A Bad Year for Berries - A Long Explanation and our Regrets!
This is a week when I've felt particularly lucky to have the short term troubles of the annual vegetable grower instead of the long term struggles of the orchardists and berry growers we know!
We are so sorry that we will not be able to bring strawberries as part of your CSA share this season, as we have in years past, but there are not enough local berries to make that possible! The Faust's of the Berry Dairy in Malone have always supplied their berries, and they remained optimistic that their crop would turn around, but unfortunately for us (and even more so, them) the berries didn't come. Once we started calling other growers to find out if we could get strawberries for y'all, we discovered what a struggle this year has been! A late frost killed back buds, then the back to back too much rain then 90 degree days rotted and stressed the plants past their ability to rebound. One grower told us that everyone in the state had lost 60-90% of their crop!
Rock Steady arrives
For good news, let me introduce you to BeBop's partner in crime, Rock Steady! Thanks to Dusty K. we have the perfect name for our new walking tractor! A walking tractor is a two wheeled tractor that you walk behind. So, it looks similar to a garden rototiller, but it has a PTO which allows you to hook up all types of different impliments, just like a regular tractor. The impliment in this picture is a power harrow. Paul just started using it to prepare our planting beds, and he said it's AWESOME! It tills the soil, but instead of digging down deep and compacting the soil, it rotates lightly on the very top of the soil and doesn't cause compaction (which is very good for the health of the soil and the plants.
Ok, more than you ever wanted to know about strawberries and power harrows! ;)