Turkey Hill CSA Newsletter – 2008, Week 9

On the farm

Fall has arrived on the farm early this year. The mornings are cool, even cold, but it heats up quickly. The crops are ripening at a steady pace and i’ve begun my cleanup rounds, tilling or mowing down old beds that are weedy and threaten to spread weed seeds that will cost us next year (and for years beyond).

A few weeks ago I took a little photo shoot walk and took some shots of the maturing field from the ditch – follow this link to view the slide show, complete with captions.

Our intern Valentin is gone, returned to his family in France. A couple more weeks of summer and he is back to school. We already miss him and send him fond wishes, someday Valentin plans to run a CSA (and more) in France.

The canal is off again! We got a good week of watering in and mostly refilled the pond, but a leak below the recent break site forced the ditch company to shut the ditch off again. This canal irrigates 40,000 acres in the North Fork Valley, so a lot of farmers are upset by the outages. I feel fortunate we have the pond and can still irrigate enough to keep the crops from stressing from the lack of water. more info at www.firemountaincanal.com.

Don’t miss your chance to visit the farmthe fields are at perhaps their peask of beaty. If you are a farm pickup shareholder, take the time to go for a walk – straight out to the fields, just keep walking and walking until to the potatoes or get tired. If you are a Crested Butte pickup shareholder, please plan a trip over in the next few weeks to visit the farm. Once we get our first fall freeze there is a lot less to see. If you haven’t made it over by the end of September, consider coming for the super fun Mountain Harvest Festival – Sept. 26,27,28 – this weekend long event in Paonia (just 10 miles from us) is a blast: check out the details of this year’s event: mountainharvestfestival.com. Please call to let us know you are coming and we will plan to give you a tour.

With the coming of week 9 we are more than half way thru the summer harvest season (8 more weeks if we go to the usual 17). Please email me with your comments: how is it going? are you sick of chard or beans? are you dying for a melon or tomato (notes below)? let me know!

The lost vegetables: One more word on what is still to come: The tomatoes are still struggling along, with some fruit set, but not much ripening. If we have a late season, some should ripen, but an early freeze would erase the crop. We are planning to cover these and a few other crops with row cover which affords them a few degrees of protection, and helps keep them warmer for fruit ripening. Peppers and eggplant are similarly just beginning to set fruit, so the harvest depends on the weather at this point. I do hope to purchase some tomatoes and peppers from other local organic/natural growers for the boxes. Please visit your local farm stand or market to fill your tomatoe cravings!

The sweet corn looks fantastic: the early variety should begin to ripen next week – look for an abundance of corn for the next few weeks as we harvest the different varieties. The onions are finally sizing up – look for some nice yellow onions for the next few weeks (sweet walla wallas), then white and red onions for the last month of the CSA season. Some recent scouting in the onion beds revealed a nice stand of shallots that will be ready in another month, and more leeks that will be ready at the end of the year.

The potatoes have been quitly growing away in the furthest field… They are so far away that I almost never get out to visit them, but they are looking good. I plan to start digging up the first bed to give you a new potatoe sampling within the next week or two. The real potatoe harvest is still a few weeks off.

The melons actually look great, but will never make it to ripening without a long fall – which is still possible. even if i cover the plants with row cover they will stop crowing if the weather turns cold. Watch this space for updates.

The winter squash and pumpkins look great and are finally setting fruit. These are still a month off and will round out the final boxes. The cauliflower is looking great, but just starting to be ready.

Did I miss anything? Is there something you wamnt to have that we haven’t included?

Don’t forget flowers! beautiful glads and sunflowers still available, a real deal at 6 for $10. call or email your order.

Important Crested Butte pickup note:
Certain items may begin to appear outside your box – this week the summer squash and cucumbers will be outside the box for example- one reason is that we pack the boxes friday, but pick more squash saturday, another is the boxes are crammed and some items won’t fit, a final reason is that some items don’t like being stored in our coolers inside the box – they prefer a warmer storage temperature!

Look for the ALL SHAREHOLDERS box(es): When you pick up, look for a box or boxes labeled ‘ALL SHAREHOLDERS’ -then take what the label says: for example it might read Cucumers, Half – 1, Full – 2. This means half shares take 1 cucumber, full shares take 2.

This week’s box (probable box)

Salad Mix – the new bed is coming in, salad continues!
Broccoli – tons coming in now, lots for full shares
Chard or Kale – now in the extras area
Summer Squash & Patty pan
Cucumbers – really coming in now
Garlic – keep saving this up!

Fruit Share
We are excied to finally get some great PAONIA peaches from First Fruits, check these out. Also this week, the first of the nectarines which should last around two weeks. Apples, plums & pears soon.

Coming Soon
I think I covered everything above. As we head into fall, the rest of the crops you haven’t had yet will be coming in. Stock up by ordering case quantities and spending a little time in the kitchen. Freezing or canning some of the summers bounty is a great way to extend the season!

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