The kids are headed back to school this week, a true signal of the peak summer season. Although many of this year’s summer crops are behind schedule due to the cool, wet spring, we are finally getting a taste of some of these quintessential favorites: tomatoes, cucumbers, and peaches among them this week. But we are also getting the best of both worlds: salad mix is still going strong, leeks are usually long gone by now, and we just had arugula last week! Whipstone Farm reports that most crops are three weeks behind schedule, so we still have peppers, eggplant, okra, and more summer crop to look forward to, just a little bit later than usual.
It has definitely been a challenging year for our farms and it can feel disappointing when crops are so far behind schedule. At Willowbrook Farm the first cucumber crop failed due to the cool weather and now the second one is getting hammered by monsoon storms that have brought extreme wind and hail. It’s unusual to wait so long for cucumbers, but this spring was anything but ordinary. Crops are coming on so late at Whipstone Farm that Shanti is worried that some won’t have much time to produce before the first frost arrives. All this to say: farming is hard, our growers are amazing, and we are so grateful to have you as shareholders to support these farms all season long regardless of the weather. Thank you!
This week’s peaches come from Gratitude Orchard in Sedona. There aren’t a lot of farms in Sedona these days, but historically Sedona was a farming community full of orchards. We are so excited to add a new grower to our roster and we hope you enjoy the fruit. You can find Gratitude Orchard at Sedona Community Farmers’ Market on Friday mornings at Tlaquepaque if you are looking for more of their delicious harvest.
One last note: a number of you have asked about the Verde Connect project currently being considered by Yavapai County and its impact on some of our farms. The project has the potential to permanently change the agricultural landscape along Middle Verde Rd. in Camp Verde by bringing a lot more traffic via connector roads directly by our founding farms, Willowbrook Farm and Tickaboo Ranch. If you are interested learning more about these farms’ views on the project or would like to support their efforts, please do so here.
Have a lovely week!
Cucumbers – Fasteen Farm
Leeks – Whipstone Farm
Potatoes – Whipstone Farm
Peaches – Gratitude Orchard
Salad mix – Willowbrook Farm
Tomatoes – Willowbrook Farm
Chickens snacking on leftovers at Willowbrook Farm.
Foggy morning harvest at Whipstone Farm after evening monsoons.
Poor cucumber plants!