Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In the Share - Week 16

SWEET POTATO GREENS (F) a seasonal treat. It is time for the plant to stop growing greens and start bulking up those roots. See Tom's post for more info.
TOMATOES (F/P) We have not had our best tomato year. The cold snap in May and the humid summer did not help. But we do still have a few for everyone for another couple of weeks.
CARROTS (F) sweet orange ones.
GARLIC (F/P) of the hardneck variety
SUMMER SQUASH (F/P) get it while it last!
GREEN BEANS (F) The first picking of the last planting.
OKRA OR SWEET PEPPERS (F) Rumor is the okra is more popular than sweet peppers. You don't say.
BASIL, GARLIC CHIVES OR COMMON CHIVES (F) partials gets a choice of either herbs or garlic.

ALSO THIS WEEK: Parker Farms delivery
NEXT WEEK: More tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash and peppers. Potatoes and onions return. Perhaps some kale. Won't be long before we have some lettuce again.
It seems no matter where we go lately we see butterflies. Of every size and color, they are everywhere. One of their favorite meeting spots apppears to be our compost pile. Here is a photo of them gorging on the leftovers from the melon harvest.

The Limenitis arthemis astyanax, or Red-spotted Purple, seems to be particularly inclined towards the watermelon rinds. They are the blue and black ones with the red dots on their wingtips.

Butterflies are not the only creatures that seem to be thriving on the farm. Our daily tasks in the fields are often accompanied by a cry for everyone to gather for the latest critter needing inspection. Most are harmless; many are fascinating. Moth larvae with strange protuberances along their bodies, robber flies carrying off their latest prey, large black ants setting up house in a winter squash and even crawfish entertain us with their weird beauty.

In amongst the sage plants, we discovered a large and quite beautiful moth, although we later discovered that it is the adult form of the tomato hornworm (Manduca quinquemaculata) a quite formidable pest if left to devour a plant from the top down.

The farm's ecosystem also supports a large population of frogs and toads. Here is a leopard frog blending in amongst the mulch of the flower patch.

We are heartened to see all the life that shares the fields with us. Amphibians and reptiles, butterflies and moths are especially sensitive to toxins that are commonly used in chemical farming systems. Leopard frogs, in particular, are seen as environmental indicator species.

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