Summer Solstice, We Are Halfway Through The Season!

Dear CSA members and farm friends,

Welcome to week 10, the halfway point of our Spring/Summer CSA Season and fittingly enough, the week of the Summer Solstice. If you have been in the farm stand lately you know that tomato season is here and I am happy to report that we have the most beautiful tomato crop we have ever had in the ten years of operating Native Son Farm. If the stars continue to align we should have an abundance of tomato varieties all through the season. As we complete the transition from Spring to Summer you will notice that the leafy greens and roots will begin disappearing from the weekly shares and the tables will be filled with more summertime crops, tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, okra, beans, cucumbers, basil, as well as some of the bulk Spring cabbages and carrots that we are currently bringing into cold storage.
As is the case every year, the CSA season is an adventure on the farm and on your tables, the fluctuations of the weather from season to season lead to bumper crops and busts and as always we are thankful for those of you that have joined us for the ride and help to make this organic farming business possible to operate each year. This year, the late winter and early spring were marked by rain, excessive rain, so much rain! Nearly 40". The over abundance of rain led to busts on anything that was overwintered or planted very early, our strawberries, our potatoes and our onions most notably. Our strawberry crop yielded about 40% of our anticipated yield, we would have been better off just eating our seed potatoes and while we will have plenty of onions, they are all going to be on the small side. While the early crops struggled and the rains made all of our fieldwork and planting very difficult we still managed to stay on schedule, harvest enough strawberries for at least the first 6 weeks of the CSA and while few in number and small in size respectively, this week's potatoes and onions are delicious!
After the tremendous amount of rain that we received, the weather has become much more favorable, the dry days and cool nights have been wonderful for our tomatoes, peppers, squashes and beans and our farm is literally bursting at the seams with food for y'all over the coming weeks. I previously mentioned how wonderful our tomato crop looks and barring a natural disaster, you should look forward to enjoying maters of every color, stripe, size and flavor. The bean patch that we are about to begin picking and should be ready for next week's share is large, beautiful and abundant, the early season beans that we had have been one of my favorite successes to this point in the season.
Much of our success this year is due to the hard work, careful thought and diligence of 2019s tremendous farm crew. Several returning Native Son Veterans, Joseph Currie, Drew Deason, Antonia Hankins, Sara Murphy and Cinthia Lopez are doing what it takes day in an day out to keep this place humming along and if you are enjoying the food from the farm, please consider thanking them if you see them around the farm stand. Also, please feel free to give a pat on the back to our new crew members, they are out there sweating with the rest of us to make this dream reality.
You will notice that the farm stand has some items that we are not growing, we always do our best to be transparent about these items with our labeling and signage. We have peaches from Cherry Creek Orchard in Pontotoc this year, which are conventionally grown as well as blueberries from Mikes Farm in Greenwood Springs that are grown without chemicals. One of my Amish friends and Certified Naturally Grown farming colleagues Gideon Gingerich will be supplying all of our okra this year (11 kids makes commercial okra picking possible,) and after several years of losing them to disease, we have contracted out our melons to a conventional farm in Coffeeville, MS. The watermelon and cantaloupe will be the only items in the only items in the CSA that are not grown using organic practices, if you have a problem with this, please let me know and we will find a substitute item for you.

I think that about covers the basics of what I was hoping to communicate, if you made it this far thanks for reading. If you're in the CSA and read all this, you rock! Please know that we are doing our best for y'all seven days a week to make this work and hope that our hard work and passion are translating into delicious meals and a wholesome life.

Will Reed