Producing an Abundance for Your CSA

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Transcript Producing an Abundance for Your CSA

How to make sure you’ve got
enough vegetables of the right
quality and kind at the time you
need them for your CSA
Laura Krouse
Abbe Hills Farm CSA
Mt. Vernon
www.abbehills.com
72 acres total
54 acres tillable
10 – 15 acres vegetables
G – C – OM – M
CSA since 1996
20 weeks
early /mid June until late October
200 shares
pickup Mondays and Thursdays
$400 per share in 2011
3-4 student workers
we grow sweet corn and potatoes for
Local Harvest CSA = 200 shares
we donate food every week to food
pantries and soup kitchens
Variety
Quantity
Quality
We strive for at least 10 items per week
June 27, 2011
head lettuce
spring onions
radishes
garlic scapes
stir fry kit
spring turnips
kohlrabi
kale
collards
arugula
August 11, 2011
potatoes
summer
onions
squash
eggplant
cukes
garlic
cabbage
sweet corn
chili
kale
collards
basil
cilantro
How much is a share?
Enough for 2 adults and 2 kids for 1 week
July 4, 2011
2 heads lettuce
6 medium onions
1 daikon
10 garlic scapes
½ lb peas
¼ lb turnips
2 heads broccoli
2 cabbages
8 kale/collards leaves
3 kohlrabi
cilantro
PFI
A Comparison of CSA Offerings
http://www.practicalfarmers.org/resources/horticulturecrop-resources/A-CSA-Offerings-Comparison.html
Roxbury Farm
Weekly Share Plan
http://sfc.smallfarmcentral.com/dynamic_content/uploadfi
les/942/Weekly%20Schedule%20CSA%20Farm.pdf
What is a Share?
From “Sharing the Harvest”, p 179
Weight is in pounds
Basil
2.0
Beans
20.0
Beets and greens 15.0
Broccoli
10.0
Brussels sprouts
2.0
Cabbage
15.0
Chinese cabbage 4.0
Carrots
30.0
Cucumber
15.0
Eggplant
3.0
How much should I plant?
number of shares x amount per share
200 shares x 8 heads broccoli/share =
1600 broccoli transplants
200 shares x 15 lbs beans /share =
how many feet of row?
Things to consider:
How many times can this crop be harvested?
(is quality good enough? is it worth you time?)
Do I need to plant it more than once?
What is yield per foot of row?
How much should I overplant?
Is there another market beyond my CSA?
Do I have room to plant some to give away?
Broccoli: I plant 288 seeds (4 flats x 72 cells per
flat) of each of two varieties, 4 times to have
400 heads broccoli per week for 4 weeks
Why two varieties?
Spread risk of failure
Slightly different maturities within same week
Why so much? (40% more than I need)
Not every cell will produce a good plant
Not every plant will produce a good head
I usually have room
I can sell or give away the extra
Beans: I plant 3 rows x 250’ of each
variety, 5 times, using 1-3 varieties each
time = at least 24 rows total
Why different varieties?
Spread risk of failure
Give shareholders choice
Why so much? (25% more than I need)
Not every variety will yield well every time
Shareholders love green beans
I usually have room
I can sell or give away the extra
How much should crops yield?
Johnny’s Selected Seed catalog, p 2
Johnny’s Growers Library
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/t-
growers_library.aspx?source=HomeGrowLib0411
Seed calculation and yield chart
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/assets/information/2010Vegetable
Charts.pdf
Bean comparison chart
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/assets/information/GreenBeanCo
mparison.pdf
Things to consider:
Your experience with this crop
Weather: temperature and rain
Weeds
Disease and insect pest pressure
Soil fertility, soil health
Your ability to do timely harvest
“Sharing the Harvest”
CSA Crop Planning Chart, p 174
Their actual yield = .15 lb/ft of row,
based on records of previous years
Johnny’s assumes yield = .8 lb/ft of row
My actual yield = about .5 lb/ft of row
1.5 lbs/week x 200 shares = 300 lbs / week
300 lbs / week requires 600 ft of row
What yields can you expect?
CSAfarms.org
Community Supported Agriculture in
Michigan
http://csafarms.org/csafarms0656231.asp
Chapter 4: Planting for the CSA
Appendix : Planting Guides
Crop Planning for Row Crops
1 acre crops = 20 shares
More experienced farmers become more
efficient
Farmers with less land need to become
more efficient
More mechanization usually means less
efficiency per acre (or does it?)
When should I plant?
Harvest date – days to maturity =
planting date
Things to consider:
Transplant or direct seed?
Days to maturity, variety
Soil and air temp, moisture levels
Day length, temperature tolerances
How many harvests from one planting
Succession planting
Multiple plantings of a single variety
Go by calendar
Go by developmental stage of crop
Single planting of multiple varieties
Different days to maturity
Scheduling vegetable plantings for
continuous harvest. ATTRA
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/viewhtml.php?id=20
Broccoli: I transplant 275 plants of 2
different varieties as early as soon as soil can
be worked. Repeat every 10-12 days,
3 more times
But it doesn’t always work!
Blue Wind broccoli, 49 days, Johnnys, p 12
2010: planted April 19, first cut June 17
2011: planted March 14, first cut June 30
Don’t forget “broccoliettes”
Beans: I plant 3 rows of 2 varieties on May
25, repeat 2 weeks later. Plant 3 rows of 1
variety every 2 weeks for 4 weeks. On July
25, plant 3 rows of 2 or 3 varieties for fall
Why so many plantings?
Always have beans at optimal maturity
We usually pick a row only 1 time
Some overlap spreads out risk
Spring/summer weather favors pathogens
I can sell or give away extra
Sweet corn: I plant 6000 feet of row of each
of 2 varieties when soil temperature is >55o.
When plants have 3 fully extended true
leaves, repeat. Repeat again before June 20
6000 row feet = 500 dozen ears (1 ear/foot,
20% more than we need)
Bodacious = 74 days
Incredible = 84 days
Or, you can be like my neighbor and
write your own program!
Starts with his desired harvest date
Then calculates transplant date
Then calculates planting date
Can handle multiple harvests per year
Saturday, October 29, 2011
potatoes
onions
leaf lettuce
hot peppers
sweet peppers
red beets
golden beets
chioggia beets
daikon radish
red radish
red meat radish
Hakurai turnips
red turnips
purple top
turnips
green mustard
purple mustard
Ho Mi Z
Mei Qing Choi
Joi Choi
Da Cheong Chae
Yukina savoy
arugula
rainbow chard
cilantro
parsley
kale
collards
Red Russian kale
When to plant/transplant for fall harvest
Late July/early Aug: beets, leaf lettuce,
cilantro, daikon, turnips, chard, Chinese
cabbage, broccoli, cabbage
Mid Aug/ late Aug: mustards, Asian greens,
spinach, Red Russian, head lettuce
Late Aug/early Sept: radishes, arugula
Take Home Messages
Plant early, plant often
Plant more than you need, >20%, especially late
spring/early summer crops
Plan to give some away
1 acre = 20 shares
10ish things per week, variety might be more
important than quantity
Plant for fall, everything for spring except better!