2010 CSA Newsletter, Week 3 – July has come!

On The Farm

Recently weeded lettuce, chard, kale and broccoli. Click to enlarge.

So much happens all at once in June, that once July arrives everything at the farm is going full tilt. I’ve got a few more plantings of salad and fall crops, but for the most part we are done planting for the year. Weeding still needs attention for a few more weeks, but the initial push is over and nearly everything looks great! Mostly its just harvest time!

Someone is eating the Shelling Peas!

A sad sight awaited me when we went to harvest the shelling peas this week – for the entire length of the row (250′) on both shelling pea varieties, the peas had been eaten out of the pods! At first I blamed the rabbits, which love to much on lettuce, carrots and beets in the garden, but when I came down to chase the rabbits away that evening I discovered it was birds! A small group of Robins (?) were making their way down the row, eating all the peas!

Whats a farmer to do? I think not much! Partially its too late to do much – with the peas removed and the pods still on the plants, the plants will mostly just stop producing. we may try picking off these pods and possibly covering the row with a row cover, but I’m worried that doing that will just push the birds to the next row, the snow & sugar snap peas which they have so far left un-touched. So, I may just have to let the birds have these first rows of peas, while we focus of the much larger patch of shelling peas that are about to come in the main field (shhh… don’t tell the birds). This type of damage is to be expected in our fields, and those of you who have visited know that the farm is teeming with wildlife – turkeys, rabbits, snakes, frogs, insects, foxes and an occasional mountain lion or bear, to say nothing of the hundreds of deer and elk that move through in the winter. If we lose just a few peas, we are lucky!

Holes in the leaves!

Some of you may notice the bok choi leaves this week have tiny holes in them. This is caused by an early season pest – the flea beetle. I do my best to keep them off the soft crops they love, but some usually manage to do some damage anyway. You will see some similar holes in the salad mix spicy components like arugula and red kale, and in soft leafy crops like napa cabbage – the damage will go away later in the season. Son’t worry about these holes! Just rinse the leaves thoroughly, chop & cook – the holes disappear with cooking!

In The Box

NEW: Garlic – early purple – very spicy, still curing Half 1/4lb. Full 1/2 lb.
NEW: Bok Choi – tender, crunchy stems, mustardy leaves – yum! this is the ONLY time we will have bok choi this summer, enjoy! everyone gets a bundle.
Chard – still picking baby leaves – demand is high so the leaves haven’t had a chance to get to bunching size.
Kale – more baby leaves.
Spinach – new crop baby leaves
note: halfs get 1 bag spinach, kale or chard; fulls get 2 bags
Lettuce – more green romaine, plus red crisp, red butter, green butter, and some showey leaf lettuces like red speckled romaine – halfs 1 head, fulls 2 heads
Peas – snow & sugar snap – 1 bag
Salad – 1 bag
NEW: Parsley – 1 bunch
Radishes – 1 bunch
Beets – continuing to size up – i hope you LOVE beets because we will have them for several more weeks, we haven’t even finished harvesting the 1st bed ad several more beds await picking – half 1 bunch, full 2 bunches

Fruit:

First cherries of the season, certified organic from Domingez Canyon half 2.4 lb, full 4.8 lb. Paonia cherries soon.

Coming Soon:

Squash, cucumbers, beans, carrots, shelling peas, broccoli, napa cabbage & more….

The Box Value

Farm Prices: Spinach #3.50, Salad $3.50, Radishes $1.25, Beets $3, Parsley $1.5, Peas $4, Chard/Kale $3.50, Lettuce $2.25, Garlic $10/lb., Bok Choi, $3. Half Box Value: $24.50, Full Box Value: $37.25!

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