This is the week 10 of the 20 week main season – the garden shifts from mostly planting to mostly caring for the crops. Some of the beds are getting empty; new crops continue to rotate through the short-cycle (Lettuce, Cabbage) beds, and the fall planting is underway. Corn and beans are getting ready for August/September production, apples are putting on some size, and the sweet potatoes and winter squash are getting to be the really long vines that they like to be.
The early season favorites and the cool season crops are, alas, pretty much done. There may be some berries this week, but the end is here. The bird netting comes down late this week so that pruning and trellis vine tying can get started on the first year canes. Strawberry bed was mowed so that bed restoration can be done before winter, and those strawberries that you didn’t get will be there in 2022.
The next cycle (four week window) will bring on some of the ‘stronger’ flavor crops which have violent opinions. There are a lot of nearly ripe: Peppers – hot, bell. Cucumbers. Carrots. Well, almost everyone likes carrots. Summer squash. Eggplant. The rule of thumb here is that full share will have more varieties than personal share. That said, it is more important for personal share to express preferences the week of the pick, because, well, you may get a couple of eggplant, and you don’t ever use eggplant and don’t want to learn about it.
The other thing you might consider is asking for 6-8 carrots and no summer squash; asking for all cherry tomatoes instead of a couple of big slicers. Tired of Chard? speak up. No garlic, or maybe garlic every few weeks? Time to fire up the reply email. Honestly, the varieties are kicking in, and so… farmer’s choice is a bit of a guessing game.
Specifically – this week there are four heads of cabbage left. If you are ‘so done with cabbage’ then you are okay. If you love cabbage, speak up!
Garlic was processed this week; there will be garlic in every box for the next five years. Well. Maybe for a while yet. The thing that was a crop fail this year were the big sweet onions; garlic is a poor substitute. Now, peppers can meet your need. After consultation with the Texan Hot Pepper Specialist (THPS) – at this time the Cozumal pepper is pale yellow. That is just barely ripe. Here’s the assessment from the THPS:
“I ate about a third of it before I noticed it was spicy. At that point, I will tell you it is about like a hot hot wing. I ate it raw. If I had cooked it at all it would of tempered the heat. It is a little sweet, like a red or orange bell pepper but the flavor is (still) faint, not unlike the smell. If not for the spice, I would say it tastes like a bell pepper for people who really don’t like bell peppers. Weirdly, the heat is a little hit-and-miss. Some spots were immediately hot, and others are very tame… I am sure it is somehow related to however it hung on the plant. You might note not to touch your eye after you handle the pepper.”
Unless you say no, the yellow pepper in your box is one of these… As the peppers go on, the color is an indicator of more ripe. The bell peppers are nice and large and thoroughly green as yet; perhaps next week.
So: in the box for week 10:
|Greens||Red (soft, quickly wilting) lettuce, small green lettuce, there are 3 or 4 cabbage – you must ask, White and/or Red Chard; optional Asian mustard (ask)|
|Crunchies||Misc. Summer Squash; hook neck, patty pan, zucchini. Baby Carrots (Mokum), Cucumbers till we run out.|
|Herbs||Arugula, Green Onions, Chives if you ask, Basil, Cilantro, Fennel (only two left in first planting), Oregano, mint. Hot pepper|
|Other||Slicer and Cherry Tomatoes (lots more this week), 1-3″ beets with greens, Ugly Walla Walla onions, very few berries, Plums Potatoes – various colors. Flower of the week will be mystery arrangement or roses Any preference? Optional Eggplant (ask)|
- White Lady Peaches! (great color this week, but hard as a rock…)
- Figs (maybe next week?)
- Bell Peppers
Beans and Corn are still growing – about two feet high for the corn. Beans have reached 6′ Broccoli and Cauliflower were stunted by the heat storm; they get set out this week and hopefully will respond. New cabbage and spinach and lettuce starts are seeded and some are up. Seeding some potatoes as an experiment for fall – the heat really stopped the growth of the plants. The look pretty sad – but taste good. Seed order goes out this week for late fall and over-wintered crops like Kale. Preferences?