Farm News- August 20, 2009
It finally feels like summer in NJ, with the heat and humidity we’ve come to know and endure. We are enjoying what seems like an unprecedented five day period without rain, but it is predicted to end by Wednesday as we head into another week of showers and thunderstorms.
Normally at this time of year I am impeded from seeding crops for the fall by dry conditions. This season, however, it has been a challenge to find windows of opportunity for planting when the soil is not too wet. I have been behind schedule on my planting since early June, and as I rush to plant each crop before it’s too late, another crop has to wait until after it’s optimal planting time. Let’s hope it’s a warm fall with no frost until late October!
In any given year some crops do poorly due to weather conditions or other variables. I’m sure most of you have heard about the problems with tomatoes this season due to late blight. While my farm has not yet been affected by this disease, we nevertheless have a plethora of other diseases affecting the tomato crop. Even the tomatoes in the high tunnel greenhouses have been affected. We are harvesting quite a few tomatoes at present, owing to the sheer number of plants we put in. But most of this fruit is coming from plants that are almost dead and will not produce a sustained harvest. We are doing what we can to save those varieties which may have a chance of continued production, but the bottom line is it won’t be a very good year for tomatoes.
Currently we are picking quite a few heirloom tomatoes, especially a variety called Cherokee Purple. These have a very dark colored fruit with green shoulders which I, and many others, consider to be the most delicious of the heirlooms. Keep in mind that they will not lose their green shoulders and you must judge their ripeness by softness. Heirlooms are notoriously perishable so enjoy them soon after you receive them.
The share for this week will be: White Potatoes, Green Leaf Lettuce, Multi-Colored Carrots, Celery, White Onions, Peppers, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Choice of Dandelion Greens or Swiss Chard, String Beans, Choice of Red Cabbage or Savoy Cabbage and Choice of an Herb.
SPECIAL NOTE FROM JOHN REGARDING THE FRUIT SHARE
The fruit share for this week will be peaches. It will count as a half share, the other half of which I will have to make up later in the season. The reason for this is that I had ordered red plums as the 2nd half and they arrived with 25% rotten fruit. Since the grower was unwilling to make an adjustment on the price I had to reject them completely. Next week will be the week off for fruit shares, we will resume again in September.
Enjoy! Farmer John