Dear friends,

We didn’t intend to start our season this early, but sometimes that’s just how things go! We need to harvest some crops that will be best fresh, and we can’t hold them in good condition where they are, or keep them long term in cool storage. They are coming from a high tunnel that was destroyed by high winds last Thursday morning.

The destruction of our high tunnel will impact our production of vegetables because we rely on these buildings for an early start to our season and a strong finish. We actually grow three seasons in this high tunnel, beginning with salad mix, arugula, lettuce, radishes and other cold-tolerant crops. As they are harvested, we insert tomatoes for the hot season. Once the tomato season is over, we replace the tomatoes with fall greens like spinach and head lettuce.

We will be taking the frame of the high tunnel down once most of the early season crop is harvested. We will have to grow tomatoes in a different place outdoors. The structure is not repairable so we getting quotes on a replacement.

For us, this feels like one step forward and two steps back. We finally got our greenhouse built, and it has been such an improvement to growing plants in our garage to start the season. We began the year hoping to replace the tunnel we lost two years ago, and now we have two tunnels out. We are now down 4,992 square feet of passive solar greenhouse growing space.

We did post a couple of pictures of the damaged tunnel on Facebook, and some of you may recall similar pictures from two years ago.

It is still very windy as I prepare this and it sounds like this weather will stick around till Wednesday. We will keep plugging away. We will begin to seed more plants to get started for transplant, seed more beds directly once the soil dries up enough and look for ways to add to our season extension capacity.

We are exploring some fundraiser ideas, because these tunnels are a significant investment. We welcome your ideas and thank you for subscribing to our CSA.

–John Wesselius

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