CSA Spring Update

Hello readers!

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had time to update the old blog but I’m happy to get back into the writing and photo sharing groove for the summer! Nothing like some cold and wet May weather to slow you down and make time for the indoor (often computer-based) activities…

I’m sure you all are just dying to know how the farm has been going and most-importantly how your future food is coming along! Well I’m excited to report that despite this abnormally cool spring we have had several warm weather windows to capitalize on getting lots of seeds and baby plants in the ground. If these past two growing seasons have taught me anything it is adaptation. This time last year we were happily beginning to harvest our early greens and watching heads of broccoli and cabbage start to size up already. Well this year so far has literally been the inverse to that. Even our baby greens in their warm and cozy home in the high tunnel are taking their sweet time to mature and many crops in the field are taking about twice as long to size up. What we are lacking in warm temperatures this year though are gladly made up for in plentiful moisture- so no complaints here!

Purple bok choy receiving a much-needed breath of fresh air during a brief warm spell at the Old Fort plot

Purple bok choy receiving a much-needed breath of fresh air during a brief warm spell at the Old Fort plot

In addition to a bizarre spring weather-wise, we have had the additional (albeit exciting) challenge of starting a new farm from scratch in the beautiful Mancos Valley. After three years of dutifully renting land from the Old Fort Incubator Program in Hesperus I received the opportunity of a lifetime to take over 90 acres of gorgeous, irrigated land complete with a two-story farmhouse, apple orchards, tractors, animal barns, and a copious amount of water to play with. This year we are starting to lay the groundwork for the future farm of High Pine by putting up high tunnels and deer fence, installing irrigation systems, and ploughing ground for future garden spaces. Much of our production this year will take place in one of the 1.5 acre apple orchards located on the property as well as the .5 acre of land we are still renting from the Old Fort (think of it as a transition year). While it definitely has been a dream come true, the work load has been somewhat daunting however we are so excited to have our own place to call “Farm” in the coming years!

The views ain’t bad! You can see our new deer fence, high tunnel, and a future garden plot in this shot.

The views ain’t bad! You can see our new deer fence, high tunnel, and a future garden plot in this shot.

This year more than ever I have been inspired by the hard work and innovation of my fellow farmers both regional and national who selflessly make their work accessible so that those such as myself don’t have to rewrite the book on food production. It is often mind-boggling how many different skill sets are needed in organic farming- from carpentry, to mechanical maintenance, to plumbing, to field biologist- and it is incredibly helpful to take cues from those who have figured these things out already. While at times organic farming can seem like a competitive activity to secure CSA members, wholesale accounts, and market customers- it often rises above these egocentric motives with the basic premise of feeding people. This cooperative mentally is what bring the small farm to the center of our food production in the coming years and I am forever grateful to be riding that train with you and my hard-working contemporaries!

Storage onions finding their home in the apple orchard. We are intercropping vegetables in between rows of young apple trees in order to increase diversity, stack production, and bring more holistic weed management into the orchards.

Storage onions finding their home in the apple orchard. We are intercropping vegetables in between rows of young apple trees in order to increase diversity, stack production, and bring more holistic weed management into the orchards.

Anyways, our first CSA pick up is only a month away and we are excited for the delicious food that awaits your boxes! We are still on track for our first drop off to be on Tuesday June 18th from 3-6pm at the Smiley Market. For those of you who haven’t been yet, the Smiley Market is a fun and low key farmers market located outside of the Smiley Building in downtown Durango. To pick up your share simply show up to the High Pine Produce booth at some point between 3-6pm (please don’t arrive early, we need time to set up our stand!) and tell us who you are picking up the share for. You will receive a pre-packed box of goodies and you are then free to check out the other vendors or go on your merry way! You will receive a newsletter a day or two prior containing more farm updates, pick up reminders, and yummy recipes incorporating that week’s share items. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any other questions.

Hope you all stay warm and enjoy all the moisture!

With regards,

Max

max kirks