Farm News – August 20, 2015
Hi Everyone! So I thought we were almost done with the brutal heat and humidity for this year but I guess the forecasters were wrong (imagine that!). We received about an inch of rain last week but my soil dries out quickly and I am hoping for a good rain soon. We are in the midst of a big push to get planted up with the fall brassica crops, greens and lettuces and I really count on precipitation, especially for the direct seeded crops like arugula, radishes, turnips, and spinach.
I have heard of CSA farmers who pick the weeds to send to their members when they are unable to produce sufficient crops to distribute. Even though many of the weeds that grow in our fields are edible and generally more nutritious than our cultivated crops, I have always tried to avoid that situation. They may be better for you, but they are just not palatable for most people. The one exception is a succulent plant called purslane. We regularly harvest it for sale at market. Purslane has a mild, slightly sour taste that most folks can tolerate and it can be easily mixed into salads. It can also be cooked- one of my market customers recommends it with tomatoes and onions. My workers leave it alone when they are weeding the fields and remember where to go to harvest the freshest crop as we cut for market. Its claim to fame is that it is rich in anti-oxidants and especially omega-3 fatty acid. Because we have such an abundant crop in the fall cabbage patch, my lead field worker has not cultivated there with the tractor. It seems the only way we are going to get these beds cleaned up is to harvest the purslane! I hope you enjoy it.
We will have beets again this week, but the greens have succumbed to the heat, so we will be sending them topless. The second plantings of zukes and cukes are just starting to come in, so some groups may get one or the other. Soon they should be more abundant. Beans will be back next week. We are still out of lettuce but we do have some frisée and we are sending red cabbage this week. You can try a salad with these two items, the purslane, and tomatoes and/or beets.
The share for this week will be: eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, choice of ground cherries or cherry tomatoes, beets, melons, peppers, choice of Swiss chard or dandelion greens, purslane, red cabbage and endive (frisée).
The fruit share for this week will be peaches and nectarines.
Enjoy! Farmer John