Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Soggy August

In the Share: Week 13
TOMATOES (F/P) the heirlooms are outlasting the hybrids this season – take that Monsanto! It’s the week to try one of our ripe green tomatoes: Aunt Ruby’s German Green or Green Zebra. CHERRY TOMATOES (F/P) Fulls get them. Partial shares get a choice with Romas
BEANS: (F) some choice of Jade, a standard green bean or some Roma II, a Italian flat-pod variety. It’s the first picking so we’ll have to see how far they go.
SALSA PACK (F) The best salsa starts with the right ingredients.
CANTALOUPE (P) There’s enough for the partial shares at the Bad Seed. Full shares are next in line for the melons.
WALLA WALLA ONIONS (F/P) Enjoy these sweet babies while you can; they are poor keepers. SUMMER SQUASH (F) Half of the crop is too soggy.
CUCUMBERS: (F) Ditto on the cuke beds. Partial shares get what we got next week of both.
SWISS CHARD OR BEETS: (P) try Tom’s delectable cheesy chard over pasta.
HERB CHOICE (F/P) Summer savory or basil or a dried herb.

Also this week: Parker Farms meat and egg shares –(rumor has it there’ll be chickens this week.)

Next Week: Fewer tomatoes, summer squash and cucumbers. More beans, garlic and carrots. Meat and egg share delivery.

Farm report
The farm is a busy place right now. With the summer crops still producing, the fall planting only half done with all the rain, and the weeds growing happily in this tropical weather, time is at a premium. Here's the signt that greeted us last Wednesday morning. That's the ends of the fall brassica beds with the 3 and a half inches of rain washing through them.
The farm crew is Farmer Tom, Apprentice Jenn and Farmer Rebecca (me, hi) and lately we've been wishing we could clone all three of us. We are very grateful to have another fabulous apprentice this season. Jenn is definitely one of the bright spots on an otherwise murky season. With her help, we did manage to get the garlic out before the rain last week and we finished the onion harvest on Monday. Luckily, the Walla Wallas and a bed of yellow onions were already harvested and in the barn when the rain came. Many that remained in the ground rotted . . . as did a lot of the cantaloupe and potatoes. If you get a cantaloupe this week, leave it on the counter to ripen and then eat it as soon as possible - they won't keep for long. We are giving no guarantee on them, but thought we'd hand out what we have of these rare fruits. The one we tried tasted more like water than the succelent cantaloupe we were hoping for. On top of watered-down flavor in the fruits, we are seeing lots of specks, molds and rots of all kind out there. We do our best to keep it out of the shares as a quick look in the compost bin will attest. In past Augusts, I would be talking irrigation and drip lines, instead the ground is too wet to prepare for the fall crops. Today we decided we had waited long enough and with more rain in the forecast, we prepped just enough to get the broccoli, lettuce, radishes, turnips, arugula and rapini planted. You gotta be on time for the fall crops because the daylight gets a lot shorter in August and the first fall frost will be here before we know it. Our strategy for any crop failure is to keep up with the planting schedule. We can’t do much now about the potatoes that rotted (did I mention that? Yes, a lot of them…. most, I'm afraid.), but we can get the fall broccoli planted in our best soil on the farm. We’re not panicking too much yet. The beans look nice both the bush and the Rattlesnake pole beans, although as you can see the middle of the beds where there's a slight dip are not faring as well. There’s lots of green peppers that should start ripening soon and our second planting of hybrid tomatoes is starting to produce. No matter the weather something always seems to flourish. Next time you curse the tropical weather, imagine you're a sweet potato vine and all will seem right in the world.

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