What a week!
The day we deliver the first CSA share is always a big day in our year.
I usually have a knot in my stomach for a few days leading up to it. It doesn’t really matter how much we prepare--I’m always on edge looking out for whats gunna go wrong. Getting the first shares harvested and out the door (and all to the right drop sites) takes a lot of coordination. Something always gets missed. It’s never a big deal, but I have a hard time relaxing during that first run through.
Once we have a few weeks under our belt the kinks get worked out, the mix-ups get resolved, and everything falls into a rhythm. But until then…
This year Covid shipping delays meant some helpful supplies had not arrived in time. That meant we were washing and packing in a makeshift setup. Not ideal.
Greenhouse issues in the early spring and some late cold snaps mean crops are not where I would like them to be. Not ideal.
But one of the main stress factors was the strange heat spike and high winds on harvest day. One of the biggest challenges on harvest day is keeping leaves cool and crisp. When the wind is blowing hard on a hot day, everything goes limp (even us!). Just think about how you sweat on a hot and dry day. You may not notice it since it evaporates immediately but your skin lets out a lot of water on hot, dry, windy days. Well, plant leaves respond to those conditions similarly. And once you sever the leaf from it’s root, the water evaporating out of the leaves can't be replaced by moisture coming in from the roots... the leaf quickly goes limp. Not ideal.
Its not easy harvesting leafy greens in those conditions. There are tricks that help, but it does add to the stress.
One thing that is NOT a point of stress this year is our team. In the past we always felt slightly short staffed. Not this year. This year our team is great and we were able to get a lot of vegetables harvested pretty efficiently. And I’m especially thankful for my brother Daniel who stepped up big time and mostly ran the harvest while I ran around. So three cheers for a great group of hard workers! I can tell that once we work through the first-week-kinks, this will be a great year!
So in one sense the first week of CSA is a relief--once week one is behind you everything can hopefully settle into a rhythm.
But in another sense, its just the beginning--the train is just slowly pulling out of the station for us. We're excited to be buckled in and moving, but there is a lot of track still to go!
Till next week!