Tuesday, July 23, 2013

In the Share - Week Ten

Cherry tomatoes 

TOMATOES (F/P) This week the green-when-ripe heirloom varieties are beginning to ripen. If you got it from us, it is just days away from ripening no matter the color. Wait for the fruit to soften slightly and then dig in!

CUCUMBERS (F/P) The persistent cucumber beetles like to nibble the skin of their namesake fruit. They only go skin deep, so a light peeling will remove the damage.

SWEET ONIONS (F/P) This will be the last week for the Walla Wallas, our sweetest onion. There is more to come with lots of reds and yellows.

LETTUCE (F/P) We were surprised by the heft of these little heat-tolerant lettuces. This is the last of them until September. We don’t quite have enough for everyone, so the partial shares get a choice with the basil bunches.

BASIL (F) We are picking big pesto-making bunches of basil this week. It thrives in the heat and needs to be cut back. Chop it with some olive oil and whatever else you can spare: cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds and presto pesto!

EGGPLANT (F/P) Excuse me if I am distracted by my dinner tonight, check out Tom’s post for the super simple and super good eggplant pasta recipe. Yum!

POTATOES (F/P) It has not rained at the farm for 6 weeks, so we’ll see if we break any equipment trying to dig the potatoes tomorrow. It has happened, so keep those fingers crossed! The potatoes are small, but we are hoping to get everyone a quart this week.

SALSA PACK OR CHERRY TOMATOES (F) If you haven’t made salsa from one of our packs before, just chop the whole thing up along with a tomato.

PURPLE PEPPERS (F) This variety is a called ‘Islander’ and is mildly sweet when at its green stage. We pick them until our varieties that start out green begin to ripen. It won’t be long now as we sampled our first ripe red one today.

SUMMER SQUASH (P) This is the last of the summer squash until the next planting kicks in.

NEXT WEEK: More tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and cucumbers. Carrots, beets and garlic.

marigold and buckeye butterfly

FARM REPORT: Admist the flurry of the summer harvest, endless irrigation and fall planting, your farmers get a little lost in the details and often forget to stop and smell the roses. In our case it would be a marigold, since we don’t grow any flowers that need as much fussing as roses. The type of marigolds we grow are big and tall like the ones I remember at Mexican farmers markets. The zinnias are also brightening the farm with their carnival of colors. The two beds at the field entrance is a free u-pick garden for the membership, but it needs more picking than what the u-pickers take so we have put the flowers on the bulk list. Blooming flowers serve many functions in our farm-scape, as nectar sources for pollinating bees and butterflies, seeds for birds and attractants for beneficial insects that prey on pests.  And they are good at cheering up the grumpiest farmer.

What is that you ask? That is something to make a farmer grumpy. On Saturday, our Allis Chalmers G broke its axle. It is surprising that such a stout steel rod could snap, but then the tractor is 65 years old. I hope when I am 65 I don’t break my axle! On Monday, Luke and Lorne took on the project and removed the disintegrated old pieces of axle from the tractor. With the new axle on the way (thanks internet!), we are hoping to begin re-assembly by Friday.

On Sunday, we showed off the farm to a local 4-H group, led by Clinton County 4-H Youth Specialist, Debbie Davis. Tom and I were glad have the opportunity to talk about biological farming with the next generation of eaters and producers. We look forward to hearing how they progress on their sustainable agriculture project.

4-Hers on tour

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