July Twenty-Eighth

It's hard to imagine a growing season without the need for irrigation.  This may be the first one yet in the few young years that we have been farming.  We've been getting between 1 and 3 inches of rain a week for the last four weeks.  The rain has been incredible and I can hardly believe that it just keeps coming.  In a perfect season you will see one inch of rain a week...in a perfect season.  When I asked Adam what I should write about this week in the newsletter he replied, "bugs, diseases and too much rain".

It's been an intense season for too much rain.  With the soil being so wet and the continual supply of water on the leaves of the plants, we are seeing more blight and rot than we hoped.  The bottom side of our lettuce, and it is amazing that we still have lettuce, is looking like to much moisture was trapped at the base of the plants and they looked like they are starting to rust.  Adam happens to be main man in charge of spraying our OMRI approved organic Copper sprays on the tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and squash.  He has been working soooo hard at this.  Every time that it's done raining he mixes up a back-pack sprayer full of copper and goes out to prevent blight on the tomatoes.  We've never had tomatoes look this good before this year.  We almost always loose them to blight early on.  But we're finally seeing it start to win the battle.  We're even seeing some blight on our onions which we have never seen before, even though our soil health is noticeable improving.

I've been doing my best to refrain from sounding like I'm complaining about all the rain because all of you know that it's been raining a lot and we're all tired of being reminded of it, but it is interesting to learn about how all this rain is affecting the plants in the garden.  It can be challenging to keep your head up when you see three more inches of rain in the rain gauge and you see a growing mud puddle of your hard-earned topsoil at the base of the hill.  The rain brings life in the right quantities, but it also brings disease and destruction when it's too much.  At the end of the day, as we pack CSA boxes, I know that we are blessed and there is still so much food to give and the produce that we do have looks wonderful.  And at the middle of week 9 when I look at the forecast for next week, I see only some rain and temperatures in the low 80's which brightens my mood.

All this rain simply means we are going to have to move a bit quicker this year to get crops out of the ground sooner before they really do start to rot away.  This was what was happening to our celery.  You see we are giving celery so much earlier this year than we normally do, this is because over 60% of them were dieing.  We're going to have to get the onions out of the ground in the next week or so in between transplanting all of the fall successions of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce.  So many other aspects of this season are working out so well like an early garlic harvest, beautifully weeded tomatoes and a promising pepper harvest yet to come!  Chin Up!

Sooo, What's in the Box???

Cucumbers-  We are having a bumper crop of cucumbers this year!  Thanks to Adam for keeping the cucumber beetles at bay!  Cucumber salads anyone?  Make a large pot of cucumber water to use up one cucumber a day!  Keep a jar in your fridge at all times to stay cool!

Beets-  More dark, rich colored beets to sweeten up your life!  See our Beet Kvass recipe below to make a tonic beverage out of your beets.

Onion or Bunching Onions-  You may have receive a white onion or a bunch of green scallions or bunching onions.  The bunching onions are great raw on salads and you can use the greens also!  The white onions are always the first to come out of the ground for giving fresh!

Summer Squash, Zucchini and Patty Pans-  More soft summer squashes to enliven your summer.  The production of these plants is finally starting to wane.  I promise that they will eventually come to an end!  Maybe sooner rather than later if we keep getting all of this rain.  They do freeze quite well if you're in the mood for storing up.

Celery-  Succulent, salty spears of celery.  Fresh garden celery has a stronger flavor than store-bought celery from California.  You can also use the greens for making soup stock or chop them finely into your tuna or egg salad.

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers-  These are the first of the peppers.  Technically, they're considered to be a hot pepper, but they are the most mild of all hot peppers.  Once in a while you get one that is a little spicy, but sometimes they are sweet.  Their colors range from lime green to yellow to an orange color.

Lettuce-  This is our last giving of lettuce until our fall lettuce starts to come on.  Peak summer lettuce gets a little bitter from all the heat, but the bitter flavor is good for the liver.  The leaves are still quite tender, even though they are a little bitter from the heat.  Some members receive a red leaf lettuce, some receive green romaine and some received a green iceberg lettuce.

Green Curly Kale-  Large bunches of kale this week to give some green foods.  See one of my favorite kale pasta recipes below!

Parsley-  We tried to give everyone a curly green parsley this week, but we ran out of the curly variety and gave some of you the flat leaf parsley.  Parsley is such a versatile plant that can be used in almost any dish.

Next Week:  Our projections for next week are only a guess. The maturity of the crops depends entirely on the weather conditions. We do not promise that this is what your box next weeks box will look like, but these are a few item we think will be ready to give.

Carrots, Potoatoes, zucchini, summer squash, patty pans, cilantro, green cabbage, cucumbers, celery


Beet Kvass

Winter Kale Pasta with Sausage

Blue Moon Salad (celery idea)

Honey Lemon Refrigerator Pickles (cucumber idea)

Zucchini Brownies