Technology works … ’til it doesn’t

Perfectly thinned apples growing big for later this year!

It’s been one of those weeks. Thanks for rolling with our lack of newsletter last week — I believe that was a first in our entire 12.5 years of operating our CSA that I didn’t publish a newsletter! The reason being: our website got hacked!

So, rather than enjoying writing about our week I spent Wednesday evening trying to figure out how to get our website back up and running. It still “read” mostly like normal, but I couldn’t log in and publish or make other changes to the WordPress site. Since I have other commitments in my week, I could only work on it in spurts and it ended up taking several days, finally being up and running at the end of Saturday (after many hours of my tinkering plus extra money paid to our server for their services). Yikes!

In the process, I realized that most of the digital technology we rely on for farm operations is pretty overdue for updating. My cell phone (a relic “messenger” style phone with a QWERTY keyboard) was on the fritz, and our old laptop and slow internet combine to fill every work session with unnecessary (and sometimes long) p … a … u … s … e … s … And, for campaign work (such as posting to Instagram), we were relying on a clunky combination of a older, borrowed device, an older digital camera, lots of cords, and a slow process overall.

So, the unexpected and unwelcome hack has begun what will probably be a summer-long process of updating and/or replacing such things. Such work is not my favorite (we are farmers after all — we both prefer the tangible outdoors world!), but I’m finally accepting that it’s definitely an inevitable part of operating a small business (not to mention running a campaign and homeschooling!). I started by buying a smartphone — the first between the two of us! Next we’re going to look into finally burying a phone line to our house so that we can upgrade our internet to DSL (from a cell-based source right now). Then, eventually we’ll update the laptop. All as finances and time allow, of course, but we’re starting down that road. It’s inevitable, even though I feel like I would be happy to keep using the same old everything for the rest of my life (but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way!).

Around all this technology research, we’ve also been working on the annual apple thinning — a lovely process that we usually break up over several days. Casey scythes the long grass around each tree, and then we circle them together, removing apples in order to provide more room and air flow for the remaining ones. This simple task increases apple size and quality tremendously, and it also gives us a good opportunity to check in with each tree and assess its health. Our orchards overall are doing great, but this year we decided that there are a few trees that consistently seem to look and perform poorly compared to the rest, so we’ll be removing those to make more room for the thriving trees.

We were also grateful for the rain that fell over the last week! The spring has overall been very dry, which has made planting simpler and more straightforward, but it didn’t feel like the world was ready for the hot, dry season just yet. So we were relieved when the clouds rolled in and rain drenched the fields several times (conveniently irrigating many summer crops for us!). We’ll see if that was the end of the June rains or not!

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers, Katie & Casey Kulla

~ ~ ~

Meet this week’s vegetables:

  • Strawberries
  • Cherries — The first of the cherries! LIMITED this week so everyone can have a taste!
  • Salad mix
  • Head lettuce
  • Fava beans — The fava beans are definitely big enough to warrant shucking and peeling now, in the traditional Italian fashion. The bright green beans are so sweet and tender and delicious!
  • CarrotsLIMITED this week!
  • Napa cabbage
  • Cabbage
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Zucchini — The first of the zucchini! LIMITED this week (but I’m sure not for long!).
  • Spring onions
This entry was posted in Weekly CSA Newsletters. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *