The fresh vegetable train is boarding!

The fresh vegetable train is boarding!

Spring is in the air today, perhaps for another day and then say it will snow. We are spending most days in the greenhouse preparing for spring. We purchased two pallets of organic potting mix last month and we are making a good dent in the first one. Our first seeds have germinated and are looking for the sun each morning. It’s a wonderful time of year.

We are looking forward to a quiet, warm sunny day when we can re-cover two of our high tunnels with new greenhouse film. It’s always an intense afternoon, for about 30 minutes we could use a dozen pairs of hands. A 40′ by 100′ sheet of greenhouse film makes quite a kite.

We are looking forward to providing families in Sioux Center, Orange City, Spencer and Sioux City fresh locally grown vegetables. Our summer season will start May 3 and run for 18 weeks. The fall share starts September 6, brought to drop off locations bi weekly for 12
weeks.

A big thank you to the families and individuals that have signed up and sent us their check.

We hope many more people will participate! Please this email with friends, neighbors and people at work! If you haven’t signed up yet please do!

The costs are the same as last year:

  • Full share $550 for summer which works out to $30.55 a week.
  • Half share $350 for summer which works out to $19.44 a week.
  • The fall share is $300 for the one size for 12 weeks with biweekly distributions which works out to $25 a week.

Our website is updated for this season! Ordering shares from our online store is easier than ever.

Like The Cornucopia on Facebook to see pictures of the farm and the things we do, pictures of
the students that work for us.

Please sign up early (almost added “and often”), and share the idea of a share often with friends. We are very thankful that this project that started with 10 customers has grown to what it is today. It
happened because you, participants have shared and suggested and recommended.

When you mail in your check please include: Your name, address, phone numbers and email address. Indicate you are ordering summer full shares or half shares and your intentions on a fall share.

Thank you,

John Wesselius
712-490-8218

The Last Summer Share

The Last Summer Share

The crew is putting the last summer share together as I compose this note. It has been a good summer, with steady help, timely rains, realistic amounts of sunshine and heat, some storms, some quiet still nights, impressive lightening and some big full moons. The the first batch of chickens were great, the vegetables had some consistency, yields have average, some germination issues mid season, we kept up with weeds most of the time and as it cools into September we will catch up, cover crops are looking marvelous and some fall greens are already up.

This week the half shares we anticipate will have:

  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • lettuce
  • onion
  • garlic
  • spaghetti squash
  • tomatoes
  • red lipstick sweet pepper
  • zucchini
  • jalapeños

The whole share we expect will have:

  • potatoes (Nicola, taste like Yukons, perhaps smoother texture and slightly sweeter)
  • carrots
  • lettuce
  • broccoli
  • salad mix
  • onion
  • garlic
  • okra
  • celeriac root ( great for soups, stews or pot roasts)
  • tomatoes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • lipstick peppers
  • zucchini
  • jalapenos
  • anaheim pepper
  • parsley
  • kale

It’s been fun this summer. We hope see Fall share people next week (same place, same time) and look forward to seeing all summer participants back next May!

Last call for Fall shares!

Last call for Fall shares!

School started today. I wouldn’t have noticed really if it wasn’t for social media. Our college students are back, too, and are starting to drop in, text and arrange times when I can expect them to be available. We have one not returning to school, so she will continue to come everyday for the fall. Hopefully that will allow us to do things when conditions are best rather than when people are available.

There’s just one more summer share next week! We’ve unofficially closed sign-ups for Fall Shares, but we have room for a couple more subscribers. If you would like to get every-other-week deliveries of delicious fall produce such as onions, squash, greens, potatoes, and much more, please sign up at our website at thecornucopiacsa.com or with one of us at the market. We’d like to get a count for the fall subscribers by end of the week.

Some of our fall direct seeded crops are up, and they could use a shower. I’m holding off watering because it is supposed to rain this afternoon. They just need a little, not a real soaker like crops half way to maturity. We continue to transplant out, we have one more set of brassicas in the greenhouse that should go out tomorrow, and we will continue putting out lettuce and salad mix for another month. We looked at sweet potatoes this morning; I think we will try have them for next week.

See you at the market!

