Farm News – July 22, 2010
Hi Folks, We had a great start to the season, with many greens and unusually bountiful shares. As we head into mid-summer, greens generally become more scarce, and in this accelerated season we arrived at this point sooner than normal. All of the various mustards have bolted to seed and the kale is looking quite sad due to the heat and dry weather. Only the Swiss chard remains viable and we have been cutting it quite heavily during the past 2 weeks. I believe we can harvest sufficient quantities for distribution this week, but then we will need to let it rest and regenerate. I am preparing ground to plant more spinach and mustard greens and I’ll be seeding these crops as soon as the weather allows. These greens should become available again in early September.
Up to this point we have provided you with mostly “normal” vegetables, i.e., those members are familiar with and know how to use. This week may be the week that we cause some to search their cookbooks and the internet for ways to use less common vegetables, specifically radicchio and fennel. Even though I planted over a thousand radicchio plants, many have bolted and quite a few were destroyed by the groundhogs. We may need to offer dandelion greens as a choice with the radicchio. This time last year we were swimming in green beans; this season, however, both the abundance and quality of the crop has been reduced by the heat and dryness. The plants are looking better now that it rained and I hope that they will begin to flower again and produce a second picking. We also have an heirloom pole bean called the rattlesnake bean that looks good and should start producing in about 3 weeks. I am in the process of planting more bush beans for September harvest.
The tomato crop is looking good, and we may have sufficient quantities to ship out by next week, if not, certainly in 2 weeks. Eggplant and peppers should also become available in the next couple of weeks. We will begin harvesting potatoes this week, even though the earliest varieties have not completely died back. This means that they are “new” potatoes and as such have thin skins that are easily damaged in harvesting and washing. It will be best to use them fairly quickly, as they probably won’t keep well.
This week’s share will be Lettuce (various types), red potatoes, cauliflower, summer squash, carrots, red torpedo onions, fennel, radicchio or dandelion greens, Swiss chard, string beans (either green or wax), and choice of an herb.
The fruit share will be peaches and plums.
Enjoy! Farmer John