2010 CSA Newsletter, Week 6 – heat & rain!

On the Farm

Harvest season is in full force at the farm and everything is coming in! Some beds still need weeding, and I still have a couple more salad plantings to go, but really harvest has taken over our free time. We are starting to pick squash, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and more. Here is a slide show that tells the story in pictures:

[slidepress gallery=’harvest2010′]

All the Crops, A-Z

Here is a word on the status of each major crop (I may leave out a few), how does it look, when will we have it?
Basil –  a great crop, in the box every few weeks, special order for pesto soon
Beans, Green, Yellow, Purple  – great crop – huge , starts next week, lasts 3-4 weeks – consider canning!
Beets – plenty more to come, we will take a break for a few weeks soon, then have some more in the fall. consider canning!
Broccoli – just started, this will trickle on and off for the rest of the season
Cabbage, Napa, Red, Savoy, Green – a good crop, we should have some cabbage every few weeks, regular red and green cabbages start in 3 weeks.
Carrots – starts next week with baby carrots, then goes for a long time, usually 8 weeks, starting with bunched, then topped carrots. a good crop in the field, but the first planting failed so our first harvest is later than usual.
Cauliflower – a good crop of purple, white & orange cauliflower – an early planting was frozen so our first harvest is later than usual, but we will have plenty.
Celery – a small crop, we will have for 1-2 weeks in late september
Chard – early crop frozen, but we’ve made up for that with row grown bagged baby chard, we will have bunches starting next week and have nearly every week for the rest of the season
Chois – we had bok choi one week, that was it!
Collards – i think we have these in the field, but its possible they were lost in the early freeze
Corn, Field & Sweet – we will have our own corn at the very end of the season. i will buy organic olathe sweet corn for the csa boxes for 4-6 weeks once it starts in early august.
Cucumber – an unbelevievably large crop, prepare your cucumber salad recipes. a bit this week, lots starting in 2-3 weeks and lasting until the freeze. picklers available by pre-order @ $1.50/lb.
Eggplant – starts soon, a nice solid crop this year
Flowers – a good crop of gladioli, sunflowers, snapdragons and other flowers for sale
Garlic – a modest crop that will show up in your box all season long to keep you well supplied with garlic
Kale – bunches start soon, lasts a long time – into fall
Lettuce – head lettuce is now peaking, we will have it for just a few more weeks
Melons – a nice looking planting, but we often have poor ripening on this crop, so don’t expect it unless i say otherwise! lots in the ground, but may not ripen before it cools in the fall.
Onions – a HUGE crop, including MANY leeks, early, late etc. we will start with some leeks soon, then early onions, then onions in the box nearly every week until the end.
Onions, Bunching, Pearl we have one bed of these and should have bunches in 3-4 weeks (we already had one round)
Peas – nearly gone, these have lasted a long time; more shelling peas still coming in
Peppers, Hot & Sweet – starts soon, a nice looking crop
Potatoes –  a big crop that has been struggling in the weeds this year, we will start with new potatoes by mid-august, then pick the main crop at the very end of the season
Pumpkins – looks like we will have a good crop this year!
Salad Mix – plenty more to come, we are taking a 1-2 week break until the next patch is ready.
Spinach – its gone for the season (other than some appearing in the salad mix at a baby size.volvo for sal
Squash, Summer – lots of variety coming in starting next week, green, yellow, zucchini, crook neck, starburst, round, etc…
Squash, Winter – looks like a solid crop!
Tomatoes – growing very well, just waiting for them to start to ripen! a solid looking crop this year.

In The Box

Basil – Farm boxes get these this week, we didn’t get them in the cooler last week.

Beets – Lots more coming in, this is the last week of bunched beets, we will switch to topped beets next week, fulls 2 bunches

Broccoli – starting to come in this week, everybody gets a little bit, lots more to come

Chard – last week of bagged chard, fulls get 2 bags

Cilantro – still tender, this is the end for Cilantro!

Kale, fulls get 2 bags

Lettuce, head – no salad mix this week, but lots of yummy head lettuce – green & red butter, red romaine, green leaf & more

Garlic – almost fully cured now, this is our standard ‘early while’ soft-neck garlic

Cucumbers – Just starting, we will have TONS of cucumbers this year, pickling cukes available, please order ahead.

Summer Squash – Just starting, we have a nice looking crop and will have lots by next week.

Peas – shelling peas this week, one more week as we transition to BEANS!

Spinach – full shares got the last of what we picked last week – use 1st!

Fruit

Apricots – last of the season

Cherries, Rainier – just a bit, all I could get from Paonia

It was a bad cherry season, but I will make it up in Peaches – starting next week with Early Glohavens from the Palisaide Peach Company (Certified Organic)

The Box Value

Full Box – $53, Half Box $30

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!