CSA Week 11

This Week’s Harvest

Tomatoes
Sungold cherry tomatoes
Okra ( pick up sites that have not received it yet)
Candy onions
Leeks
Potatoes
Garlic
Golden and red beets
Salad mix
Green leaf lettuce
Summer squash and/or zucchini
Bell peppers ( the peppers are just starting to turn red. if you leave them out on the counter they should continue to ripen, but use them if you see them getting soft)
Jalapeño peppers

Fruit share:
Early Gold apples from Downing Fruit Farm ( tart, crisp apple good for fresh eating or cooking)
Red Raspberries from Berryhill Farm

The potato harvest will be wrapped up this week- we are just about half way through the field. Potatoes have gone out to the CSA a few times already, we have 600 lbs in the cooler, and 3 more beds left to dig.

Potatoes are one of the first things that get planted in the spring. Once upon a time we would crawl around on our hands and knees with a trowel. We’d bury the seed potatoes into the bed one by one. It took days. Little by little we’ve modified the way we plant to have the process go faster and smoother and this year I think we nailed it! We had 2 people sitting on our Mechanical transplanter. Their job was to send the seed potato down a metal shoot that dug a furrow in the bed and placed the potato right in. A tool on the tractor then covered up the furrow with dirt. You can watch the video below and see the little spuds slide down the shoot into their summer home.

Since the potatoes were planted mechanically, the rows were completely straight– meaning that Ben could weed them with the cultivating tractor with ease. Ben could also hill them (throw dirt up over the plant to further bury the growing tubers below) with the tractor using disks. At the same time as hilling and weeding, Ben dropped organic fertilizer with a spreader. Any crop that requires just one person to take care of makes us super happy!

Potatoes in their flowering glory
Potatoes in their flowering glory

After planting, the only time we need additional labor with the potatoes is the harvest. Ben runs down the bed with a chisel plow and (remember those oh so important straight rows?) is able to lift the potatoes right to the surface. The crew follows behind and places the potatoes into harvest bags.

2 beds dug and stored away (in sacks, of course), 3 more beds left to dig
2 beds dug and stored away (in sacks, of course), 3 more beds left to dig

Once all harvested, we are back to minimal labor. They store for months so we can keep them in our cooler, and just pull and wash as needed for market or CSA. Because yields were good this year and we have figured out an efficient management system of the crop, potatoes are looking like a good candidate for increased production in future years!! Plus they taste great and it’s fun to grow all the different varieties out there– all of which will make their way into future CSA boxes. (By the way– there is no need to peel our potatoes. The skin is tender and tasty)

Recipes

Onion strings (We made these for the first time this weekend and immediately I wondered how we could have raised sweet onions for years without this recipe in our lives. Amazing, worth the indulgence, and a new Saturday tradition for us!)

Potato Leek Soup

Vegetable chili

Aloo Bhindi

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