I have been sitting on my hands. For the first time in as long as I can remember we haven’t fired up a tractor this late into the season. I am not anticipating starting for another 2-3 weeks. And while we are a few weeks away from working the soil, we will start to seed our transplant trays with lettuces and onions with the hope having them ready to go out by the end of April. Of course, it is all weather dependent and I have been at this long enough to the 2022 farm plan loosely.
I have seen April’s as wet as the wettest of wet months and I have seen it as dry as August. But as the calendar moves forward, I am confident that the combination of warming weather and rain will work itself out and we will find a window or two to get those first crops planted. We are about to get busy and then it will all cascade from there.
Since we are talking about farming, this season tends to be a bit rough on the salad farmers in AZ and CA. You can set your clock by it. The salad bowl of America begins to transition, the lettuces in particular are the most challenged. Every week we work hard to find the best quality produce from our organic network of farmers and suppliers. Lettuce and spinach farmers are more impacted by the rising heat of the desert and the still colder fields of CA. This year has been no exception. We have been featuring a lot of red butter lettuce, mostly because it is the best quality right now.
As a rule, we rotate through the vegetables and types of lettuce, but during this transitioning season, we never deviate from our high-quality standards. We may even skip a week or two if we are not happy with the quality of a produce item.
Our high standards are not unreasonable, but they are high. For me, having run my own produce store, before I became a farmer, is just a part of me. I judge quality by sight, touch or smell. There are a handful of organic farmers that always deliver the highest quality and there are others that we won’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
Last week, I was walking the floor and picked up a lemon, its feel, its intense smell delivered this farmer/foodie a wow moment. And last weekend we made a lemon cake with lemon filling and lemon glaze. It also happened to be an Australian themed project for our daughter’s homeschool co-op. Sunshine was on the menu!
Earning your trust, every time we make a delivery is important to us.
Tristan, Joelle and The Box of Good Crew