Hello <<First Name>>,

A little bit of rain this week. Not enough to count as irrigation, but the plants are already jumping. Come on plants, we are rooting for you.
This year has felt really tough to be a farmer.  Nothing tragic, like hail, to point to and say 'this one catastrophic event ruined everything', more like a thousand little pin pricks.  Some within our control and some outside of our control.  Cold spring, late frosts, new crew, increased payroll, so many insect issues, deer, ravens, new techniques that end up not working, broken equipment, late planting, poor germination, weed pressure, exhaustion, slow markets - I could go on. None of these things are new to us, but when each one feels a little harder than average the cumulative effect feels big. If we weren't trying to make a living at this, I could easily shrug it off.  I think I already labeled this the year of "everything being late" but it also feels like every crop is mediocre to poor - and that just isn't the best combination.  This week I stopped several times to think though "do I always feel this way in July?"  and maybe that is also true.  Maybe July feels like the midsummer slump before the abundance really kicks in.  Let's hope that is true - and when I am beaming in September and everything seems to be going well, please remind me next July that I always get depressed in July, because farming sucks sometimes.  Maybe just any old sometime, or maybe mostly in July.  There are a few things that are starting to make me feel like the light at the end of a very unsuccessful farming season however. 

Such as: July is almost over.  We are swimming in tomatoes, sunflowers, and lisianthus. The adjustments in lisianthus plant spacing experiment definitely paid off this year. The basil is growing faster than the grasshoppers can eat it (so there are only a few holes in it) and we have the very first of the cucumbers.  We also have some flats of tomato seconds available.

The flowers have been the surprising stars this summer.  They just haven't seemed to suffer in the same way the vegetable production has. We are bringing back the Flower Bar this weekend - come by and build your own bouquets.  We have some very cool cardoons (like artichoke flowers) and super special lilies in there. 

We are also having a flower sale - 3 bunches for $20 on any single variety flower bunches - so you know, mix and match some lisianthus, sunflowers, scabiosa, statice, anything you like.  It's a great deal and you can go home and design your own bouquet - in solitude, with music and prosecco.

I hate to sound so pessimistic in these letters to you.  But some weeks my attempts at peppiness all but fail and in the end, I'm always honest anyway.  You probably know that by now.  I did take about a million pictures this week.  So, there's that. And from those, I think you will see the good and the bad definitely balance out.  I mean, I never show too much of the bad in photos, cuz who wants to look at that any way.

I'll try to be peppier next week. 

A side note - someone requested that I bring back that little button at the top that says "view email in browser"  if your email provider doesn't let you view the photos in these emails, click that link and you should be able to see the whole thing.
Tomato jail we like to call it.  When you pick tomatoes all morning, then you sort, wipe and box them the whole rest of the day. 
picked the first dahlia
Look at these cute Whipstone Lovers picking up their CSA shares.  Making sure the CSA members are getting the best we can give them has been a priority this year.  I mean it's always a priority, but this year, with so much in short supply, often times we have to give all we have to them and the markets get less. But just look at those happy faces. 
Mixed bouquets for market this week
still so many plants to get in the ground - at least we got the alternator on the tractor fixed.  Also, trellis, trellis trellis those cherry tomatoes.
I'm so in love with the lisianthus right now, is it that obvious?
The flower crew.  These ladies have my back and are keeping the flowers harvested and bunched no matter what.  Some days (most days?) I am off planting, planning, office working, irrigating, fixing things, you know, all the things.  Even though I would rather be picking flowers. I am grateful a million times over for these two. 
The marigolds are not going to fall over this year. 
When friends come pull your weeds so they can cook them.
 Watermelons growing a mile a minute.  Oh, hi basil. 



Spring Mix
Bok Choy
Kale - curly and lacinato
Collard Greens
Spring onions
Carrots - orange and rainbow
Cabbage - green and red
Salad turnips
Cherry tomatoes
Summer squash
Potatoes - red thumb
garlic chives
dried chiles


Mixed bouquets
Mason jar bouquets
Black eyed susans

Zucchini bread with cherries and chocolate - image from Dishing up the Dirt



PRESCOTT FARMERS MARKET   - Saturdays 7:30 - noon.   Yavapai College Parking Lot
FLAGSTAFF COMMUNITY MARKET - Sundays 8:00 - Noon.  City Hall West Parking Lot

FARM STAND - Open daily at the farm, self serve, honor system directions HERE
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Paulden, AZ 86334

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