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This Week on the Farm 9/13
The weather has been beautiful again this week, but we need to have some rain in the near future for all of our crops that have been direct seeded this fall. If we don’t get rain soon we are going to have to start irrigating.
This week will probably be the last for the beans. Beans are extremely time consuming to harvest and with almost all of our help back in school it is difficult to pick enough beans for everyone. But since we they are here and ready to go and they are tasty we wanted to give you another week of beans. If you have had your fill of beans we recommend blanching and freezing them. You will be in for a treat later this winter.
The patty pan and zucchini have slowed down production. Some of you will be happy about that since you may be sick of patty pan, but after trying the zucchini bread recipe from Week 12 I am sad there won’t be a lot more zucchini coming this year.
The cucumbers are also slowing down with the cool nights. We don’t have enough to put in the boxes, but for those of you lucky enough to live in the Rio area we will have some on the stand for the next couple of weeks.
The fall planting of turnips have taken off. You will notice we have turnip greens in this week’s box. That is because we are thinning the planting to one plant every four inches. We found out this spring that thinning is well worth the effort to produce larger turnips, so much so that we are going to thin a little more than we did this spring.
After harvesting tomatoes this year we are definitely going to spend the time and money to trellis them next year. By trellising you lose some productivity, but you also have fewer imperfections on the tomatoes. It will also make it a lot easier on our workers/volunteers for harvesting purposes. The less bending and stooping the better for our backs and it will hopefully take less time to harvest them.
Since we have so many plants the traditional home-gardener cages will not work. We are most likely going to use some combination of t-posts and wire for an in-row trellis system. We will keep you posted on how we decide to trellis and how well it works.
If you receive a tomato in your box that isn’t totally ripe just set it on your counter and let it ripen on it’s own. If you want to speed up the process you can place the tomato in a brown paper bag with a banana. The ethylene released by the banana will speed up the ripening process. Check back often if you are using this method so it doesn’t become overripe. Also, make sure to store your tomatoes on the counter and not in the fridge. They will not store well in the fridge since the compound that gives tomatoes the flavor is inhibited by cold.
The raspberry bushes are in heavy production mode right now and are providing delicious fruit. I think we need to add one more stringer to the trellises to contain the canes a little bit better. Overall they are working pretty well for a homemade system of left over 3/4 inch metal electrical conduit and ten gauge wire.
The Brussels Sprouts are also looking pretty good for this time of year. Brussels Sprouts are fairly slow to develop, just like leeks. They are both very long season crops that like the cooler weather that the fall brings. We are curious to see how well this variety of Brussels Sprouts compares to last year’s fantastic “Franklin” variety. If they are at all similar in their production we will have sprouts coming out of our ears.
For your peppers this week follow this guide: Habanero (Orange=HOT!!), Poblano (Green=Medium), or Sweet (Red=Mild) pepper.