Week 11

August is a funny month here at the farm – it starts off with lots of long days, and at the end the door of summer is getting slammed shut. The traditional August crops are running late because of all the lame excuses you have heard all year, but right now they are making a valiant effort to show up: Summer Squash for example has one very small Patty Pan, beans and corn are shooting up, and even the carrots are getting some length. And, of course, Tomatoes and Cucumbers are making a play for your salad servings.

The Cucumbers love the trellis.

Speaking of tomatoes, the plan for now is that you will get a pint of cherries – it looks like three of each type fill the pint. You will also get a ‘pint equivalent’ of slicers – the Pink variety is a pint all by itself and the Cherokee Carbon runs a close second. This is the point where the ‘bonus box’ of tomatoes shows up as an option. Two of you have asked to have bonus boxes this week – one for Roma (cooking) tomatoes, one for just more tomatoes. A ‘bonus box’ usually figures out to about 4-pint equivalent tomatoes. The charge is $10, by the way. If you want a bonus box, basically you get on a ‘reservation’ list and after the standard distribution happens the bonus boxes are filled and sent off on their merry way. Obviously, you can specify all slicers or farmers choice or all cherries.

Last week’s pick: Cherries and Slicers

Cucumbers are a bit of a planning challenge. There aren’t as many plants as would be hoped, so it looks like a normal picking will be giving at least one to each of you, unless you are one of those unlucky folks who can’t eat cukes. It might be good to interject the “what I can and what I can’t and what I am tired of seeing in my box” mantra: “If you want more, less or none, you need to reply to this email or text before the picking.” Turnips come to mind: there are a LOT of those pretty white turnips and their cousins available, which means they will continue to show up in your box. The picking goal is to make sure they are clean bulbs (no worm damage) and with a reasonable green. The Cows in particular think Turnips are candy bars, so the excess has a fine destination. The Radishes are heading to them because they just don’t do that well in the warmer days.

It looks like the weather is going to be somewhat warmer on into the fall; that is a good thing for the crops that are coming into their own now. Apples should of already been ripe, but they are getting close. There will also be crab apples for those of you who have a crab apple recipe, and in theory blackberries and grapes. The grapes are getting double doses of water right now to help them be nice and plump instead of the size of a BB.

The other news that might be of interest to you is that slaughter for beef has been scheduled for November 5, with the butcher lined up for cut and wrap. There are three of you who have begged to get some beef; that said, there will be four animals made available, maybe 5. CSA members get first option on the beef, so… please email your interest. There will be a couple of differences this year. In prior years the farm paid the slaughter fee – this year that can’t happen – slaughter fee went from $120/animal to $185/animal. The cut and wrap price has not yet been confirmed, that should happen this week. Hard as it is, this will be the last year for the farm cows. The young stock and sole remaining mom are on craigs list right now. If you have a guest room or a large back yard…

Not much cuter than a calf.

The cut flowers are at their peak right now – well, except the Stock which has been through one cycle and may not come back around again. The snap dragons and zinnia are spectacular:

Snapdragons, Zinnia, Statice and empty Stock.

Somehow the delivery for Wednesday became 50% greater that Friday, so the Flower Farmer is really busy making arraignments for your boxes on Wednesday.

There are lots of other pictures that could be here – the Basil is amazing, the Arugula is cranking out greens, new red Chard is big enough to start adding to the white chard, curly mustard, bulb onions, lettuces… and lots of beets.

Young beets – notice the companion planting of clover hiding out

Anyhow – here’s the official list:

Lettuce Cegolaine is almost gone, you will probably get green mini romaine or Red Iceberg. Next planting is hustling along.
Brassicas Cabbage is pretty chewed up by crawly ugly things, so… new planting is thinking about doing something. See ‘what’s next’ below.
Roots Radishes: done for now.  White Turnips (1-2″) with greens, Red and White baby beets with greens (except for the member who only wants the greens…)
Greens Curly Mustard, Chard – White is larger than red
Arugula – yep. Nice size for salads – trying not to give out too leggy of a plant. A big handfull.
Herbs Mint, Oregano is back this week, Chives although they are thin plants, (Cilantro – not till it cools off), Parsley, Basil, Celery leaves. Garlic – one
Misc  Potatoes – Assortment – smaller Nokatah Russet, Huckleberry, Cal White.
Bigger bulb onion and a few green onions.
Flower of the week: Cut Flowers.
And Tomatoes Cherries and Slicers. Tomatoes. Ask if you want Roma style Cooking tomatoes.

Coming Soon: Summer Squash, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage. Eggplant: multiple plants have 3″ fruit, maybe next week. Early apples next week maybe. Possibly. Grapes are bigger than last week, but that ain’t sayin much. Blackberries are full of verrrrry green fruit. Maybe a few next week.

Say, want to buy a bale or a ton of Hay? Just asking.

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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