Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

How we predict your box contents

How to farm

“Must be June!” is a refrain heard daily around the farm right now, but nowhere more often than out in the production fields.  June is when the harvest begins in earnest and crops really begin maturing, some seemingly overnight.

The art and science of timing a first harvest is one of a farmer’s most important skills to hone.  No seed packet will tell you exactly how many days until a crop is ready; no book can tell you what the yield will be or, perhaps most importantly, who will buy your produce when you are ready to sell it.

So how do we, your farmers, know exactly what will be ready when we send out this weekly call-to-order that is the Eater’s Digest?  Well, in all honesty, we don’t… exactly. There is no one-size-fits-all manual for vegetable farming. But after growing food for over a decade, we have enough familiarity with each of our crops to at least make educated guesses.

It’s not easy, though! Strawberries will spend two weeks teasing us before the patch explodes with ripe berries in a matter of hours. Fava beans set their pods early but take their sweet time to fatten up. Our tender herbs will be mature on south end of the field way before they mature on the north end!

In this Early Season, our field walks reveal constant change and we are learning a lot about how to keep our CSA store up-to-date without over-selling new product or keeping a crop available too long.  But sometimes we get it wrong! The weather might take a sudden turn, causing radishes to bolt or raspberries to wither on the vine before we can harvest for orders we have already received. We are sorry if this has happened to you this season! We will continue to do our best to be transparent with our process and appreciate your investment.

Your participation in the conversation about the season’s cycle is the best part about our CSA-centric farm operation.  We are growing all this food for you and have you in mind each time we head into the fields.  Keep the feedback coming, and get ready for a spectacular Main Season ahead!

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We’re capturing interesting moments this season and sharing them here to help you learn where your food comes from. Follow Story of a Season on our blog or on Instagram with #storyofaseason.

This story was originally published as part of our CSA newsletter, the Eater’s Digest. Interested in joining our CSA? Learn more about becoming a member.

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