CSA Week 19

This Week’s Harvest

Apple Share

  • Gold Rush
  • Jonathon

Farm News

For the next few weeks, when we aren’t harvesting and washing for CSA and market, we will be harvesting our sweet potatoes. After a disappointing crop last year, we really babied them this year. Last year we had too many beds to manage so we only hand weeded a third of the planting. It also got so dry in September and we weren’t able to water them all. When it came time to dig them, we couldn’t get the tractor implement deep enough and ended up cutting half of the tubers. So we didn’t want a repeat of last year and so far our efforts are paying off! We have only dug 2 and 1/2 beds which have yielded about 5,000 lbs. Last year 2 and 1/2 beds would have gotten us 2,000 lbs.

Wow! How’d we swing that you may be wondering? We decided to plant less- only 10 beds vs 20 something last year- so we could manage them better. We set up a permanent irrigation system so we could easily water whenever we wanted, and we had time to hand weed all but the very last 1/3 of a bed, so the weed pressure was not an issue. Also they are in a very nice field as far as our soils go.

The day before we planted the kids helped set up the irrigation line while Ben preps the beds.
The slips we plant start off as a single stem with a leaf or two.
This plant is only 1 week in the ground, so they really took off from the start, thanks in part to the irrigation
Ben mechanically cultivates the sweet potatoes. He was able to make several passes before the plants spread out too much. After which the crew went through for a final hand weeding session.
Nate spent a day weed proofing the irrigation line beds. In this picture you can see the grass weeds starting to take over in the sprinkler row. He removed the sprinklers, tilled the weeds in with the walk behind tractor, laid down landscape fabric, and reinstalled the hose and sprinklers. This eliminated the issue of weeds in our permanent irrigation beds.
Sweet potato success! The vines have taken over the entire field
Actually there are so many vines, they are getting in the way of the harvest. Ben rigged up some coulter discs that are attached to the undercutter bar that cut the vines. We have then found it necessary to pull the vines out of the way before the potato digger comes through.
first bin full of about 800 pounds of potatoes

The yields are great, but it means it takes a awhile to make it through a bed. We are hoping we don’t get hit with too much rain the next few weeks so that we can get our remaining beds out before frost. It will be a week or so before you see any sweet potatoes in the CSA box. They have to cure in our barn to set their skins and sweeten up! It is worth the wait!

Recipes

Egg Drop Soup with Bok Choy

Pico de Gallo with Cabbage (use the napa cabbage)

Warm Beet and Farro Salad (I would add a roasted kohlrabi or 2 along with the beets!)

Coming Up Next Week (our best guess….) tomatoes, cilantro, red onions, broccoli, cauliflower, haukeri salad turnips, radishes, napa cabbage, potatoes and more!

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