Sangre Potatoes and Okra

Sangre Potatoes and Okra

At right you can see a nice crop of sangre potatoes, included in both the half and full shares this week. There is one new item in your CSA share this week: okra. Janna eats it raw while harvesting. There have been a lot of people asking for it in Sioux City. No one asks for it in Sioux Falls. I wonder if that has anything to do with the person at the market for the farm? Feel free to put in your requests to either of us when you see us at the market.

We have another two large spaces empty on our land that are being put to buckwheat for smothering weeds, adding organic matter, and building soil tilth. I hope we timed this just right so the plant is large but not going to seed at our first frost, so it dies and then we can let it lie there until spring planting time.

There is lettuce in the share again this week, and there should be more available into September.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up for the fall share!

Hot Weather

Hot Weather

It’s hot!

What would we do without air conditioning at lunch time? I grew up without air conditioning. We learned to cope, to sweat, to drink water, and to take advantage of shade. I didn’t understand why some of my friends parents insisted on air conditioning in their cars–why, just open the window! I have come to like, appreciate and even dare I say need air conditioning!

Today started cool, overcast, almost like it was to going to rain, but I gather the humidity needs to build first, the corn needs to send out its scent, the wind needs to build pressure, and then maybe Thursday when we are going to dig potatoes, it will rain. Rain is a blessing. When you get rain, think of those who haven’t seen rain for a month or two, or a year or more, then we realize we have it good.

Speaking of good. The lettuce for next week was too small 4 weeks ago to feel the impact of hail, and it is looking good for next week. The tomatoes are coming out of the tunnel at a nice rate for your consumption and for us to sell at markets. The carrots are not too big and not too small for the most part. I was afraid this bed was going to get big. We have one more bed ready and we may have a slight gap after that as the next ones are just out of the ground. We are seeding more this week for your table this winter. We should have carrots till April!

This week we have German butterball potatoes. A blight went through this variety about four weeks ago and killed the tops, so the potatoes are small but they taste great. They are one of my favorites, boiled or mashed, and as the name implies, they are smooth!

Please come to market early if you can. It’s going to be a hot day on Wednesday.

August

August

Wow, it’s August already!

I took advantage of the unexpected thunderstorm this morning to create this newsletter. Usually I wait till most of the items for the weekly share are chosen or picked. It began raining about 7AM when the crew for the day arrived. We pushed the wagons of onions inside so they would stay dry, and three people are cleaning and boxing them up for use during August. Their tops dried down after the hail storm 3 weeks ago Wednesday. Two others are in the greenhouse seeding trays so we will have transplants to put out in 3 to 4 weeks, which we will harvest in October and November.

Speaking of October and November, could you please indicate by email or by mailing us a check whether you plan to subscribe to the Fall Share? It starts September 7. For those who mailed a check this past week, Thank You! (See our mailing address at bottom.) You may also order online.

Janna is visiting our daughter Jessica, her husband Andrew and our grandson Joshua! So, John will be at the Sioux City Market this Wednesday, Anna will be in Sioux Center, and Spencer folks, please look for details at our Spencer Facebook page. I’m currently thinking it will be about 5 pm when I get to Spencer.

The camera on my phone broke about a month ago. Can you tell by the absence of new pictures? I wish I could include a picture of the buckwheat growing in the front garden. There are 3 beds Gretchen put into buckwheat about 6 weeks ago. It’s in full flower, about waist high and just smothering the weeds. We use buckwheat because it is heat tolerant, germinates well, and when planted in the fall it dies and dries with the first frost. We add organic matter this way. It’s a green manure. Of course, when used early like this you want to till it or mow it before the flowers turn to seed. The garden that will have potatoes next years will be seeded to buckwheat soon, and another to winter rye probably about the middle of September.

It’s August, so some families are on the move before school starts again. We need to say Thank You to a customer, friends and tremendous supporter of local, organic and flavorful food. Dan and Sonya Knauss are moving to Edmonton AB this month. We will miss their smiles, words of encouragement, and help. If you have been with us for 8 or more years, you may have noticed we been more up to date with social media and our website. Other members of Practical Farmers of Iowa have told us we have the best website. We just want to say thank you to Dan and Sonya. They have pushed and encouraged most with our online presence. We hope they have a safe move and find Edmonton to be a great place to live.

For the rest, you’ve got 3 to 4 weeks before people start thinking fall!

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