Turkey Hill Newsletter – 2009-5


Turkey Hill CSA Newsletter – Week 5

Notes From the Farm

Artichokes – I usually don’t mention the artichokes. Although we grow them every year, its a rare year that we have enough of a crop to offer artichokes for sale or for the csa. This year may be one of the years we do have a good crop. If we have them, artichokes will show up in the late season boxes – september.

Basil – We have a beautiful basil crop that will be ready to start picking in just a few weeks. We’ll pick some early leaves in the next week or two, then have basil for the rest of the season.

Beans – We grow green, purple and yellow beans. Only one big planting this year, but beans should last a few weeks once we start harvesting them in 3-5 weeks.

Beets – The beets are coming on strong and we will continue to harvest them for several more weeks. If you want to can some beets, now is a great time to order – we can provide medium or large sized, topped beets by the pound, the cylindrical beets are bred to fill your jars!

Broccoli – The broccoli crop looks great. Still no buds, so harvest is at least four weeks off, but we should have a good succession varieties we will be harvesting through the fall.

Cabbage – We’ll have mini-sized cabbages in 4-5 weeks, then start harvest on the larger red & green cabbages in September. I haven’t found any napa cabbage in the field, these may have been a casualty of early pest damage.

Carrots – we have a few more weeks of the early carrots, then a large and long main season crop that will start a few weeks later.

Cilantro – almost done for the season, we may have this again in the fall

Collards – this or next week

Chard – The rainbow chard is coming on strong and we’ll have it through the summer.

Cauliflower – a good looking crop, should be ready in 5-6 weeks.

Chives – I didn’t forget about the chives – we’ll have these in the next week or two.

Corn – Our ‘Delectable’ sweet corn always comes in late, but we will try to purchase some Organic Olathe Sweet corn for the boxes when this becomes available in August.

Cucumbers – we have a great stand of cucumbers that are just starting to take off with the warmer weather. The 1st planting was slow to emerge, but the later planting tooks great and  we will have more cucumbers than we know what to do with when harvest peaks in september. We should have enough cucmbers for the boxes by mid august – 5 or 6 more weeks.

Dill – dinally enough dill (weed) to give everyone some this week; we have dill seed later – the seed heads are great for canning!

Eggplant – growing beautifully in the field hoop house, we should have eggplants by late August.

Fennel, bulb – coming in the next few weeks, a delicious, crunchy & unusual vegetable

Flowers – we will have flower bouquets as well as gladioli by the stem available soon. please email if you are interested in flowers.

Herbs – thyme, savory, parsley  & others – coming later in the summer

Hot peppers – we are starting to pick little hot perppers from the hoop house and hope to have some for the boxes in a few weeks.

Kale – all season long!

Kohlrabi – this week

Leeks – a nice planting for fall, end of september.

Lettuce – I know you all have been getting plenty of lettuce, and we will have more for the next 3-4 weeks – and thats all we will have this season for head lettuce.

Melons – melons are a marginal and tempermental crop in the North Fork, and this spring’s cool wet weather didn’t help at all. There is still a chance that the field melons will recover, but I wouldn;t coun’t on a big melon harvest. We do have a few melon plans in the hoop house that look fantastic, so we will have melon at the farm harvest & feast day, coming up august 24th, details below.

Onions – the summer and fall crops are in the ground, not huge, but plenty to add onions to the boxes every week or two starting in 5 or 6 weeks.

Pepers – the peppers in the hoop house look great. the field crop is crowing very slowly, despite being covered with remay for added warmth. we need some warm weather to bring on the peppers, so expect these late this year.

Potatoes – We have a fantastic potato planting this year. It went in early and has been weeded and hilled twice already. We sampled some of the rows last week and the potatoes were fantastic – creamy and delicious, plus already pretty large. We will start picking new potatoes in around 3-4 weeks, and have them on and off through the fall. The big harvest comes at the end, expect lots of potatoes for the last few weeks this year.

Salad Mix – we’ll have this all seasomn with a week or two off here and there. Salad is the one thing I am still planting in the field!

Scallions – a nice but smallish planting, we should have scallions in 3 or 4 weeks, they will last just a week or two.

Spinach – the final bed of spinach is still small, it doesn;t like the heat – so depending on the heat we’ll either have no more spinach or a couple more weeks.

