Farm News- August 23, 2012
The weather continues to be copacetic; reasonable amounts of rainfall and moderate temperatures. The fall brassica transplants have taken root and are beginning to grow nicely. The many direct seeded fall crops are beginning to sprout. The winter squash crop is beginning to set fruit, so I am a little less worried about whether we will get a good harvest. Because of the dry conditions in late June, germination of this crop was delayed and I have been concerned that they would not have enough time to mature. I am still worried (an occupational hazard) because with the cool nights come conditions which favor the mildew diseases which are the bane of the cucurbit family. And then there are the ground hogs which hold squash high on their list of favorite foods. The second planting of summer squash is succumbing to these same fungal foes and production is dwindling. A third planting is coming on, but is still several weeks away, so expect a pause in the distribution until early September. A second planting of cucumbers is starting to bear fruit, and I am hoping they will replace the zucchini in the lineup for the interim. Cucumbers are perhaps the most susceptible of all to the fungi and we have been battling it almost since they germinated. Melons are still ripening prolifically and we are starting to bring in a lot more watermelons now.
Beans have begun to abound, so you may receive more than a pound this week. If you are overwhelmed remember that beans are easy to freeze. You only need to blanch them in boiling water for a minute, than plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking process. Toss them into zip lock bags and into the freezer. We are now picking 2 heirloom varieties- Dragon Langerie, a purple streaked wax bean, and my favorite, the Rattlesnake bean, a purple streaked green pole bean. We are past the pause in our lettuce production and should have lettuce in the shares for the rest of the season. The kale and chard are growing nicely again and will be the greens of choice for the next several weeks until the return of the arugula and other greens in mid-September.
The share for this week will be:
Romaine lettuce, beets, white onions, string beans, choice of kale or chard, peppers, eggplant, melons or watermelon, white potatoes, tomatoes, ground cherries or cherry tomatoes, and choice of an herb (parsley, savory, thyme, or lemon Thai basil)