Farm News – July 9, 2015

Circle Brook Farm
Circle Brook Farm

Hi Folks, “If it keeps on raining the levees gonna break”. Yes, I know we don’t have levees here in New Jersey but …. After last week’s rain I was excited to see a forecast for an entire week of dry weather but that quickly changed as rain rolled in on Saturday and dropped half an inch on us. We continue to struggle to get caught up on our planting schedule. The rain has been great for the brassica crops which like it cool and wet. We have the most beautiful summer broccoli ever!

I am worried about diseases in the tomatoes and we lost a few hundred pepper plants, which don’t tolerate saturated soil conditions. I expect there will be a gap in our string bean production later this summer as I have been unable to make the second planting. Peas should continue to produce for a few more weeks although we ran out at the end of last week and did not have enough for the Friday groups or for markets. Except for those who were shorted last week we will take a pause in the peas for this round.

We have a wonderful share for you this week, with lots of “normal” vegetables and a few less common items. We have a green radicchio that is a trevisio type, with a form like a romaine lettuce – they look like small green torpedoes. I like them for summer production because they form heads more dependably than the round red type, which we will have in the fall. We also have fennel which may be a curve ball for some of you. Also in the less common category is elephant garlic, which has a mild tasting bulb that is nice roasted. It is not a true garlic but more closely related to a leek; in fact the stalk can be used like a leek. For this reason we ship them fresh and whole. Use the stalk promptly. The bulb can be used fresh or allowed to dry – do not refrigerate it.

Some of you received cauliflower last week and those that did not got Napa cabbage. This week that will be reversed. We are still heavy on lettuce. Rainy market days have dampened sales and my wholesale accounts have not been ordering any. I hate to overload you with greens- I know there is only so much salad you can eat! But rather than see it go to waste we will send two heads again this week. Lettuce is very nutritious, almost as good for you as kale and it can be cooked; steamed lightly and the blended it can be added to soups or frozen for future enjoyment.

The share for this week will be: Carrots, cucumbers, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower or Napa cabbage, potatoes, basil, elephant garlic, green radicchio, kale, choice of arugula or Swiss chard, fennel and lettuce (a romaine and a red leaf or Boston type).

Farmer John

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