Week of August 1st – CSA Newsletter

sunrise
Sunrise on the farm

Hallelujah! It’s rained and I mean, a real live soak into the ground and saturate things rain. This is a much needed relief. Not only for the plants but for all us crop savior’s who take turns watering for hours each day, every week. The plants are surely going to like it and I’m excited to see what transpires over the next few days in terms of plant growth. I had made a comment last week about how I felt that the plants took off after that little downpour we had last Monday. Well, we’ve had 3 straight days of some rain on the farm and I’m hopeful this will be the shot in the arm some of these plants need to start taking off. In my giddy anticipation (and actual trust of the forecast) for the impending rain over the weekend, I actually moved our rain gauge to the middle of one of our fields to try to get as accurate a measurement as I could. As I left the field early this evening, we were up to a whopping .6 of an inch. There was also another soaker later on, so I’m hopeful that we got another .1 or so.

Another great thing about these rain showers is that the vegetation around the farm field will start to grow. And, you know what that means? Our great nemeses will have other things to eat besides our sweet veggies. We continue to remain vigilant with our exclusion/permanent removal efforts. We are definitely starting to see some positive results. Crops that were decimated early by woodchuck damage are recovering

Before and after squash
Before and after squash
beans2016
First planting of beans!

and beans, a crop that is usually a preferred delicacy of woodchucks, have yet to be damaged and are coming along nicely.

It was another busy week on the farm, as our students Semester nears the end. I’ll definitely give an update about this next week but the farm is heading into the month of August in really good shape. I mean, there will always be rocks to pick and weeds to remove but we have gotten through jobs this Summer that have always been on our list the previous season but never had the time to complete. The field tomatoes are trellised instead of lying on the ground, as well as our hoophouse peppers.

Happy peppers
Happy peppers

They are very happy at the moment and I’m hopeful of a good harvest in the coming weeks.

In field trip news, last week we headed to Cortland County to visit a farm and food business. We got the chance to tour an amazing Certified Organic Dairy, Twin Oaks Dairy, LLC and the kitchen facility of Food and Ferments. Students always say they enjoy the field trips the most during the Summer. I think it’s because they like a day off of our farm. What I really enjoy about taking the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems students on these field trips is the exposure to the different types of agriculture happening in our region. I want them to get their juices flowing about how they can be involved in agriculture. Another thing that I like is there is usually some reinforcement of some of the things that we discuss during class and time on the farm by these amazing producers in the area.

So, this week’s CSA share will be very similar to last week’s. Those itty bitty micro kohlrabi are done but there will be more tomatoes this week. The heirloom tomatoes are very happy at the moment.

Heirloom medley
Heirloom medley

I’m not sure if I mentioned this at some point but we are growing 12 different heirloom tomato varieties this season, some of them for the first time. So far, I am very pleased. We’re also growing more varieties of cherry tomatoes this season. Last year we grew just 3 different ones. This season, we are growing a total of 7 varieties. The first of the red beefsteaks will be ready this week, too. Basically, what I’m saying is that the start of tomato bliss is beginning this week.

I know most of you have met your limit on kale but one of our CSA members sent me a recipe that we talked about last week when she was at pickup. Here it is:

I told you I would try the kale, garlic-scape pesto with almonds and I made it this morning!  It’s delicious!

I actually put the kale in the processor first and mutilated it.  Then I removed it from the processor.

I then processed the garlic scapes by themselves and removed them.

I put about 1/2 cup of almonds in the processor and pulverized those next.

Then, once all the ingredients were a good consistency, I mixed them all together and put them back in the food processor with some salt and lemon juice and combined them while slowly adding the olive oil.

I used romano cheese after it was all mixed.

 

Have a great week folks!

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