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Mid August Check in
Hot, tired, and optimistic
Finally it feels like Colorado. Hot, long, dry days with a little breeze and no clouds have arrived. The hustle to harvest before the heat hits feels familiar. Yet, there is a little chill in the morning air reminding us this, like everything in life, the season is fleeting.
The dance right now is one of keeping up the gumption to plant and weed while the garden produces its bounty. We could spend all of our time harvesting and not get everything. Finding the time to plant is especially important as day length is shortening and temperatures will drop.
This afternoon I seeded our first few rows of winter crops. We removed old cucumber and summer squash plants in exchange for kale and chard, two winter staples I do not go without. In order for successful winter harvests the crop must reach marketable size before going dormant. Kale and chard take awhile compared to smaller greens, making them the first to be planted.
Personally, this part of the year is always a big push. I love what I do, but I am tired of it. It is a great irony because this is the most fruitful time of year, the season we look forward to the most and look back on the fondest.
My heart forgets the tired bodies and minds that worked tirelessly for months to bring the garden here. Meals are simpler right now. I often opt for raw veggies, acting like to deer and taking a bite of a tomato to throw the rest on the ground.
It is also a time of year when I am find myself wondering what the next season will look like. Every garden is different and there is a little grief in considering this might be the last one like what we grew this year.
Two choices marked our 5th season in business. One, was to scale back acreage to half of the previous 2 years. The second, staff the Farm Stand. These two decisions have proven to be pivotal choices both for business and personal life.
Strangely, and I am sure other growers can attest, this year has marked a leap in the demand for local produce and farmers markets. So while we cut our acreage down, I would argue we have never been more productive especially with the extra moisture. To be then met with more customers, retail and wholesale, a perfect storm has unfolded. I always had the motto “It is already sold” referring to the produce. This year not only is it already sold, but we are turning customers away.
The temptation to scale up, again, is there, but another option exists. We could choose to double down on consolidating. Clearly we have products people come to us for. Products Folks Farm is known for. Could it be as simple as increasing the production of those and shrinking others?
The implications of choosing to focus inward would have consequences. A choice needs to be made, not now but soon. How do we grow? Do we continue down a similar path, or change it up? Do we both scale and consolidate? The next step is tackling the numbers to offer another side in the molding of our next seasons.
We are happy to host the Larimer County Farmers Alliance Salsa Cook off next Saturday the 26th of August at 5pm. This is great place for producers and passionate advocates of Larimer County can get together celebrate, commiserate, and enjoy some tasty food!
Farm Store Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10-6, Saturday and Sunday 10-4
What is stocked in the Farm Store?
Greens- Malbar Spinach, kale, chard, collards, herbs (mint, basil ((Italian, Thai, Tulsi)), parsley, oregano, thyme, sage, lemon balm, peppermint, cilantro, dill, parsley
Roots- Red and gold beets, yellow and red onions, kohlrabi, nantes and purple dragon carrots
Fruits- cherry and heirloom tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers, organic plums, peaches, green and dragon beans, tomatillos, jalepeanos, shishitos, and poblano peppers
Local Products- KREAM Kimchi, Crown Mushrooms, Bread Chic Sourdough, Fox Den Coffee, Bee Squared Honey (from the farm), What a Yolk Pastured Eggs and Jodar Eggs