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Week 3 Newsletter

June 28, 2012

In your box:

  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic scapes
  • Lettuce mix
  • Mizuna
  • Radishes
  • Scallions (green onions)
  • Sugar Snap Peas

It’s hot!  After a spring that offered hot weather in fits and starts, it looks like we are finally settling into a pattern of hot hot heat and humidity.  One day after harvesting greens in a light jacket, I was up at 4am to get as much done in the fields as I could before the heat really kicked on and made things unbearable.  While the heat makes farmers and salad greens wilt in the field, it is a great kick to corn, tomatoes, and squash.  So it is good for the farm, even though it takes a little while to mop up the puddle that was once a happily weeding farmer.

 Every farm year has its own surprise winners and duds of the garden, making the experience exciting and new every year.  This year we were sad to see Strawberries strongly on the list of duds: After a slow start, even a pathetic finale was washed away by the heavy rains last week.  We have planted a new crop that should bear fruit next year, and we’ll double that area again next spring to ensure a strong berry harvest for next season.  While we had hoped to get some strawberries to everyone, they just didn’t cooperate this year.  That said, our Raspberry harvest is off to an astounding start.  Good rains and a warm spring have kicked off our picking four weeks earlier than last year, and we’ve nearly harvested as many pints as we did in the whole season last year–lasting through September!  While we don’t have enough raspberries to give to every box every week, we do keep track of which boxes have received them to keep it even  (full shares receive a pint twice as often as half shares).  So while we mourn for a sorry strawberry harvest, look for raspberries coming your way soon.

We’ve been pleased to see an uptick in the production of our pea plants this week, bringing in a great harvest of Sugar Snap and Snow Peas.  Peas are no friend to hot weather, unfortunately, so their season is but a short blip in the scope of a farm season.  Thankfully, their leguminous cousins, green beans, are in full flower now and should make their appearance in our boxes in a couple weeks.

Our main new addition this week is Beets.  All of this early crop was started in the greenhouse in March and transplanted to give it an early start.  It’s a little extra work, but it’s nice to have some beets early on in the season.  In a few weeks we’ll expand our selection to golden and dart-board colored beets, but for now we’ll stick to the usual red ones.  Don’t neglect the greens on these–beet greens can be used just like chard or spinach.  Try wilting it just a bit for a a great addition to your meals.  The root itself should be scrubbed but does not need to be peeled.  It will keep for a week or two in the fridge, but the greens will wilt after a couple days and should be used more promptly.  Try the roots raw, grated on a salad, or sliced and steamed on their own.

We  bid farewell this week to some of the great standbys of early spring: Arugula, Mizuna, and Radishes all vanish until fall.  The rest of our Turnips and all of our spring Kohlrabi have fallen victim to flooding in a low part of our field, so we are quickly clearing out our spring crops to make room for the great tastes and common fruits and vegetables of summer.  Within the next few weeks, we’re excited to introduce zucchini, cucumbers, sweet onions, beans, broccoli, and hopefully cabbage to your dinner table.

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