CSA Week 8

This Week’s Harvest

Red gold potatoes
Candy onions
Summer squash and zucchini
Green beans OR okra
Rainbow kale
Jalapeño peppers

Food notes
Our first green bean planting got stunted in a low lying wet section of the field so yields were really low, but we have more plantings on the way so the green bean amount in the boxes will increase. Okra is a veggie that we have to send out to individual pick up sites over the course of the season. Every pick up site will get it at least once this season. Field tomatoes are not quite ripening yet and this week’s harvest comes from the hoophouse. Tomato portions will be increasing soon!

Farm notes
While I am typing this post, the field crew is back at the farm transplanting our first fall brassica seeding. Brassicas are a major vegetable family including broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale among others. Brassicas like to mature in cooler weather, but we have to start thinking about them long in advance of the fall harvest. First we seeded a cover crop of buckwheat and hairy fetch in the field back in early June. Here you can see how tall the buckwheat got.

20140722-163814-59894519.jpgBuckwheat is a fast growing crop that helps with weed suppression and provides nutrients to the soil once it is mowed in and breaks down. Hairy fetch is a nitrogen fixing legume and brassicas love the extra nitrogen they provide. The wet weather we have had actually really help with our cover crop as we have no way to water it and have to leave it up to Mother Nature.
Then, a week or so before planting we have to mow the cover crop down– preferably before it has gone to seed! Ben had to fix our mower and got it done just in time to do just that!

Yesterday Ben chisel plowed the beds (which helps with soil compaction) and tilled the field. This picture was taken this morning and really shows the beds, nice and ready for planting.

Then we had to prep the plants. In the past we have covered our brassicas with row cover to protect against cabbage moths and flea beetles, but our hoops and row cover are still being used by the winter squash (to protect against cucumber nettles, squash vine borer and squash bugs!) We have heard from several vegetable farmers of an easier yet still effective way to combat pests so we are trying it this year. It is called Surround and is an organic control derived from kaolin clay. It coats the plants in a layer of film that insects find unsuitable for eating or laying eggs. Here is picture of the plants with Surround on them. They look to me like they have been to one of those “color runs” that Dayton just hosted.

Finally, the planting can begin! It took all day, but we got it done. While today was quite hot, a cold front coming through should provide for some nice cooler temps to get the planting good and established. IMG_1490
Meanwhile, on this week’s agenda is starting another round of fall brassicas in the greenhouse. So we will be doing this whole process again in about a month!

Bhindi masala (one of our employees suggests this recipe for yummy, not slimy okra!)

Sautéed summer squash with beans and leeks

Summer squash and potato gratin (feel free to use zucchini as well)

Potato salad ( any recipe will do– just include potatoes, celery, sweet onion and any dressing you choose!)

Jalapeño poppers