4:00 pm, September 1st: HARVEST!September 8th or 9th: field management
Yes, dear SPUDSters, the fruits of our labour are ready and waiting!
Even though there is no Blackberry Faire on the labour day weekend this year, there IS a Denman Opposes Coal supported Croquet Tournament happening on Sunday, the 2nd, so we've opted for Saturday, September 1st for our 2012 harvest.
We will, in keeping with SPUDS tradition, have a yummy pot of organic veggie chilli and cornbread prepared to share together when our harvest work is done! (around 6 pm). So please be sure to confirm that you can make it, and we will plan accordingly. You are welcome to bring other family members and friends to help harvest, and we'll throw their names in the chili pot, too, if we know ahead of time! ( no obligation, but a $2-3 donation per attendee helps cover expenses).
You may recall that we planted two weeks earlier in 2011, but the late frost set everything back at least a couple of weeks- so we are hoping that our 2012 crop will still be on par, even though we could leave it in the ground longer. NO sign of wire worms, so far. (another reason to harvest sooner than later), and with our new cistern roof in water collection mode this year, we've only had 2 refills, courtesy of our friends in the Volunteer Fire Department. With the long wet spring that began our growing season, and no prolonged dry period without water thanks to a ready supply this summer, we think our plants have been kept relatively happy.
We had initially planned to give you a bit more notice, and wait until the second weekend of September to harvest. But now that Tanya and Dave have decided to be public about Tanya's cancer, we think it's ok to let you know that we are opting for September 1st so that Tanya can join us all in the field. A couple of days later she will be undergoing another chemo treatment, which would make attending our harvest if it were the following weekend, impossible.
As most of you know, normally Dave and Tanya are the other active half of SPUDS Field Management Sub-Committee, but have had to miss most of this year's field activity.
You will have noticed that we've only had 3 or 4 callouts to the whole co-operative so far in 2012, even though SPUDS membership involves a minimum of 5-6 field dates over the course of the year. We will indeed be needing majority membership support following the harvest, with such things as prepping for next year - including more mulching, and cover cropping, etc
So if you've missed any field dates, don't worry…there are always opportunities to contribute, and one or two weekends following the harvest will now be used for ongoing field management assistance! We'll confirm the date and time for that next weekend when we're together in the field. If you won't be able to join us, please call- we'll make sure you still get your share of the harvest!
In the meantime, here's a reminder of what to bring with you to the SPUDS patch on Saturday, September 1st, at 4:00 pm.
-bucket if you have one
-last year's potato sack, if you've still got it
an extra wheelbarrow might come in handy
and don't forget to call (1209) or email back right away to confirm your attendance (and interest in our harvest supper!)
Looking forward to gathering together in celebration!
-Fireweed (on behalf of SPUDS Field Management Sub-Committee…Dave, Tanya, Mike and myself)
It appears that Spring may actually be here to stay now, and you all know what that means! Please set aside a couple of hours in your busy schedule for next Sunday, the 22nd, at 1:00 pm, and join together with your fellow co-op members to plant our 2012 potatos!
We're a bit later than last year, in part because spring has been a long time coming, and in 2011 a cold snap ended up setting everything behind several weeks anyway. But we do need to get our seed in the ground now, and we need everyone who can make it to please get in touch and confirm availability, asap.
Your FSC (Field Management Sub-Committee) has been hard at work prepping the field, and are pleased that our efforts to try something different this year are coming along nicely. If you haven't been to the patch in a while, the area that we will be planting next weekend is already divided into rows that were mulched with cover crop and hay, over the winter. Rather than inviting the tractor in to plough the whole field under last fall, we left it to die back naturally, and saved on fossil fuel by waiting. The plough will be back to help us stay on top of the rest of the field where new cover crop will be planted a bit later, but the area that will soon be under potato production this year has been tilled entirely with only a hand-held rototiller, thanks to our success with overwinter mulching.
Please prepare for next Sunday by 1) responding to this email
2) inviting friends and family, and or prospective new members!
3) bringing your membership fee for 2012, if you haven't paid yet
4) remembering the following:
- garden gloves (and maybe a hat since it could be warm!)
- rain jacket and boots (it's likely to be damp, if not raining a bit!)
- your water bottle (muffins provided for later, or bring what works for you!)
PS If you haven't seen the Ross Sisters before, this potato-friendly video contains some warm-up exercises to get you in shape for the gardening season ahead! ;)