September 17 Farm Update

Leffler Family Farms’ 9/17 Farm Update

We hope this farm update finds everyone safe after this past week’s devastating flooding throughout Colorado.  Our hearts and prayers go out to the families who have lost their homes and loved ones.
We were unable to attend the Old Pearl Street Farmers market this past Sunday because of the flood warnings and flash flood watch in our area.  I knew that we could probably make it to market in the morning, I just didn’t know if we would be able to make it back with it raining all day Sunday.  We decided to play it safe, even though we had a trailer full of sweet corn picked and CSA veggies ready for Sunday.  Instead, we recruited some of the family to help process and freeze some corn for the winter and also donated 542 pounds of assorted vegetables (corn, rainbow chard, Asian greens, green onions, dill, and zucchini) to the Weld Food Bank on Monday.  It was extremely busy back in the warehouse as they are providing support for the local shelters and flood victims on top of their everyday workload.  We would like to thank them for all their hard work during such a catastrophic event.
Farm weather
Although we received almost 5 inches of rain since it began raining last week, it all came down at a rate of an inch per day.  Luckily we did not see any substantial amount of flooding on our farm or in our town of Eaton.  The ground is completely saturated though and will take a little while to dry out in order to keep planting.  We are trying to plant a few different greens and radishes before it gets too late!  Also, garlic will start to go in the ground come mid October so we need to prep those beds sooner than later.
Last week’s shares
At the beginning of last week, our main guy that helps on the farm Diego was informed that his brother suddenly passed away from a routine procedure at the hospital.  We could not pick as much as usual for CSA with his absence from the farm all week.  We did not get you guys corn last week but I tried to compensate with more of other veggies in the shares that were a bit easier to pick.  Then the rain began and we could not get our trucks in the field with all the mud.  My brother in-law Joey really stepped up and gave us an extra hand this week around the farm.  It is just a reminder how everything could change in an instant, at any moment and that family comes first.  Our condolences go out to Diego and his family and we want to specially thank Joey for really helping us out when things are even more challenging around the farm than usual.
Denver deliveries still on for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
We plan on delivering as usual to Denver, Evergreen, Golden, Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley this week barring any road closures.  We have been literally picking veggies each morning of CSA delivery to the last possible minute in order to get you guys the freshest, most nutritious produce as possible.  This has been getting us to some of the drop off locations late and we apologize for that.  We are still uncertain of all the road conditions and hope to make it on time this week, so please be patient with us.  I am not sure what to expect for traffic with some of the roads still closed.
Loveland Sunday Market
This year we were invited to participate in the Loveland Farmers Market on Sunday mornings.  Things have gone well and the community seems to really loves our sweet corn too.  Unfortunately, the location of the market is less than a mile away from the Big Thompson River in Loveland and took a substantial amount of damage from the flood.  The market can no longer be held there for the rest of the season.  The new location will be at the Chilson Recreation Center off of first street.
Winter CSA share will become available very soon
This season we are offering a winter CSA share that will include cellared roots, frozen corn, dried herbs, frozen pesto, dried beans, winter squash, and a few other goodies from the farm.  We will only be offering a very limited number of memberships for the winter CSA.  All details have not been finalized but we do know that it will be 7 weeks of delivery (location(s) not yet determined) from November thru January and will cost $350 per membership.  The income generated from winter CSA will be used to construct two large hoophouses starting November that would allow for season extension on the farm.  If all works well, our goal is to provide winter CSA members with several different greens in December and January from the hoophouses!
We have several people on the waiting list as of now, but we do want to offer our current CSA members the first opportunity for signing up.  Please email us if you want to join so we can gauge where the interest lies most and when to open it up to everyone else.  Please let us know where you would like to pickup.
Around the farm…
Last Thursday was the last day of ditch water that we were allotted for irrigation this season.  We now only have our small pond with a floater pump to finish off the season.  As the temperatures become cooler, we will not have to water as often though so we should be in great shape, especially after all the recent precipitation.  The cooler temps also bring new challenges of bugs, molds, and fungi that all love to live on the veggies we grow.  On the other hand, we did see a worm in an artichoke yesterday that died from all the continual rain.  It is just like the hail storm in August, extreme weather seems to really take out insect populations, at least for one life cycle.
It really has begun to feel different in the air at night and as the sun rises each morning on the farm.  You can see a change coming in the field as some of the early popcorn varieties are starting to finish up and a bit of the Red Russian kale leaves are darkening up.  The red beet greens become even deeper red and the rainbow chard really starts to intensify in color this time of year.  The okra is finally fully blooming and ready to be picked, the hot peppers that made it through the hailstorm are ripening, and a few pumpkins are turning orange in the field right now.
 Farm Pictures
 Okra flower in full bloom
Okra companion planted with kale
 Weeds have really gotten big!
Tigerella Heirloom Tomatoes–hail got most of them!
Teddy bear sunflower and Ruby Silk ornamental grass
 Assorted sunflowers a few weeks ago
 Young corn silk reaching out to be pollinated
Last week for Regular and Peak Season Members is the week of September 29th.
Next week, (9/22) is the last week of Flower Shares.
Winter Shares are opening soon.
2014 season information is coming soon.
Take care,
Anthony and Sarah
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