As we move into fall, I want to thank everyone who signed on to this CSA with me for the 2018 growing season. I also want to give an update on the crop damage that you may or may not be aware of.
We have had a vole invasion here like never before. Part of that is probably due to the lack of a garden cat. While I could have taken pictures this past week of the entire beet crop that was destroyed (except for what I managed to save to put in your CSA shares) I did not have the heart to do it. I put the chewed remains of the roots and the tops in the garden cart for the chickens to enjoy. I would say that the voles got 90% of the beet crop. I had planned to have beets through the end of the season. There simply aren't any left. Then I started digging up the remains of the carrots. I don't think there are any that haven't been chewed part way. Another fall crop pretty much down the tubes. They had looked incredible back in July- lush tops and great early carrots-remember? All pretty much ruined. And of course the voles loved the peppers. I would say 80% crop loss there. The little buggers either eat most of a pepper, or they just take a bite out of each one as it starts to ripen so the water and moisture gets in and they start to rot from the inside out. I have touched more pepper slime this season than I have in my whole life. I should have had an outstanding pepper crop this year having planted more than 100 plants. This is discouraging stuff.
The other crop issues were too much rain for the leeks and celery, both of which had quite a bit of rot.
We had a great year of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage, kale, chard,and raspberries. Early lettuces were incredibly fine. Basil has been decent. Zinnias have been great. Sugar snap peas and beans were decent. And the Asian greens have been a grand experiment. All one has to do is look back in the blog posts to see the great boxes that went out of here each week. I had promised an asst of 8 crops each week, and I know that there were always more than 8 crops each week.
I am not sure what the next 7 or so weeks will have with harvest, but hopefully the new crops of arugula, lettuce, and assorted Asian greens will pan out. We will see as the weeks progress.
In the meantime, we are building up our barn cat collection hoping for some serious hunters to combat this vole problem.