Squash, Summer – we have some in the hoop house that will start producing in a few weeks, but the main season crop will be later. the first planting was slow to emerge from the cold wet soil, be plenty of the plants look great now. the squash bugs are out in force this year, so we’ll have to fight those off to get a strong crop.

Squash, Winter & pumpkins – these were also slow getting started and had to fight the weeds. Still, we have a great looking planting covering two acres, so I expect a good crop of winter squash this fall. We usually start picking the early squash – delecata types & acorns – by mid september. The rest will come during the last two weeks – early October.

Tomatoes – The cool weather hasn’t been great for tomatoes – the field planting is in stasis, but the ones we planted in our hoop house look fantastic. We expect to have some tomatoes for the boxes in about 4 weeks. we’ll also try to add more tomatoes than we have by buying some from other local organic growers – if we can find them!



More Notes:


We welcome to the farm this week our past intern, french agricultural student Valentin and his girlfriend lizzie who arrive this week to work on the farm for the next two months. We are planning a special day-long farming/learning/eating event with Valentin on Sat. Aug. 22nd. – mark your calendars! You won’t want to miss this day long series of events, harvesting and preparing delicious, fresh, french food from the field. Its a great opportunity to come down to visit the farm, and savor some of the delicious food as local as it gets. The day will include farm tours, harvesting & processing classes as well as french cooking classes and delicious meals (we’ll cook and then eat brunch and later dinner) – come to all or part of the event. CSA members get a discounted price for any of the paid events (the tours are free) mark your calendar now – August 22nd – I’ll forward more details about the event as we finalize them!

A word on the gap between spring and summer crops

As you can tell from the list above, we have PLENTY of produce coming in this season, but we are experiencing an extended lull this season i feel compelled to explain. our early plantings were earlier than ever – almost a month before we usually get seeds in the ground, and the early carrots and beets were weeks ahead of the usual timing. at the same time, our main season direct seeded crops – summer crops like corn, summer & winter squash, cucumbers and others – were very slow to grow in the coolest, wettest may & june in a long, long time. this means we have to wait a bit longer than usual between the early and main season crops. 


Questions and Answers

Q: Why is my Basil/Squash/Garlic Etc… Dirty?
A: Certain crops don’t get washed here: basil blackens when wet, squash bruises & nicks very easily, and other crops like onions and garlic are dry brushed, but never washed in water – this tends to reduce their storability. Everything else gets a rinse, or double or triple rinse in filtered city water – but we still suggest a final rinse to remove any dirt we miss!
Please send me your questions, let me know what you want to know!
Send me your questions! Need a recipe? We have a recipe page on the website, or try  allrecipes.com. Want to know when a certain vegetable is coming in? confused about something in your box? email me! 

This Week’s Box

New: Peas – we had a tiny bit last week, a bit more are coming in now and lots more next week – rotating types –  shelling (you shell them), snow (the flat curved type, perfect for stir fry) & sugar snaps – the fat short ones – eat these whole, delicious raw.
New: Kohlrabi – here is a recipe sheet if you want to know what to do with this!
Carrots – lots of the red type this week, more to come; the fall crop is also looking great!
Beets – more varieties – cylindrical beets next week – getting sick of the beets already? can a jar or three, you’ll thank yourself this winter! also, if you remove the tops from the beets, they will store for many weeks in a bag in the produce bin in your fridge
Chard or kale – bunched – always plenty of greens, look for extras this week, take as much as you want from the ‘extras’.
Head Lettuce – green romaine, red romaine, more types coming

Salad Mix – we’ll try to have this mix every week

Garlic – still drying! We picked ALL the garlic this week & will have fully cured, dried garlic in a few weeks. i’m going to give you a little bit of this not quite dry garlic so you have something to cook with until the garlic is really ready.
Herbs – lots of herbs this week – Dill bunches and a bit of basil & chives for some boxes (everyone will get some soon)

cherries ‘Summerset Bing’ (red) and ‘Rainier’ (yellow) cherries from First Fruits, Paonia CO

just one more week of cherries, then a short gap before peach season begins!

Coming Soon (1-3 weeks)

head lettuce, more varieties
rainbow swiss chard, bunched
peas – sugar snaps, shelling

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