Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good-bye Spring, Hello Summer and Here Comes the Fall

UPDATED LIST THIS MORNING - after looking in the fields this morning and thinking about what we want to hand out next week, we've made some changes to the shares. We'll have some summer squash and kohlrabi in the swap box for the partials and we're saving the Swiss chard for next week.

In the Share:
PEAS: Sugarsnap and/or snow (F/P) We’re going to try to give everybody the sugarsnap and make the snows an extra item somehow. Tomorrow morning’s picking will tell.
YOUNG SPRING CARROTS (F/P) The first of the year, small but tasty. Scrub well and eat the whole root for the most nutrients.
Choice: SUMMER SQUASH or KOHLRABI (F) The cucurbitae family enters as the brasica exit til fall.
YOUNG SPRING ONIONS (F/P) They’re beginning to bulb out.
LETTUCE (F) Smaller heat-resistant romaine and crisphead types perfect on a sandwich.
KOMATSUNA (F/P) Crunchy and leafy in one. See farmer tom for more info.
HERB CHOICE (F/P) Mint or Parsley or a dried herb. New dried dill , marjoram & oregano will be available. Check farmer tom’s blog for a great mint tea recipe

Next Week: More summer squash and peas. The first cucumbers and beans. Swiss chard and beets. Meat and Egg share delivery.

June 20th is the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. The summer solstice marks the confluence of our three growing seasons, as spring departs, summer enters and we prepare for the fall. This week Tom began the process of turning under the broccoli, spring lettuces, radishes and turnips. The first of the cucurbitae family – melons, cucumbers and squashes have begun producing. And this week we seed the first fall crops: brussel sprouts, kale and collards in our summer shade tents by the greenhouse. While the greenhouse is put to good use drying herbs at over 100 degrees, our shade tents will house the seedlings until they are planted. Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli will soon follow.

Preparing for this shift at the farm is a bit nerve-racking with all three seasons going at once. The fall seeding, in particular, takes several days each week. Meanwhile the crabgrass is giving us hours of slow toiling through the spring and summer crops. This cool, wet weather is any grasses dream and we are struggling to keep it in check. We remain hopeful, partly because the crops so far have been able to put up with the crowding until we get to them, but the list of weeding chores is endless at the moment. Also, we are strengthened every time someone lends a hand. Jenn Baughman, our dazzling apprentice, has been slugging it out alongside us building her finger muscles as we pull millions out by the roots. A few stellar volunteers have us on their weekly schedule for a half or full day of farming followed by a free pass through the strawberry patch. And last weekend a few friends organized themselves for an impromptu visit, filling our refrigerator for most of the week with the leftovers and buoying our spirits. It’s the time of year when the community aspects of our farm operation really shine. Your weary farmers are deeply thankful.

If you’d like to visit the farm, the strawberry patch is still producing some, mostly good berries. Take what you want and pick some flowers too.

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