Lessons Learned

I had a great time this year with the CSA. I feel like our community really did support us in this project. It was successful enough that we are working to expand our growing space to double for next year. 

Even with what I consider a success, there were still lessons to learn. It was a new adventure, growing food for other people. I was more stressed if something wasn't working just right than if it was only our family we were feeding. I truly didn't want to let anyone down. 

The giant amaranth seemed like a great idea, but their days-to-harvest is too long. These died in the first frost. 

The giant amaranth seemed like a great idea, but their days-to-harvest is too long. These died in the first frost. 

Some of the challenges I faced were organizational. I love companion planting closely for the maximum benifit of the plants, but it isn't so easy to do successive plantings that way. If I wanted to plant radishes under the tomatoes after the carrots were done, the soil is too shaded by then. 

Another companion planting snafu I had involved rat tail radishes and cucumbers. Radishes are supposed to have an insect repellant effect on the cucumbers. Specifically against root worms. But the radish "bushes" outgrew the cucumbers and shaded them enough to cause very slow growth. We got few cucumbers this summer, even though I finally did cut the radishes down to the ground.

Chopping and dropping the disappointing cucumbers. 

Chopping and dropping the disappointing cucumbers. 

Cabbage needs netting to keep the little white flutterbys away or their babies will eat it all while you sleep. I won't use pesticides and I missed a lot picking off the green wigglies.

Even though you plants 10 of something, sometimes only a few of them bare fruit.   

Cats are evil! They dug up any bare soil for a potty. Especially if that bare soil had freshly planted seeds in it. I lost a lot of carrots that way. We need to cat proof our deer fence. 

Letting the broccoli bolt makes the bees happy.

Letting the broccoli bolt makes the bees happy.

Green onions don't grow well in the greenhouse. We thought we would get a head start on them in there. They didn't like that idea.  

These are just some of the things we plan on improving on for next year.  I also decided on some varieties of various plants that I liked better than others. We will also have more perennial veggies and herbs. 

Garlic goes in the ground tomorrow. The very last thing to plant for the year.