Sunday, May 20, 2018

BGF News - May 2018-Vol. XXXIX, No.5

Precipitation in the past month: 4.45"

What’s up on the farm?

Asparagus season is on!

It's that time of the year when the "To-Do" list and the "Completed" list are vying to see which is longer. The farm crew is all here and working hard to move tasks from one list to the other as fast as we can. 
The beds are mostly prepped and a big chunk of the seeding and transplanting is done. So far we have transplanted onions, leeks, shallots, scallions, kale, chard, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, head lettuce, fennel, eggplant, peppers and herbs into the field and high tunnels. The first (and some second) round of seeding is complete on salad mix, arugula, beans, peas, spinach, choi, beets, edamame, carrots & beets. 
Most of the seeds have germinated, though the earliest greens really struggled as the soil conditions were quite dry. We have since caught up on some of our rain needs, but NOAA released the most current drought maps this past week and we are already in Moderate Drought conditions. It is alarming to see this so early in the season when we normally get the highest portion of our rain. The potatoes were really slow to emerge this spring, a combination of the dry and cool soil. We finally started seeing them this week, so we could get a start on cultivation. Thus begins the weed war. We will continue to skirmish with them (the weeds, not the potatoes) throughout the season, but if we can get ahead of the battle now, the rest of the year will go easier.  The asparagus was also delayed this season, but it is making up for lost time now. Just this week, we harvested more than 500 lbs!

The Before...

In addition to our regularly scheduled tasks, this week was also the annual shearing of the alpacas. While we have a professional shearing team from Missouri do the actual shearing, it does require "all hands" to take care of all the support activities. The alpacas don't really enjoy this day much, but after about 15 minutes of attention from the shearers, everyone is feeling much better. 

...and The After

2018 CSA deliveries begin Tuesday, June 5th!
This will be the last monthly newsletter for the season. Weekly newsletters will begin with the first CSA delivery, coming up quickly on June 5th. There is still space for new (or returning) members in the 2018 Summer CSA. Veteran members should have received their invoices last month and payments are now due.  We will send out an orientation email for all members the week before deliveries begin.

If you are interested in joining the 2018 CSA season, you can read more about it here:[UNIQID]&u=a9a85eb452c0147312d46dfe2&id=05062a06dd

If you know of anyone who might be interested in joining us for the CSA season, please share the info with them, we have a number of available slots that we would like to fill and you are our best marketers! 

*Team Blue Gate-Market Opportunity*
Again, this year we are looking for a team of folks who love the market to join Jill in the BGF tent during the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market season. We ask that interested individuals commit to at least 2 market dates over the course of the season and to be there for set-up, selling and tear down (basically 6am-12:30 or so). In appreciation for their time and efforts, volunteers earn a BGF T-shirt and a $30 credit at the booth that day. We had an awesome group of folks do this the past couple of seasons and everyone seemed to enjoy it. If you are interested in joining us this year, you can go to the online calendar (  and sign up for whenever works with your schedule.

Is an occasional newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures or see pictures of the farm?  Follow us on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm and Instagram at bluegatefarmfresh. You can also share recipes, experiences and questions with other BGF members at Blue Gate Farm Community.

That’s about it for now, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 
Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Luci & Indigo)