BULB FENNEL: (F/P) Just for this week only, or perhaps once again in the fall. Check out Tom’s blog for recipes.
SWISS CHARD (F/P) A few spots – signs of our tropical weather
SUMMER SQUASH: (F/P) The squash season has arrived.
KOHLRABI (F) One last picking to end the season. Still crispy.
BEETS(F) My favorite vegetable and the secret ingredient in the best chocolate cakes.
CUCUMBERS (F) The first of hopefully many to come. Don’t fret, partial shares, you are next in line.
LETTUCE (P) Small red romaines or ‘Anuenues’.
HERB CHOICE (F/P) Basil, Summer Savory, Garlic Scapes or a dried herb.
Next Week: More summer squash, cucumbers, carrots and onions. The first beans (I mean it this time!). The first of the Cherry tomatoes? Bread share delivery.
Tom and I feel very fortunate to not be under water like so many other farms in our region. Our hilly land can give us headaches for other reasons, but it is generally not prone to flooding. The most we’ve suffered is weariness from all the hand work. When the fields are too wet to cultivate with the tractor, or hoe, the weeds do not wait. They take full advantage and shoot for the stars. Thankfully, we were able to get in some much needed tractor work this week. Tom finished spading in the early spring crops, I was able to cultivate with our electric tractor and we rescued many beds from the crabgrass with a combination of hoeing and hand-pulling. Our dear friend, Bill McKelvey, visited us on Thursday and Friday working along side us like a pro. While his desk job in the Rural Sociology Dept. at MU keeps him busy, he is also a vegetable gardener extraordinaire. Bill brought along another Italian grape hoe to match the one we got from him last year. It’s Farmer Tom’s favorite new toy. In his hands, the crabgrass has been knocked back with amazing speed. Here’s some before and after shots. These come from the winter squash and melon patch. Yes, I said winter squash! (butternut, acorn, pie pumpkins and more. So far so good.)
We were also able to plant most of the rest of the summer crops, including the last of the squash, melon, and bean plantings for the summer. As it is critical for us to have a continuous harvest for the twenty-four week season, we are planting something almost every week. So far we have staggered plantings of our favorite Rattlesnake beans, five beds of bush beans, six beds of summer squash, seven beds of melons and four beds of cucumbers. The cucumbers and melons look promising if only it would turn hot and relatively dry for a bit. All this moisture is encouraging every form of mildew and rot, which can be quick death for either one. You’ll see some evidence of such spottiness in the shares this week on the leaves of the chard and beets. And mildew can be blamed for the early demise of the peas. Meanwhile, the summer harvest is a little slow to start perhaps because of the cool spring. Another week perhaps and the taste of summer should be within our grasp.