06420
phone: (860) 531-8090
e-mail: woodbridgefarm@sbcglobal.net
www.woodbridgefarmonline.com