Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

Where’s the lettuce?

lettuce in tote

We sent the following letter to our CSA Members on Sunday, June 28th, understanding there were concerns about the absence of lettuce from our first few CSA boxes.

We have seen unprecedented heat and lack of rainfall for our growing climate and, unfortunately, it looks like those challenges won’t let up much this season.  Reliable early crops such as lettuce took much longer to mature, as the early season varieties that we grow basically stop growing in high heat. Our farm managers – Luke and Adam – have had many opportunities for creative problem solving in situations involving everything from irrigation to harvest. 

We understand that there is A LOT of lettuce included in your box this week, especially in Family Share. This season, we have 15 successions of lettuce planned so that each week we’ll have the best quality lettuce available for harvest.  Because the lettuce in the field took so very long to mature, our planned successions are a bit out of whack.  Typically, butterhead varieties do not do well in hot weather so we are only growing the red butterhead in the first six successions thinking that would be a good plan once the weather started to really heat up.  Little did we know, the heat began in MAY and the wheels were already in motion for those six successions.  Another opportunity for creativity in the field!  This week’s CSA will successfully clean out the first two successions of red butterhead lettuce before it bolts (begins to go to seed) and we’ll restore order in the lettuce beds going forward. 

Both the red summercrisp and romaine varieties from our first two successions were also begging to be harvested this week (they, too, were complaining about the upcoming increased heat) so we are happily enjoying LOTS of salad, lettuce on our sandwiches, and easy potluck offerings, and we hope you will, too. Lettuce will store nicely in the fridge all week in a loose plastic bag.

Know that WE eat what you eat, and we are so happy to be on this good-food journey together. Questions, comments, concerns – LETTUCE know!

Take carrots,

Team Oxbow

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