How are we just a couple of weeks away from September? This season is rolling right by. Here we are at week 11, halfway through our CSA season.
This past week we said goodbye to our student workers through Challenge’s Summer Youth Employment Program. They were a great group who were absolute troopers. Working on a farm is challenging. Your outside in all sorts of weather, your body is in weird positions for long periods of time and you do a lot of the same tasks over and over (I’m looking at you weeding). But these young folks persevered. Always doing what was asked of them with great enthusiasm. They will surely be missed.
Last week I ran into a CSA member who has a Fall Only share. They said, “Todd, what’s up with the woodchucks this year?” I just smiled and said that they haven’t been an issue this season. For those of you who are new to the TC3 Farm CSA or those who may have forgotten about the Great Woodchuck Battle of 2016, last year’s damage due to woodchucks was one of the worst I have seen in my years of farming. This relief in pressure is most likely two-fold. First, there has been a significant amount of rain this year (have you noticed?). This means that there are plenty of lush plants that are not our vegetables for them to munch on. Secondly, and this is just a theory but it makes sense to me, is that we dispatched such a large number of those little suckers, um, I mean, beautiful little creatures, that we actually knocked back the population for the time being. There has been some damage to some of our crops that a woodchuck could be the culprit of but it also may be from a rabbit as well. Anyhow, the update for 2017 is that there is no significant damage due to woodchucks.
Ok, let’s talk about some veggies. This is a great week to be in the CSA. I’m not even sure where to start. Let’s go with the stand by’s. In this week’s CSA choice, there will be lettuce mix, cucumbers, zucchini, parsley, fennel, garlic scapes, dandelion greens, eggplant, and garlic.
New potatoes will be in the share again, as well as the first chard from our fall planting. It is some beautiful stuff! Let’s talk about tomatoes next. The cherry tomatoes are starting to take off and the beefsteaks are still lagging behind but there will be a few in the mix. There will also be a choice of sauce or saladette tomatoes. But what I really want to stress are the heirlooms. They are cranking right now, so I want you to start thinking about tomato sandwiches, tomato salads, tomatoes in your freezer. The tomatillos are in full effect, also. If you’ve never used tomatillos before, they make a great Salsa Verde or green sauce. Here is a simple recipe to get you on your way.
There’s also going to be some new items to choose from in this week’s share. The first beets are here. There tops aren’t the prettiest but can be put in salads or lightly sautéed. This week is the pepper jump off. There will be green bells, green fryers (great for stuffing) and some hot peppers in the choice. In a few short weeks, there should be lots of sweet peppers. They are just starting to turn colors.
I’m also hoping to be able to harvest some more basil tomorrow. I just have to wait and see what the weather is like.
Carrots will be making a return in a couple of weeks!
Thanks and have a great week!