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Week 7 Newsletter

July 28, 2015

In your box:

–Basil

–Beans

–Beets

–Head lettuce, “Ocate”

–Kale, “Red Russian”

–Summer squash or cucumber

–Sweet Onion

–Tomatoes

At this point in the growing season, my working life transitions from a mix of jobs and chores to a pretty consistent routine of harvesting. Mondays and Wednesdays involve picking tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and beans for harvest the next day. That leaves roots and greens for harvest and washing on delivery days, Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is a big change from the spring months, when I can basically choose what I want to do on a given day based on the weather and bounce around jobs when I need a little diversion.

All that harvest time does leave a long weekend open for other work. In the next few weeks I will be planting the last seeds in the garden for this year (spinach, salad mix, etc.) and starting to turn under some finished beds by applying compost and cover crop seeds to protect the soil during the long winter.

Thanks so much to our garlic harvesting volunteers last weekend! We had a great time with the Clark family, the Hoffmann family, and Kayla Prihoda as we pulled up garlic, snipped off the roots, and hung it up to dry. The garlic is drying out nicely and should be ready for cleaning and eating in a couple of weeks. Thanks for the help!

We have finally exhausted our never-ending bed of green onions, so we’ll move on now to the bed of sweet onions. Like green onions, the whole plant is edible on these. While the white bulb is more familiar, the greens are quite tasty as well. These have done very well again this year, so we’re hoping for some great onions the next few weeks.

We had another big rainstorm last week (minus tornadoes, thankfully) that gave us a total of 6.6” of rain in one week! That’s the most rain we’ve ever tallied in one week in the history of our farm. Additionally, it was more rain in six days then we’ve received the past few years in the months from July to November combined! At this time of the year, it is neither a great blessing or disaster. We will be able to go all season without significant irrigation, which does save me quite a bit of time. But the rain and humidity this past week have brought on a fair amount of powdery mildew and blight that have bothered our rutabagas, kale, and squash plants. Hopefully we can dry out a bit this week, and the bacterial spores can die a cruel dry death. The rain and windstorms have left some discoloration on the oak-leaf lettuce this week, but it is just a cosmetic problem and should not affect the quality.

This week we have beets for the first time all season. Most of them are a yellow beet called “Touchstone Gold,” The greens on these are still in good shape and can be eaten as well. Use them as you would chard or lightly wilt them and mix into any dish calling for beets.

Our tomatoes are finally producing a decent yield, and it looks like August will be another great month for tomatoes. We have just a few to get you started this week, and many more to come.

Don’t forget to return your boxes!

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