Farm News- July 21,2011

Circle Brook Farm
Circle Brook Farm

Hi Folks,

It was another week of hot and dry weather here at the farm. We really need some rain! It looks as though we may get some Monday afternoon from thunderstorms, hopefully sans hail and damaging winds. We are beginning to transplant the fall brassica crop out into the field and a little moisture would certainly help the plants to take root.

I also have a number of other crops to seed; a second planting of carrots, beans and beets and a third planting of cucumbers and summer squash. It seems that we may have finally excluded the deer from the squash patch, so we may start to bring in a bit more zucchini. This planting is already in decline though, so the best hope for larger quantities of squash is the second planting which should begin to produce in about 2 weeks. We are harvesting lots of cukes at the moment and they are really nice.

The peas are just about done; a late planting of English peas having succumbed to mildew. Normally we have beans at this point to take over in the legume slot but due to the wet spring they were planted late and are just beginning to flower.

We have sweet onions in the share this week; 2 mild types called Ailsa Craig and Walla Walla. These are not really any sweeter than a regular onion only less pungent and as a result do not keep well. In fact they were already beginning to rot in the field and we have had to take extraordinary steps to try to save them and still lost hundreds of lbs. They begin to rot at the stem and this passes to the center of the onion. Most should be okay but some may have bad centers. They are really good and mostly quite large so remove the bad center, if necessary, and use them quickly. There are lots more, better keeping onions on the way!

We have small heads of green cabbage and still some Napa cabbage in storage, so we will offer these as a choice. We also have beets this week; a regular purple type and an Italian heirloom variety called Chioggia, aka candy cane, because of their white with red rings interior. We also have very nice fennel, but since some has rotted we may not have enough for everyone, so we will offer this as a choice with a large bunch of basil.

There will be a second herb choice of parsley, sweet marjoram, or summer savory. About the only green we have at this point is Swiss chard. In order not to over cut the patch we will begin a rotation over the next 2 weeks, with some groups getting chard this week and some next week.

We are also harvesting a fair bit of eggplant, so it may be in the share too, as supply allows. And as promised we have some lovely red skinned new potatoes for you!

The share for this week will be:
Red leaf lettuce, beets, cucumbers, sweet onions, red potatoes, fennel or basil, green or Napa cabbage, and choice of an herb. In the “maybe” category we have Swiss chard, eggplant, squash, and broccoli.

Farmer John

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