Farm News- July 28, 2011
Holy heat and humidity, Batman! The record breaking heat wave has been stressing my crops and taking a toll on my workers and myself. We have been moving the sprinklers around trying to maintain some soil moisture on those crops not set up with drip irrigation. The extreme temps have also led to the second onion catastrophe in as many weeks. It is standard procedure to pull the onions and leave them on the ground for a day or two so the tops to begin to dry down. My crew was a little overzealous and pulled more than they were able to gather in one day. On Thursday I sent the workers home early due to the heat and the red onions were left in the field for a second day. When we began to gather them on Friday we found that the heat had scalded many of them and made the outer layers soft. The insides of the onions are still fine but they will not store in this condition. This is a truly heart breaking disaster because they were beautiful, large onions which I expected to have for distribution and sale at market for the next few months. I cannot bear to throw so many onions on the compost heap, so we will be trying to salvage what we can by peeling off the damaged layers. If you receive peeled onions in your share you will understand the reason, and that it’s not that we’re trying to help you with your kitchen chores.
The beans have begun! Thanks to some volunteers who braved the heat to help pick, we have about 200 lbs. in the cooler and the workers will be picking the remainder of this first harvest today. We have regular green beans, wax beans, and haricot verts, those wonderfully thin French filet beans. We will begin a rotation so that all groups will receive each type over the next several weeks. I expect to have a steady supply of beans for a least the next 4 or 5 weeks, as long as the marauding bandits known as deer don’t decide to ravage them. Fortunately, there are soybeans planted in a neighbor’s field, which they seem to prefer to string beans, so hopefully they will leave our food alone. We have been harvesting beautiful eggplant and some groups received it last week. If you did not, you should get it in this week’s share. We are also beginning to pick green peppers and some groups may find a few in their share this week. And what about the tomatoes you ask; soon, very soon! There may be a few in next week’s delivery and after that I expect the flood gates to open and we will be drowning in tomato heaven. We are also very close to having ripe melons and watermelons to sweeten things up for you folks.
The share for this week will be:
Romaine lettuce, carrots, string beans, cucumbers, Yukon gold potatoes, red onions, eggplant, and choice of an herb; Swiss chard for those who did not receive it last week.