Thursday, September 3, 2009

Summer CSA - Week 14

Well, well, well - What month is this? My gut was telling me prepare for fall and this time my gut level was right on target. A low of 45 last night and again tonight. Tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe do not ripen very fast in this. But, other crops are prospering. Such is the way of farming. My greatest concern right now is the sweet potatoes. They should not be in the field if temps go below 50 degrees. I know they are not ready yet, but they may have been damaged by staying out. Perhaps it is not the year of the sweet potato.

But, it has been the year of the pepper. Amazing crop of peppers!

We are now down to 12 sets of onion to harvest. I thought we were down to nine, but Jay pointed out that I missed three sets. I guess I can't count that high. I have a goal of getting out 5 sets this week. By George, we should get done before Halloween! On Saturday the guys finished weeding the peppers. How beautiful! I bet the peppers are dancing because they can actually feel the sun and the wind at long last. I know I am, even if they aren't. Now we need to tackle the new crops of carrot and beet. With farming, it is like dishes - you get 'em all done and it is time to start all over again. Actually, weed germination is a sore topoic with me. It is very labor intensive, and therefore costly, but it is mostly what excessive use of agricultural chemicals on a wide spread basis has done to change weeds that rankles me.

Heavy historical use of herbicides has caused weeds to adapt to survive. Years ago, weeds germinated until mid July and then it was smooth sailing the remainder of the year. Now, in order to reproduce the seeds will continue to germinate into October. Often I see weeds setting seed at an inch height in the fall. Built into a plant's chemistry is the need to reproduce - hence the fruits we harvest. But, when early weeds are routinely killed early in the season, new crops come in so they can accomplish their purposes - setting seed. Scientists warned against this, but farmers with no knowledge base, continued to spray and spray some more. Now, we organic and sustainable folks fight weed issues we should never had had to face. The same is true with insects. Heavy and inappropriate use of insecticides has caused an adaptation in the insect population to wherrre many insects are resistant to previous chemicals. The chemical companies continue to make bigger and "badder" guns with which to kill the insects. Hence, why on many insects here at the farm all we do is hand pluck them to control the population of pest insects, while maintaining the beneficials. How wonderful all of you support farms like mine who work within the confines of nature. Thank you. You all make what we do whorth the effort.

Your box
Peppers - miscellaneous sweet
Peppers - Hot banana - try pickling or freezing hot peppers for winter use
Peppers - Jalapenos - same as above or try one with your spaghetti squash
Watermelon - personal size, variety of types - you may get a yellow fleshed
Eggplant, Japanese - tender and non-bitter
Red leaf lettuce - small but flavorful
Tomatoes - basket of cherries and a larger tomato - We are slowly getting tomatoes, but many are split and thus I have to discard them.

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