Spring 2011 Update

by jennifer on May 27, 2011

Bo patiently accompanying me on a field walk

Greetings! I hope you all are coping well with our winter-like spring. Many of you have been wondering how the weather is affecting the crops this year so I thought I’d give you an update. Yes it has been another cold, wet spring. We’ve had our share of cursing, complaining, brow furrowing, and hand wringing early on, but I think we have now moved into the acceptance phase and will just do what we can and make the best of it. Last year was similar to this and in the end it all turned out well. We are drawing on that hope now.  I just spoke with someone yesterday who heard the La Nina trend is coming to an end and we should have a “normal” summer. I’ll let myself believe that. Yet again I am reminded why growing a wide array of crops and planning on multiple successions of most of them is so important. No matter the weather (hot, old, wet, dry) some things are bound to prosper. Many crops can grow in nearly any condition so those are less of a gamble. So, will this be a broccoli or tomato year? We will see….

We are fortunate to have several greenhouses to start many of our seeds. This allows us to get a little jump on the season and weather the weather, so to speak. No matter the conditions outside, I can still do my weekly and bi-weekly succession seeding of many crops inside the cozy greenhouses. We have experienced a few traffic jams with plants when the fields have been too wet to work in, but the pressure has eased a bit lately and we have carried out a few marathon transplanting sessions. Like last year we are have been granted a handful of short windows of dryness where we must cram 4 days of work into 2. The crew has been very accommodating and the kids have tolerated our, shall we say lack of engagement, while we are out on the tractor until dark. They are troopers and totally get it. They even help out some.

Despite the challenges, we have managed to get a fair bit into the ground thus far and it all seems to be soldiering on. Plants are determined to grow after all. To date we have planted peas, beans, carrots, beets, chard, onions, leeks, scallions, shallots, lettuce, spinach, dill, cilantro, radishes, turnips, broccoli, tomatoes, winter and summer squash, potatoes, corn, cucumbers, and possibly some other things I am forgetting. Most of it is snug under floating row cover and we have to peak under from time to time to remember what the heck is underneath. The strawberries are flowering like mad and looking lush which is exciting. The garlic also looks fabulous.


It is hard to say when the first CSA delivery will be. We were aiming for the week of the 22nd of June. Even though it feels like October, a lot can happen in a month. We will let you know in a few weeks exactly when the first week will be.


For those of you who signed up already, we thank you and ask that you help us spread the word to folks you know. For those who have not signed up we hope you will. In addition to our regular 18 week season share we are also offering a new shorter season option called the “Height of the Season” share. It is an 8-week share starting in mid-August. This share is ideal for those who don’t want to commit to an entire season due to vacation, finances, their own garden, etc. The price is $216 for a regular and $172 for a small. You can sign up online or print out a registration form to mail in. Go to our website for the form. http://risingriverfarm.com/csa-registration


We offered an additional 4 weeks of delivery last fall and it was a great success. We will be doing it again this year, but there is a limit on how many shares we can take. Delivery will start the week after the regular season ends. At this point shares will be available on Saturdays and Sundays and can be picked up at the Olympia Farmers Market or the farm. Crops will include leeks, onions, shallots, winter squash, kales, cabbage, brussel sprouts, potatoes, kohlrabi, radishes, turnips, rutabaga, carrots, beets, parsnips, chard, and anything else that can handle whatever weather this fall will throw at us. The cost is $110. You can download a registration form on our website and mail it in.


We are currently at the Olympia Farmers Market (Thurs-Sun from 10-3) with lots of veggie starts. We have tons of tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, chard, kales, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, leeks, onions, basil, cucumbers, summer squash, some winter squash, parsley, and more. This weekend we’ll even have actual heads of lettuce, a few radishes, fresh rhubarb, and dry beans from the fall. We are in the same location as last year, the SE wing of the market. Hope to see you down there.

Well, I should head back out to the greenhouse to sow more seeds (and bask in  the 80+ degree temperature!)


Happy Spring,


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