Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In the Share - Week 7

pepper trellis

LETTUCE (F/P) the crisp heads are hopefully holding for this week and then it’s goodbye lettuce until fall.
GREEN GARLIC (F/P) two heads for the full shares, one for the partials, from the beginnings of the garlic harvest. These are full size but not cured. Read Tom’s post for more on use and storage.
NEW POTATOES (F/P) freshly dug new potatoes are like nothing else. Enjoy them soon or refrigerate.
SUMMER SQUASH (F/P) slice and put them on the grill for a tasty Independence Day treat.
GREEN ONIONS (F) Every dish begins with onions so we try to include them in the shares every other week from now through fall.
CHOICE: EGGPLANT, GREEN PEPPERS, CUCUMBERS OR SNOW PEAS (F) this is the last of the spring peas (peas only for the Weds. shares) and the first of the fruits of summer.
BEETS OR KOHLRABI (F) Both crops are to be harvested in bulk this week before the heat takes them out. The extra beets will store beautifully in the walk-in cooler and will be available in bulk for a while longer.
CABBAGE (P) partial shares get their chance to make coleslaw. More for the full shares next week.
KALE OR CHARD (F) grin if you love your greens!
HERB CHOICE (F/P) summer savory, parsley or basil
ALSO THIS WEEK: Bread of Life Bakery shares
NEXT WEEK: More squash, cucumbers and cabbage. Carrots and perhaps beans and cherry tomatoes.
You can tell it is summer on the farm by how we spend our time. For one thing everything green is growing new leaves, branches, flowers and fruit exponentially. If we ever stood still long enough we could probably perceive the growth of the tomato plants. Once a week we spend several hours trellising the tomato crop. We put our strings about every six inches along the stakes, weaving a new one in and out of the crop about every seven to ten days. For the determinate varieties some are approaching the tops of their cages. After the cold, wet spring of 2010 put a damper on the tomato crop, we are really hoping for a good harvest. We are looking forward to the hot weather forecasted for later this week which sounds like tomato-ripening weather to us. In the meantime we have the beginnings of the cherry tomatoes. If you are lucky there may be one cherry tomato per share this week, just enough to wet your whistle.

Another telltale sign that it is summer is the exuberant growth of plants that we do not want growing on the farm, i.e. weeds. The FSF farm crew has made good headway in this area but there is still a bit more to do. Every so often we get done with harvesting early on a CSA morning and get some extra help from the membership, but for the most part it is the four-person farm crew out on the six acres. Some weeds we can get with the tractor’s cultivators, some we can get with our hoes, but the ones right around the plants have to be pulled by hand. If your idea of a fun Sunday is pulling weeds with your farmers, come on out on the volunteer day on July 10th .

And it wouldn’t be summer in Missouri without a feisty thunderstorm which we awoke to 1 am Monday morning. Small hail, strong winds and three inches of rain.

There is nothing to keep you up at night quite like hearing the wind howl and visualizing entire plants snapping under the pressure of wind, hail and torrential downpours. Happily all but a couple plants survived, some crates were blown around and we spent the better part of the day shoring up more plants. This is the first time we have staked the peppers and so far we are happy with the result.

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