What a joy to harvest, taste and share my first French Breakfast Radishes from the new land. Farming is amazing and it brings me such joy. It was exactly 5 weeks ago that I put these first seeds in the ground, and it feels so magical to harvest them, eat them, and share them with others. This is what Community Supported Agriculture is all about, and I'm so looking forward to many more harvests ahead in this year and future years. Happy Spring Folks. I hope you too are planting the seeds that will bring you joy in your life for many seasons ahead.
Little Moon Farm CSA for families and salad lovers is scheduled to begin this June. Our bountiful shares will include lots of salad greens each week, as well as a good assortment of other vegetables, herbs, fruits, and an optional weekly bouquet of farm flowers. It all starts in the greenhouse, and we are so fortunate to have the use of the former COPIA greenhouse which now lives at the beloved Connolly Ranch. This amazing greenhouse is about as large as my actual house and has an automated irrigation and cooling system. It's so fun watching the seedlings sprout and grow. The fastest growing seedling yet is pictured below. Purple Napa Cabbage. Napa Cabbage will only show up in our CSA shares on rare occasion as its not too popular in Californian cuisine. However, there are some fun salads that can be made with Napa Cabbage. Additionally, I've become a regular maker and eater of kimchi, and can't wait for this Purple Napa Cabbage to mature, so I can make my first batch ever of purple kimchi. I'm planning to build the CSA around popular favorites like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries, and include these more unusual varieties only on an occasional basis to keep things interesting and educational. I'd love to hear some ideas from you! Comment below to let me know what vegetables you prefer to eat on a weekly basis, and which ones show up only on a rare occasion.
What a huge blessing it has been to find this acre of loamy red soil to farm in Coombsville, on the east side of Napa. I have such huge gratitude to Carole and Keni Kent for making their land available to me, and supporting me in launching this dream of running my own CSA farm. In truth, I have actually dreamed about red soil, and I think this is the soil of my dreams. There are no rocks, and the texture is loamy, just the right balance of silt, sand, and clay, and there is no evidence of problem weeds like the bermuda grass I have battled on past farming sites. Soil building will be necessary through applications of compost and oystershell lime, but the conditions here are prime to do so.
On the day before the winter solstice, I begin my work on the land. Two large truckloads of organic compost are delivered and spread. Following the compost application, the acre of land is ripped about 14" deep, using a rhone ripper behind a large tractor, opening up the soil and breaking up the compaction caused by horses being in this pasture for many years. Finally, cover crop seed is spread. We walk the field with buckets, broadcasting it by hand, and my friend makes a final pass with the ripper, lightly covering the seed. When the rains arrive at the beginning of January, the field is ready to take in whatever water rains down, and the legume, grass, and radish seed receive the moisture they need to sprout. It feels amazing to start the new year with a new plot of land. Now, I can truly feel at home in Napa.