Turkey Hill CSA Newsletter – Week 3
From the Farm
Its transition time (again!) at the farm – the last of the weeding is nearly done – thank goodness! (we still have to do a few more weeding passes, but only on crops that are in the ground for a long time or are sensitive to weeds. Also, the planting is done (except for a few more plantings of salad mix over the next few weeks), and the irrigation system is set out and working reliably (with a little effort required to move the water around and keep things wet in the incredible heat of summer). The main work on the farm has become HARVEST. I promise to get some current pictures on the website soon, but I can tell you the fields are looking great! Everything is sizing up nicely, and we’re slowly catching up to the regular season timing.
We’ve had a few pests worth mentioning this summer: first the rabbits, who last week decided to eat all the shelling peas. they neatly removed the peas from the shells leaving the plants bare! The left us a few snow peas and sugar snaps, but ate nearly all the shelling peas! We fought back last weekend by covering the entire pea bed with a sheet of ‘floating row cover’ – a thin, breathable fabric that will keep the rabbits off while the shelling peas recover. We also have another, even larger, second planting of peas that the rabbits don’t know about, so we still plan to have lots of peas. This week, only the full shares are getting peas, and only a small amount.
Another pest that we have every summer is the flea beetle. This tiny, shiny black bug hops like a flea when you get near it. Some growers use this trait to trap these pests on a sticky trap moved over the crop beds. The flea beetles love to eat soft leafed brassicas – mustards, chois, arugula and the like. For this reason we always cover the ‘spicy’ portion of our salad mix with the same floating row cover that is keeping the rabbits out of the peas. the wave is fine enough to keep the flea beetles off the spicy mix. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to cover our bak choi crop and for this reason you can expect to see some holes in the leaves of the bok chois in your box this week. If the holes are bad, just cut the green leaf part off and use the stems of the chois which are crunchy, watery and sweet.
The garlic is finally ready – a few weeks later than usual like everything else this year. We pulled a few this week for the boxes, and will harvest the main crop next week. After we get the garlic washed, we set it in the greenhouse to dry, which takes a few weeks.So you can expect some more fresh garlic for now, and the dried, cured garlic you are used to in around three or four weeks. The onions look beautiful, but are still very small – i try to hold off on harvesting these until they have a chance to size up – probably anopther 4-5 weeks. We also have leeks that look nice, chives that are slowly coming in, scallions that are nearly ready and seed grown shallots that are great for storage and come in at the end of the year.
The spinach in this week’s share was harvested with some effort from the weeds. The spinach never got weeded because it never really came up very well (both plantings – something was either wrong with the seed or more likely my seeder setting) and it didn’t seem worth weeding. Still, some spinach managed to out compete the weeds, and we managed to harvest enough of that for the box this week. Because spinach is a cool weather crop, the only spinach you will see for the rest of the summer is the baby spinach leaves that are often in the salad mix.
Questions and Answers
Q: My box is stuffed!
A: Last week’s full boxes were crammed, sorry. We are ordering larger boxes and trying to source good, reusable plastic totes for the CSA. For now, full shares will get TWO BOXES – please get both your boxes at the pickup if you are in Crested Butte and have a full share.
Q: I didn’t get fruit!
A: (Crested Butte) Sometimes the fruit won’t fit in your share box(es), instead its bagged and in a box that reads ‘Fruit share, take 1 bag’ – don’t forget to grab your fruit. If someone else picks up your share, remind them to get the fruit if you have a fruit share (or not to if you don’t). At the farm, fruit is usually in the main cooler with the veggies.
Q: Can my friend still sign up?
A: Yes, we are still open to new members for the summer, fees are slightly reduced based on the late start, call the farm for details: 970-872-4413.
Send me your questions! Need a recipe? We have a recipe page on the website. Want to know when a certain vegetable is coming in? confused about something in your box? email me!
This Week’s Box
Chard or Kale – still bagged, bunched next week
Chois – green or purple bok chois (sorry about the holes, try the stems!)
Beets – sweet and delicious boiled, three types are coming in – chioggia striped, red
Spinach – spinach had a hard time this year, enjoy this while we have it.
Head Lettuce – this is the peak season for head lettuce – green & red romaines, green butters starting, red frilly types make a beautiful garnish. Full shares get three heads.
Salad Mix – i keep planting these greens nearly every week, and we water them every day to try to keep them tender. watch for a changing mix of lettuce types.
Garlic – a couple more heads, more next week.
Dill – fine leafed for now, dill seed later in the season
Thyme & Oregano – a bit that overwintered, this year’s crop was frozen before we could plant it
Extra heads lettuce (2)
Peas (not enough for the half shares, everyone will get some next week)
extra chard or kale
NEW: Yellow Reinier Bing Cherries & Bing Cherries from First Fruits of Paonia (transitional organic this week) – YUM – enjoy these delicious fruits
more head lettuce varieties
bunched chard, kale -three types
Coming Soon (1-3 weeks)
Beans – Green, Yellow & Purple
3 or more Weeks
Cabbage – Red, Green & Savoy
Flowers – Gladioli, Zinnias, Snapdragons, Bouquets – i’ll have these for special order (CB) and for sale at the farm