This week as farmers finish or continue their fall harvest, we gather in information about the food supply that will feed us all this winter. When rumblings from the north speak of crop failures and reports from DownEast declare stunning cranberry crops, I get to live the dream I had in college of being an ag journalist. Editor, in fact, of a weekly availability sheet whose pricing and volumes reflect an overall picture of what’s happening in our farm fields around the state.
This year’s crops were subject to a fair growing season with irregular bouts of heavy rain, a handful of pests that did specific types of damage (squash growers report hoards of cucumber beetles on their tender young seedlings), and a warm fall with very late frosts in many parts of the state. We are delighted to still have eggplant and sweet corn on the list. We are worried about the potato supply for the winter. We are content that the price of our squash matches the supply and returns growers a fair farm gate price.
On our blog, Leah posts these cover letters as ‘Dispatches’, but the real dispatches from the field are in the product listings themselves. Frost-sweetened broccoli is a seasonal offering that we ask for starting September 15th but don’t list until the weather turns cold and the heads size up. Bulk organic potato listing waits until the whole harvest is in in Aroostook, giving the growers all-hands-on-deck without losing crew to the packing end of the business. Jeruselum artichokes really continue to size up until Nov 1st – so we wait for the yield.
This year’s bounty will shine through in quality, not quantity. Enjoy what we have to offer.