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Week 10, 2010

August 20, 2010

  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Cabbage or kohlrabi
  • Cucumbers
  • Hot pepper
  • Parsley
  • Potatoes, Red Norland
  • Sweet onion
  • Sweet pepper
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes

 As annoying as the above-average rainfall has been this growing season, the massive flooding and desolation of Pakistan keep it all in perspective. As a result of last week’s rainstorm, we lost perhaps a sixth of our remaining carrots, half of our red onions, several sweet onions, and likely some parsnips. As a farmer, complaining about the rain is about all that I have to sustain me in conversations with others. But what are these losses, really, compared to what is happening in Pakistan? I can’t even imagine what they are dealing with there. I can picture standing water in my field, but not whole farms under water. I gripe about water in the basement, but 20 million Pakistanis have to leave their homes completely. The scale of this disaster is simply beyond anything I can comprehend.

I have a tendency to look for excuses when things don’t go well, and farming provides many opportunities for this. Rabbits, pests, bad soil, shady trees, raccoons, mice, and weeds can take a lot of blame. The weather can be blamed for everything else. But the disaster in Pakistan is a reminder for me that losing a few carrots or onions is of absolutely no concern in comparison with the things that truly matter.

For those of you keeping track at home, we have now given out six varieties of early potatoes. We will revisit a couple of them over the next two weeks, take a week off of potatoes to let you use up what you have, and then sample our three varieties of late spuds.

We finally have hot peppers ripening on the vine, and we’ve included one this week. Be careful—these are all on the hotter end of the spectrum. They are without exception smaller than the sweet bell peppers, which helps make it easier to tell them apart. Also, we do have one bizarre looking tomato that looks much like a pepper (tomatoes and peppers are very closely related). This is the “Federle” variety and has a notably pointy tip. Tomato production continues to climb, with this week’s harvest about eight times heavier than last week. For purposes of recipes, half shares receive about 1 ½ lb. of tomatoes this week, with 3 lb. for full shares.

One of our cucumber varieties this year is called “Lemon,” and is remarkable for looking not very much like other cucumbers. It is yellow and about the size of a racquetball. If you choose to use it as a racquetball, please send me the pictures and clean up the court after yourselves. I can’t bear to see another racquetball player seriously injured by slipping on cucumber residue. It can happen to you.

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