"You give them something to eat" – Jesus of Nazareth
Thursday, June 1
This time of year, plants are balancing new growth with strength and security. Plants that grow too fast become leggy with weak stems. Plants that grow too slowly may not mature and develop before the weather changes…
After a year of vigorous growth at 5 Loaves Farm, where we doubled the size of our CSA program and expanded to a farmers market for the first time, we are looking this year to secure that growth so the farm is in a strong place to expand in the future.
So here’s a little progress report of how things are growing this year.
This week begins CSA farm share weekly pick-up. Four years ago we began with only 4 families participating. This year we have over 40! We’ve seen the miracle of multiplication happening here at 5 Loaves Farm, and are excited to be developing a more just and sustainable food system along with our neighbors. Farm share pick-up is at 140 Dewitt St. from 4-7pm on Thursdays, June-October.
We return this year to the Elmwood Village Farmers Market, but this time with our own stand. The market is open from 8am-1pm on Saturday mornings. Come out and see us this week to get your fill of early spring greens including lots of our spring mix – a special blend of lettuces and baby greens that make for amazing salads.
Last year’s hot dry spring meant plants shot up fast and often went to seed to early, while this spring with the cold wet weather, plants have been growing slowly, but much healthier. Some crops are behind where you would expect them to be this time of year, but we are hopeful for a bountiful harvest when they mature. Spinach (almost totally absent from the farm share last year) is very healthy this year, as is our lettuce, pea, and herb crops. Some of the cabbage family, like mustard greens and radishes have struggled as pest problems have hindered their growth. Warm season plants, like tomatoes, peppers, basil, squash and others are just going in the ground now.
Expansion means new opportunities and people to reach with our mission of bringing healthy food along with economic, educational, and spiritual resources to our neighbors, and we are excited to connect with our new CSA members and neighbors at the farmers market. At the same time, we are also trying to model responsible stewardship and grow in a way that allows us to figure out what sustainability means for us, both financially, as well as how we care for the land and community we’re growing in.
So we hope to see those that have been supporting us all along; those that will be back again as CSA members, or as regulars at the farmers market. And we look forward to seeing new faces and building new relationships with neighbors investing in a more sustainable local food system.