In your box:
–Cucumber or zucchini or tomatillos
Once again, I find myself wondering if I’ve somehow come into control over the weather. Last week I bellyached over the seeming onset of fall and longed for one more week of warm weather—only to find my exact wishes fulfilled this week. Twice over the summer I’ve voiced a desire for an inch of rain, only to receive it within two days. In the spring I outlined my exact wishes for a perfect weather pattern over the summer, and it’s pretty much gone according to plan. Just to try my luck, I am now officially asking for 5 inches of snow on Christmas Eve. We’ll have to wait a few months, but that will be a memorable way to find out if I actually have the Power of Weather.
Oh wait—there was that tornado we just missed a few weeks ago. I definitely did not ask for that. But otherwise, 2015 will probably go down as the best weather I’ve had yet as a farmer. Of course, the tornado was a pretty big “except for….”
This week we start the transition from the fruits of summer to the roots and greens of fall. At this point in the season our cucumber and bean plants are on their last breath, the malfunctioning zucchini plants continue to malfunction to an even higher degree, the tomatoes have peaked, and some of the garden beds are turned under and sown to a cover crop for the winter.
The good news is that we get some new items this week. Arugula is a welcome addition, especially since the spring planting didn’t amount to anything. Arugula is most often used as a raw salad green, where its spicy taste really sets it apart. If it’s a little too strong for you, try mixing it with lettuce or piling on a lot of salad dressing. Arugula can also be wilted to tame its taste, but that kind of defeats the purpose. Arugula keeps its mustard-like flavor until the first frost, when it loses its spice. We plan to offer arugula one or two more times this fall.
I was pleased to see a few hot peppers ripening up this week, so you’ll find them deep in your box. Everyone will receive an orange “Bulgarian Carrot” hot pepper, rated at a 3 out of 5 in heat intensity. Full shares will also receive a red or green “Joe’s Long Cayenne” as well. In case there is any confusion, all of our sweet peppers are larger than the hot peppers. So you’ll be safe biting into the largest pepper in your box.
Unfortunately, it looks like this is the last gasp for Basil. There’s an epidemic of Basil Downy Mildew all across the United States, its spores floating through the air and infecting basil with crippling black leaves and wilted stems. It’s so widespread that I’m surprised my basil has held out this long. But two of my three plantings are now turning black, and with the next rain it’s sure to spread to the only untouched batch. So I’m giving it one last time this year even though much of it is flowering and a few black spots are already appearing (they aren’t the best quality but they shouldn’t hurt you unless, of course, you are a basil plant).
We are still pulling in more tomatoes than we can use. If you are interested in buying some for freezing or canning, please let me know. Again, we offer 10 pound boxes for $25 in addition to what you’ll regularly receive in your box.
As schedules change with kids going back to school, please let me know if you’d like to change your pickup site for the rest of the year. We can even accommodate changes from Tuesday to Thursday sites and vice versa. And remember—no school lunch is complete without arugula!