State of the Farm: December 2014

2014 Farm Box Review:

As we wrap up the 2014 growing season, we on the farm are taking a minute to absorb just all that we grew on the farm and shared out through our Farm Box, Veggielution’s CSA program. Here is a quick retrospective review of how our 2014 Farm Box year went.

2014 was Veggielution’s first year running the Farm Box program in the winter, and because of some particularly difficult weather (a hard frost in November/December), unseasonably warm January/February temperatures, and of course, California’s driest year on record) we were faced with some significant challenges growing for our 40 Farm Box members for 20 weeks. Some cabbage crop failure, as well as highly diminished yields from our kale due to aphid pressure, made for less variety than we would have hoped to give you for about 2 out of the 5 months. However, we’re very proud of all that we DID grow, including over 1600 pounds of carrots – 2 lbs. per person per week for 20 straight weeks! Also, delicious butterhead lettuces, beets, mesclun mix, arugula, spinach, and much more. Over 25 different vegetables in all!

2014 was also Veggielution’s second year running the Summer Farm Box program on our full acreage, with a 35% increase in the number of members from 2013 to 2014. We faced some challenges in the summer season as well, both environmental – dramatically increased pest pressure and the continuing drought – and operational – a huge turnover of staff at the end of August with the end of the Americorps term, so less manpower to plan and work the fields. These challenges definitely impacted us. We saw lower yields on some of our staple crops in comparison to last year, namely summer squash, tomatoes, and kale. However, we’re very proud of all that we did grow, including over 1800 pounds of squash, 1000 pounds of onions, 3800 pounds of eggplant, and 2000 bunches of basil. Also, delicious cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, garlic, beans, and more. Over 35 different vegetables in all!

As we look forward to 2015, we hope to have more consistent success in the fields. With plenty of rain in the last couple of weeks, the start to this winter season is promising. We hope that more and more of you will continue to support us through volunteering and donating, and perhaps even becoming Farm Box members. You all are what make this farm so successful. Here’s to an awesome 2015 growing season!

-Your Veggielution Farm Crew