This Week on the Farm 7/22
It seems like any time I write that it will be the “only” or “last” week of an item, we always have one more week of it. We decided that we would spend the time this week to harvest new potatoes once again so that all of our members would get at least one week of potatoes. We didn’t feel that it was fair to our “every other week” members to miss out on potatoes when we were able to harvest (albeit with a lot of work) enough potatoes. So enjoy!
This is the start of the “summer veggies”. The summer squash, zucchini, and cucumbers are starting to produce and we are very pleased with this years varieties. In past years we grew patty pan squash, but since we only harvest twice a week, they were never the ideal size. We switched our focus this year to adding two other types of specialty summer squash. The cocozelle and goldy are both types of zucchini and we are excited at how well the plants are doing. The cocozelle are green with lighter stripes and the goldy is a dark yellow with a green tip. Let us know how you like the different varieties since they all have a slightly different flavor and we are always looking for feedback so we can choose the right varieties for the future.
The garlic that we harvested two weeks ago is cured and I have just started to trim, clean, and grade the garlic. We grade the garlic by size. Once the roots and top of the garlic has been snipped off, we remove the outer wrapper or two until we have a nice clean surface. Each bulb is passed through our grader to sort it by size. We have five different sizes that we use on our farm: medium, large, extra large, jumbo, and premium. Last year anything in the extra large to jumbo categories was saved for seed garlic. It will be interesting if that holds true this year. The garlic is looking good enough that we might have enough seed garlic to be able to put some of the larger sizes in our CSA boxes. Since I haven’t been able to clean and grade all of the garlic and I don’t want to give away bulbs that may be needed for seed this fall, this weeks garlic falls into the medium category. The variety in this weeks box is Susanville and it is considered a softneck garlic. I would like to be able to give you a description of the varieties “flavor tones,” but as of right now, all garlic tastes like garlic to me. I am hoping that later this summer I will be able to do a taste testing between our varieties to be able to give better descriptions.
We are helping to get the word out about the FairShare CSA Coalition’s donation drive for their Partner Shares program. This is one of the coolest things that FairShare does and we hope that if you are able to donate a little bit you will choose to do so. We have several members who participate in this program and we love the fact that it allows people who may not be able to afford to purchase organic produce the opportunity to become CSA members. Check out the info bubble below to find out where to donate.
I feel like this weeks newsletter has a lot of additional informational bubbles and while all of them are very important, I don’t want you to miss out on your veggie news! Next week the beans should be ready! The inoculant that we used really bumped up the number of flowers per plant, so we are hoping for a very good yield. We do need rain though to get them to size up well for next week. The photo to the left is of our Royal Burgundy beans (known here on the farm as Ron Burgundy beans). This variety will hopefully be ready in two weeks. I had to include a photo this week since it was one of the prettiest sights on our farm when Tyler and I went for our weekly inspection.
We spent a lot of time last week cleaning out the peppers. We used a potato fork to loosen all of the grass roots and then pulled the weeds from around the pepper plants. We figured this method out a couple of years ago. It is the easiest way to be able to get all of the roots out. It is also extremely satisfying because you can make significant progress fairly quickly and it creates a huge visual difference by going from matted grass to bare earth.
We finished getting the posts up for our tomato trellising last week and also placed the first level of twine around the tomatoes. This year we are using what is known as a “Florida Weave” to trellis our tomatoes. Last year we tried to tie our tomatoes to horizontal ropes, but it took forever and we were not able to keep up. The Florida Weave is quick and will hopefully be able to support the weight of our tomatoes. I will give a better description of how it works once I have more action shots of us trellising. Like with everything, we are trying to find the most efficient way to get things done here on the farm. There is always something to fix or improve on to make it easier on our bodies and to give you as members the best boxes possible.
Last week was mostly spent in the tomatoes and peppers. We were short staffed since Tyler’s parents were on vacation and one of us had to watch our son, so some of our projects were put on hold. The rest of this week (in addition to harvesting, washing, packing, and delivering your produce) we need to finish direct seeding, water in the last of our greenhouse seeding, cultivate, run more trellising in the tomatoes, replace the rototiller tines, mow, fix the upstairs floor of the barn so we can get our roadside stand out, irrigate if it doesn’t rain, clean garlic, and plow under the potato field and seed it to a cover crop. Oh, and weed everything. I doubt we will be able to get all of this done, but that is our to do list for the week.