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Week 15 Newsletter

October 1, 2011

 

In your box:

 

  • Arugula
  • Cabbage or broccoli or cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Celery or kohlrabi
  • Garlic
  • Hot pepper
  • Onion
  • Spinach or head lettuce
  • Turnip

 

 We wanted to begin today by expressing our gratitude for everyone who was able to make it out to our fall festival last weekend! On a perfect fall day, we had over 60 people out to visit for a great time on the farm. On a lighter note, we broke our previous record for three visits by the police with a whopping five this year. Some year we might be able to get through a whole festival without the cops showing up or someone dressed as an eggplant while dancing in the street, but 2011 was clearly not the year for that…. Thanks so much to everyone who came for making it such a wonderful evening!

 

As we flip the calendar over to October, it’s certainly starting to feel like fall. At least, on most days. Just this week, we went from sweating in 80 degree heat to shivering in winter hats and 2 layers of sweatshirts in just one day! While it looks like we might continue to alternate hot and cold spells over the next couple weeks, we are already noticing how short the days are becoming. We are also especially noticing how cold our wash water is in the morning on harvest days when we wash and prepare your weekly produce. We have an eggplant set out on the sink, and our rule is that you have to take a break when your hands are more purple than the eggplant.

 

Our most extraordinary weather feature of late has been a very prolonged drought. We have not had more than 1/10″ of rain in one day in nearly two whole months! Our total rainfall in that time is less than half an inch, while we could really use at least 1/2″ of rain per week this time of year. Right now, we need rain to keep our salad greens growing and to establish the cover crop seeds we plant to overwinter. Having a drought now is not nearly as serious as it would be in spring or during the heat of July, with a garden full of crops. As it is, we’ve been able to keep things irrigated as necessary. And our neighbors are thankful–their corn is drying out in the field naturally, rather than in storage facilities with propane-run dehydrators drying out the ears.

 

We’re most excited this week about the fall plantings of our favorite members of the brassica family, Cabbage, Broccoli, and Cauliflower. I’ve always had more success with these in the fall than spring, and it looks like this year will continue that streak. Brassicas prefer cool weather and don’t need a long window for growth, so we are able to plant them first thing in the spring and again after the height of summer. Because they don’t all reach maturity at the same time, we’ll be offering them as they come in. We’ll keep track of who receives what vegetable, with the goal of having everyone get one of each during our last three weeks. The cauliflower seems to be lagging the most, but it looks like the cabbage are doing especially well.

 

I suppose not many of you are too upset, but we regret that we won’t have any Rutabaga or Parsnips available this year. For once, I’ll blame neither our weather, myself, or Texas, but rather our seed company for sending us dud seed. We had about 1% germination on our rutabaga and 0% on our parsnips, which doesn’t yield a lot of these divisive roots. Needless to say, I’ll be looking elsewhere for my seed next year. We do have Turnips filling in, however. I’ve only planted sweet spring turnips in the past, but I planted these to take over once it became apparent that we wouldn’t have rutabagas.

 

After this delivery, we have only two boxes left. We’ll be including a survey and feedback for next week. Our last deliveries will be October 14th (Fridays) and 18th (Tuesdays).

 

Special thanks to Sarah Hrusovsky and Heidi Kelly of our Excelsior delivery site for their help on Tuesday, September 27th! This dynamic duo helped out with our harvest and took all of our member boxes to their site for the day. They also managed to find the inner beauty in pretty much every single carrot they washed. Thanks again!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelle Cameron permalink
    October 1, 2011 8:59 am

    Parsnip seed – I understand that the germination rate for parsnip seed in general is REALLY low, which is probably why I have a whole quart jar of seed (!) from my single row… I’d say it is naturally compensating for its poor harvest. I think I may use it for packing material or maybe try smoking it.

    • Will Healy permalink
      October 1, 2011 10:54 pm

      I’ve been smoking parsnip seed for years, and aside from the nausea, dizziness, vomiting, insomnia, hair loss, dry mouth, bloating, constipation, headaches, diarrhea, general soreness, bi-lateral fatigue, chronic fatigue, acid reflux, hoarseness, anxiety, mood swings, blurred vision, loss in taste, sensitivity to light, wheezing, occasional hallucinations, thrombosis, tinnitus, facial tics and conjunctivitis, I’ve suffered no reall ill effects. Highly recommend it!

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