Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Week Five: In the Share and the Farm Report

In the Share:
LETTUCE (F/P) The last of the spring lettuce. The more sturdy, but smaller summer lettuces start next week.
PEAS (F/P) Choice of either sugarsnap or snow. Both are edible pod varieties.
BROCCOLI (F/P) A few cabbage loopers may have gotten past us. Inspect well.
KOHLRABI (F/P) Not sure what to do with it? Check out Tom’s recipes this week
CHOICE OF GARLIC SCAPES, RADISHES OR TURNIPS (F) The partials get a choice of scapes or an herb. We’ll put a few radishes and turnips in the swap box. The last until fall.
KOMATSUNA OR BABY BEETS (F) Last of the asian greens til fall and the beginnings of beet season.
HERB CHOICE (F/P) Parsley or Summer Savory.

Next Week: More beets, peas, lettuce and kohlrabi. The first carrots, summer squash and Swiss Chard. Bread share delivery.

Farm report
Monday the strawberries went from producing on average 50 quarts a day down to 26 quarts. Tis sad, but true the berry patch is winding down. For the first morning since the end of May we did not pick strawberries today. We’ll pick tomorrow with the membership and see what we have. We should have enough for everyone to get one last quart before we stop picking. Soon it will be time to mow down the plants, part of the ‘renovation’ necessary for a good crop next spring. But before we do, we are opening up the patch to the membership. Starting this Saturday, you all are invited to visit the patch and pick as many as you want. Of course, these are not the perfect, big strawberries that started out the season, but there should be plenty of good ones amongst the buggy, sluggy and spotty. The spots are caused by one of three different fungal diseases that affect strawberries. To control the rot, conventional growers in the US still use methyl bromide, a potent fumigant and ozone-depleting gas that has been banned by most other developed countries. Instead of such desperate measures we plan to keep the crop healthy through long rotations around the edges of the fields and the addition of some beneficial microbes.

One berry is replaced with another of sorts. The sugarsnap and snow peas are ready for the picking tomorrow. The crop came up patchy and we lost two beds to the spring rot, but we still have four beds full of fruit. The ‘Super Sugarsnap’, ‘Sugar Sprint’ and ‘Oregon Giant’ varieties are mildew-resistant and can give us a harvest of several weeks if we’re lucky. They are fantastic raw, but even sweeter sautéed in Tom’s Aloo Mater with Kohlrabi. Yum.

Instead of having our breakfast in the strawberry patch as we had grown accustom to, today we spent some necessary time with the broccoli. Our disappointmentin this spring’s crop led to neglect on my part, allowing for some pesky cabbage loopers to invade. We are double-washing the broccoli in salt water and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do the same at home or just keep an eye out when you chop it up. The cold spring-induced buttoning-up drastically reduced our harvest, but surprisingly we have had a lot of side shoots. You will be getting some of these or a small bunch this week. Thank Farmer Tom for the broccoli. I was ready to spade it in a month ago. Luckily, he refused and we have been able to have some form of the stalky flowers in the share for the past three weeks. This week will be the last until fall when broccoli really shines.

And finally, the u-pick flower patch is open for cutting. The yarrow and larkspur in many shades of pink, white and purple are flowering now. Look for the flower patch just inside the upper gate next time you visit the farm. Clippers and totes are located in and around the flower garden’s birdhouse.


Anonymous said...

I think farmers tom and rebecca are doing a wonderful job with the blog. I was skeptical at first, not being a "blogger". It really gives Farmer Tom a chance to show off his artistry with photography. I like the reports and recipes too!


PreemptiveKiss said...

Can't wait to dip those snap peas.