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Week 9 Newsletter

August 19, 2011

In Your Box:

  • Beans
  • Carrots
  • Collard Greens
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Dill
  • Head lettuce, Romaine
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet onion
  • Tomatoes

Once again, we have been beyond thankful for this beautiful weather we’ve had lately.  Following all of the heat and humidity we endured in July, we’ve truly appreciated the moderate temperatures, low dew points, and bearable humidity that we’ve enjoyed the last couple of weeks.  We have also had consistent rainfall without any flooding, which has saved us the hassle and time cost of irrigating, with just a couple exceptions, all of the way back to early June.

One result of the extended heat in July was a reduction in pollinated fruits and legumes.  Because it was so hot and humid–even at night–many of our crops went into survival mode and abandoned their fruiting flowers.  As such, we haven’t had the beans, zucchini, and tomatoes that we usually have at this time of the year.  Because the temperature has moderated and been so comfortable at night, these plants have recovered and are now beginning to thrive.  As such, we should see more of these favorites.

We finally have enough beans for everyone this week.  We have added a fourth variety/color this year, adding the purplish “Royal Burgundy” to our standard green, yellow, and purple/white “Dragon’s Tongue” varieties.  The Dragon’s Tongue are most people’s favorite, although they lose their distinctive coloring after they are cooked.  Beans will continue producing until the first frost, but usually peak in production around Labor Day.  Keep beans in the fridge for up to a week or two.

Tomatoes have rapidly increased production within the past couple weeks, with many more to come.  Nearly all of our tomato varieties are heirloom cultivars, treasured for actually tasting like a tomato rather than dissolving into a red, watery paste after being shipped all the way across the country.  We harvest all of our tomatoes ripe on the vine, sometimes with just a little green left so that you can space out your consumption at home.  While the bulk of ours are red, we do also offer some delicious orange and yellow varieties.  These have much less acidity than the standard reds, which make them more palatable to anyone less than enthused with tomatoes.  While tomatoes are sometimes kept in the fridge, they are much happier at room temperature and would do best on the kitchen counter. 

So far it looks like our tomato harvest will surpass last year, but still fall short of what we brought in per plant in 2009. If we do end up with a bounty, we plan to offer 10 lb. boxes for sale for canning or freezing.

Collard Greens grace our box this week for the first time.  A very close relative of kale, collards are used in the exact same way as their cousins and contain all of the same health benefits.  Compared to kale, collards have a heavier, smokier taste.

Bad news on the sweet corn, unfortunately.  While we planted enough for four weeks of delivery, we have been done in by a new pest that hasn’t bothered us before.  Small black beetles have been boring into dozens of ears, eating out just enough kernels to make the ears unsightly and not desirable.  Just when I was praising Henry for keeping out the raccoons that have bothered us in the past, we meet with a brand new enemy.  Because of our losses, this looks to be the last week of delicious sweet corn.  I’ll look into organic controls for this beetle, but with my luck it will move on next year and be replaced with a brand new pest…

Special thanks to Heather Copps and family, of our Minnetonka site, for visiting the farm on August 17th.  In addition to completely exhausting Henry with non-stop petting and chasing, they were a great help in hanging up storage onions and taste-testing cherry tomatoes!

Mark your calendar: Our year-end Harvest Festival will be Saturday, September 24. Join us at the farm from 4:00pm until dark for farm tours, crafts, games, and a potluck dinner at 6:00pm. Jack-o-lanterns will also be available for pickup. The CSA will continue through mid-October, with an end date yet to be determined.

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