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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Summer CSA: Week 11

The crew harvesting onions and shallots
Howdy folks,

We have past the halfway mark for the CSA and with that I want to do a brief check in about where we are at in terms of value of that food. Thus far the share value has averaged out at $43.37 per week. The first few CSA distributions tend to be on the light side and as we progress into late summer and fall the value of each weeks share increases. Last weeks share value was 59.75.

Last week we spent hustling to get more fall crops transplanted and the first of our winter storage crops harvested. The clear dry days we have had have been perfect for onion harvesting. It has been one of the best onions harvests I've experienced and we have crammed them into pretty much every available space in the barns and high tunnel in order to let them cure. Like garlic, storage onions need to be laid out in a dry area in order for them to release excess moisture and for their skins to toughen. These onions need at least a few weeks to cure. If cured and stored properly they can last up to 6 months.

Another of my favorite late summer tasks is harvesting winter squash. Our crop looks great and we will start bringing it in this week. This year we've grown a variety of my favorites including kubocha and delicate squash. Winter squash also needs to cure in order to toughen the skin for long term storage. We are going to have to get creative with our storage space as the onions are taking up so much space already. This is a good problem for a farmer to have.


Onions laid out in the high tunnel to cure 
We've been chipping away at the weeding of the herb garden. We did not get as far as I would have liked but it will be open again for picking this week (thank you for your patience). The farm is super weedy this year and frankly its driving me bonkers. We have had really great growing conditions with ample rain. This has meant great crops and robust weeds. My timing has been off a few times with tractor cultivation and  when that happens we often resort to hand weeding which is cumbersome and slow. Being at peak harvest time we don't have much extra time to hand weed so here I am with a really weedy farm. If you feel so moved to pull a few weeds while you are harvesting your pick your own please have at it.

Tim laying out nice sized onions in the high tunnel
This weeks share:
Tomatoes
Peppers
Onions
Potatoes
Eggplant
Summer squash and Zucchini (this is a maybe, we have downy mildew and the plants are going down fast)
Cucumbers (also a maybe due to downy mildew)
Lettuce (I've been reminded that summer lettuce can be bitter, try a sweet dressing or use olive oil to balance the bitter flavor)
Beets
Cooking greens


PYO:
Cherry tomatoes
Hot peppers
Herbs
Flowers
Raspberries (there are not enough for folks to pick a 1/2 pint however please feel free to walk through and sample a few. Please be mindful that there are other CSA members who would also like to taste the raspberries.)

Your farmer,

Zannah

 

 







Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer CSA: Week 10

Howdy folks,

Don't miss the newest addition to our tractor fleet next time you're at the farm

It's been a very busy week at the farm and I am feeling a bit strained sitting in front of the computer
rather than fixing the broken boom sprayer, figuring out the electrical issue that has the John Deere tractor out of commission, the list goes on. Therefore I'm going to keep this blog to the nuts and bolts.

In this week's share:
Fresh onions
Lettuce
Cooking greens
Tomatoes
Summer squash and zucchini
Cucumbers
Celery
Eggplant
Carrots
Beets

PYO:
Cherry tomatoes
Hot peppers
Tomatillos
Flowers

This week we are going to close the herb garden in order to give us a chance to get a handle on the weeds. Please be respectful of our efforts and steer clear of the herbs for this week.

Thanks!
Your famer, Zannah

Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer CSA: Week 9

Howdy folks,
 
Cultivating fall radishes. Before

It's week 9 (A-L for people with a half share) of the summer CSA. This week finds us finally harvesting tomatoes. We have had a mix of cool cloudy days and hot muggy days throughout the summer. The cool cloudy says have really slowed production of some of our summer crops, like tomatoes and eggplant. Fear not, they are both present in this weeks share.

We have almost reached one of my favorite miles stones in the season. Around mid August the weeds that we often struggle to reign in all season begin to slow there growth. This summer it has been a mad dash to try and keep up with the weeds. It seams like whenever we get one area of the farm under control another one has been taken over by lush amaranth, lambs quarters, and galensoga. I'll take a weedy farm over a farm struggling through a drought any day though.

This past Friday Tom, the well contractor, returned to the farm to excavate and lay a new irrigation line from the well out to the vegetable fields. Tom and his team were able to complete the work very quickly and with little disruption to the farm operation. We may notice some disturbance on the right hand 

Cultivating fall radishes. After
side of the driveway. The upgrade to our irrigation is nearly complete. Tom and his team will soon return to test the system and give us the all clear to fire it up.

This week we have a special guest star in the farm stand:

FRESH ORGANIC WILD MAINE BLUEBERRIES

For sale by the pint or in 10 pound boxes. Blueberries will be located in the refrigerated case in the farm stand. The Maine blueberry season is short. Get them while they last.

In this weeks share:
- Lettuce
- Peppers
- Tomatoes
- Eggplant
- Summer squash/zucchini
- Onions
- Carrots
Tom and his crew laying the new water line
- Cucumbers
- Basil

PYO:
Cherry Tomatoes
Hot peppers
Perennial herbs
Flowers

We are going to give the kale and chard a break this week. I want to get a handle on the pest pressure in these crops before we plant our tender fall broccoli and spinach transplants.

Your farmer,

Zannah