Farm News- August 25, 2011

Circle Brook Farm
Circle Brook Farm

Hi Folks,

The rainy week is behind us and fortunately it was not as bad as it looked on the weather sites. We received another inch and a half of rain during the week in addition to the 3 inches mentioned in the last update. Last night’s storms which were predicted to possibly bring hail and damaging winds brought neither and only a quarter of an inch of precipitation. The week ahead looks good with sunshine and mild temperatures, as we keep a wary eye on Hurricane Irene. I managed to find a few windows of opportunity to get some seeds in the ground and I expect good germination as a result of the moist conditions. I have planted nearly 10,000 row feet of spinach as well as a mile or two of radishes, turnips, arugula and other mustards. I was also able to get in another planting of cilantro, dill and chervil. My ankles are sore from pounding on the seeder with my feet to insure the seeds are flowing, but I am relieved to have completed a big chunk of my fall planting. The fall plantings of beets and carrots have come up nicely and now the challenge is to get them weeded, since the weeds grow much faster than the crops.

The beans are coming in heavily now, despite a re-infestation by the dreaded leafhoppers. We are having difficulty keeping up with the picking along with all the other harvesting on our plates (and soon to be on yours). We will be hosting a volunteer work day this Sunday, 10 AM, at the farm in Andover for anyone who is willing and able to come out and lend a hand. This week’s share will be essentially the same as in the last few weeks, the only new addition being celery. The celery is best used for cooking, in soups or stir fries, as only a few of the inner blanched stalks are likely to be mild and tender enough for use in salads. We are also beginning to see a few ground cherries, so we will begin shipping them to different groups in rotation over the next few weeks. We almost did not have these unusual members of the tomato family this season because the seeds that I purchased turned out to be tomatillos, their close cousin. It was already too late in the season when I discovered the problem to replant, but thanks to another local farmer/ friend, I was able to get some stunted, overcrowded plants which we transplanted and nursed back to health before setting them out in the field. They are late getting started and it will probably be a short harvest season, but at least we will have some.

The share for this week will be:
Green leaf lettuce, carrots, celery, cucumbers, summer squash, beans, yellow onions, white potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons or watermelon, and choice of an herb.

Farmer John

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