In the Box Week 15

Hi Folks!

First delivery of September is coming this week – will be putting out a monthly update here in a day or so. Meanwhile, the fall crops such as the winter squash are going full speed to ripe. Corn is thinking about being ready, and beans are getting to mid cycle.

The weather is one of the first things checked here every day. The last week or so has been very cool, which is nice on one hand, and a bit concerning on the other. Here’s an example: Watermelons. Nice looking small fruit (selected to be small) ripen best with heat. The night temperatures have skirted the upper 40’s and days have not gone much about 70, sometimes not at all. Will the watermelon get sweet? Ask the weather.  The lettuce and spinach set out are ecstatic, and the broccoli and cauliflower are smug about ‘this is our kind of weather’ and the melons are shivering.

There are a large number of Tomato plants set out in the same outside area as the Peppers. The discovery is that outside tomatoes do NOT want to ripen nearly as well as the greenhouse. Next year there won’t be outside Tomatoes. The Peppers, on the other hand, are doing very well. This is the best Pepper year since the CSA restarted in 2015. Nice size, good taste, few pests. Now, the expectation is that what is good for a Pepper would be good for a Tomato. Evidently not! There are Eggplant inside and outside – for some reason there seems to usually be one Eggplant that is twice the size of the others – this year, it is an inside plant. The Millionaire Eggplant fruit is smaller in general than the variety inside. The challenge question is number of plants versus number of members who want Eggplant. It looks like there should be twice as many plants because of the slower maturation rate.

Looking ahead, September and the first half of October will have a start on some décor and winter type produce. The Flower Farmer has planted ‘décor squash’ that are intended to be charming on your porch or coffee table; there will also be Corn stalks to fill in the corners of your porch. Transporting corn stalks is probably best done outside of normal delivery. The preference is that if you want décor squash or corn stalks or small (“Mrs. Wrinkles”) pumpkins that a farm call be considered.  You have some time to plan – mid to late September is a good time to schedule that.

The decision to make (unless you already signed up) would be if you will be continuing into the 6 week “extended” season that runs out to the week before Thanksgiving. The Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash and  Fall Cabbage all really kick in starting mid October. Sweet Potatoes in particular need to be ‘cured’ at about 75-80F, usually accomplished here at the farm in the seed propagation benches using the ‘seedling heating pad’ with thermostat to bring that along. Uncured Sweet Potatoes aren’t Sweet; also curing them is important to keep them from rotting. And, by the way, they really do not want to be cool even after they cure! More to come on this as the season progresses.

By the way – Sweet Potato vines are a delicacy. They can be cooked or used in Salad. The vines are harvested in a three week cycle as the picking is done in October. One of our previous members would come in a truck and load up what looked like a hay bale of vines, and then raved about the taste – in a positive rave, not a rant.

Minowase Radish

This is a ‘Minowase’ Radish. There are (accidentally) maybe 10 of them – mild flavor, not the usual thing. When you read the “what’s in the box” section following, this is an option. A few members last week got them without a warning…

And, last but not least, there are pears and apples available. The pears have this annoying habit of falling to the ground and still not being ripe and thus not very sweet. Then they turn a yellow color, and are delicious. The trick is to have them on your counter watching for that yellow, because they go all ugly about a week later. The apples this week are a small very red skin, very white meat and a bit tart. The big green apples were severely attacked by worms, and not going to show up. There are going to be more crab apples from the second tree here in a week or two – if you are a Jelly person, these are a yellow jelly.

speaking of this week: in the box for week 15:

Greens Newer (greenhouse) Lettuce.  White and/or Red Chard;   optional Asian mustard. Kale – not much of it. All about the same as last week…
Crunchies Misc. Summer Squash: hook neck, patty pan, zucchini. Carrots (Sugarsnax54), Cucumbers, Green Bell Pepper or Chocolate small bells. Cucumber, optional Minowase Radish.
Herbs Garlic, Arugula, Green Onions, Chives if you ask, Basil, Cilantro,  Oregano. Hot pepper, zero to 3 or 4?
Other Yellow or Red Beefsteak, Slicer and Cherry Tomatoes, 1-3″ beets with greens,  Pears (let them get yellow!), Grapes, No Potatoes. 🙁  Flower of the week will be mystery arrangement or roses. Any preference? Optional Eggplant (ask) – Small red Apples.

Green beans in quart sized quantity,

Next Week:

  • Maybe Corn. Maybe not.
  • New Spinach
  • Yellow Crab Apples, probably.

On Deck:

  • Cauliflower (plants are 6-8″  – no heads formed yet.)
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage – 2-4 weeks out
  • Sweet Potato Greens
  • Small winter Squash
  • New lettuces
  • Décor Squash

By Doug

--- 'farmer doug' is the planner and heavy lifter for the CSA and the LLC. Loves to teach; "ask him the time, he'll tell you how to make a clock." Always has a new idea to try, some of which work. BTW - if you try and phone call, and you are NOT in his caller ID you will not be answered - just leave a message and you will be called right back.

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