Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fall comes Early

In the Share: Week 15
TOMATOES (F/P) farewell, sweet fruit until next summer.
CHERRY TOMATOES or SALSA PACKS (F) The cherries continue on although in smaller quantities as the summer fades.
SWEET PEPPER (P) every other week for awhile.
RATTLESNAKE BEANS (F) See Tom’s blog for more on them.
CARROTS (F/P) More colorful ones from the last dig.
ONIONS (F/P) The last of the sweets and some Ailsa Craig.
GREENS CHOICE: Collards, Kale or Turnip Greens (F) the first picking off of the fall brasicas and the thinnings from the turnip patch.
HERB CHOICE (F/P) Mint, chives or basil or a dried herb.

Also this week: Parker Farms meat & egg shares

Next Week: More beans, peppers, and cherry tomatoes. The last of the potato crop and garlic. Bread share delivery.

Farm report
Here we are in the middle of August and the summer seems to be already gone. Fog blankets the fields most mornings until the sun warms the air into the mid-80s. We couldn’t ask for more gorgeous weather for working outdoors. All this pleasantness does come with a price as we’ve been hearing lately of it being an early fall. If our farm is any indication, it’s already here. The heavy dew and fog has been led to a quick end of the cucurbits as their leaves turned brown and crisp overnight.
Fortunately, the winter squash crop of butternuts, acorns and pie pumpkins had already ripened most of their fruit. We collected them and will store them in the upper barn until they go in the shares. It was a full load for the truck, quite a nice site since we don't always get a winter squash crop. It looks like we got at least a couple of week’s worth.
It’s been sad but rather satisfying at the same time to put away the summer crops. Jen and I made quick work of pulling tomato cages and fencing, then Tom mows the crop down and takes the spader thru to turn it all under. We’re holding on to a few beds with their last fruit, but another week and they’ll surely be gone. Tom spent the better part of today and yesterday turning under the summer beds and also turning in the summer cover crop of buckwheat in the spring field. The buckwheat responded to the wet weather by making a thick stand of organic matter that is now feeding the soil. The buckwheat is not just great organic matter, but a honeybee magnet. Working in the spring field recently with flowering buckwheat all around us there was a constant hum.

End of the summer means ripe peppers. The plants that made it thru the flooding look good and should be producing for the next month or so. A big thanks goes to Fran & Valerie Gillespie who came out a couple week’s back and weeded them. With plenty of sunshine and a handful of alfalfa meal at the base of each plant we’re hoping they’ll give kick in on the home stretch (I’ve been watching too much Olympics) and produce lots of fruit. For now we are alternating between the full and partial shares each week. We grow an assortment of colors and shapes including: Carmen, a long pointy red; Revolution and Red Ace, standard red bells; Pritavit, a squashed-flat red; Golden Cal Wonder, a yellow bell; Gourmet, and orange bell; Golden Marconi, a long pointy yellow Islander, the purple; and Bianca, the white (light yellow, really). We also grow some hot peppers. The Jalapenos are in the salsa packs. The green Ancho or Poblano peppers (for great chile rellenos) and the red Pimentos will be in the swap boxes. All spicy peppers have bright pink labels on the bags for the sake of those who don't like the heat.

No comments: