Ok, so it was hot out there today! But we managed to get in most of the harvest by mid-morning. Now, if you’re new to the TC3 Farm CSA, you’ll soon find out that I end up giving a lot of weather updates and how it’s affecting the season. It’s inevitable. I won’t dive too much into it this week, but I just wanted to acknowledge that. This past week, we were kept busy with more transplanting, lots of cultivating (aka, weeding with tools) and hoophouse tomato management. We are growing 25 different varieties of beefsteak, cherry and heirloom tomatoes in a fairly intensive system. All the varieties are indeterminate, which means that they will grow as tall as we let them (or season length). We keep a single “leader” and each week we go through the houses and “sucker and trellis” the 730 plants.
This past week was our first go through, which can be a little tricky the first time you do it. But our summer interns got the hang of it quickly and we zipped through the tomatoes.
Last week the farm hosted a statewide SUNY Admissions Directors/Staff dinner (hence the reason for the Wednesday pickup last week). There were about 50 folks from campuses around the state and it was great to showcase the farm and Sustainable Farming and Food Systems program. Plus it gave us an excuse to give the barn a really solid spring cleaning!
Today I got the chance to take our student interns on a great trip to a business that I think is integral to our local food system, GreenTree Garden Supply.
We grow all of our seedlings in one of their potting mix blends and have really enjoyed working with them since we started. There are many growers in the area farming community using GreenTree products and all those folks supporting local farms, including you wonderful CSA members, are also supporting another local business. They also serve the home gardener by stocking all your garden needs. It’s been great to see them grow over the years and I look forward to our continued collaboration.
Alright, let’s get on to this week’s CSA share. I always try to introduce a new veggie each week for as long as I can throughout the season. This week we are lucky enough to have 2 new items in the choice. And they are two of my favorites. First off, we have hakurei turnips. These little beauts are a Japanese salad turnip that have a very mild radish taste, with a little bit of sweetness. They don’t need to be cooked at all, except if you want to saute up the greens. Next up in veggieland are perhaps some of greatest things out there in the world (if you’re an absolute garlic-head!) and they are garlic scapes. These wonderful curly-q’s of goodness grow out of the center of hardneck garlic varieties and need to be harvest in order to maximize the size of your garlic bulbs. They can be used just as you would garlic, can be pickled, or made into pesto. But my all-time favorite thing to do is to marinate them whole in a little olive oil and salt and pepper and toss them on the grill until they blacken. It is summer after all. Also in the choice will be mini romaine lettuce, kale, swiss chard, carrots, radishes, mizuna and the stir fry mix. As well, as another week of strawberries.
Have a great week!