Well, it looks like my complaining about the lack of rain worked! After about 6 weeks of no rain, we finally got some precipitation. Hip hip hooray!! According to our rain gauge, the total was just under 1/2 inch. Definitely not a substantial amount but it was a nice slow steady rain, which was exactly what we needed. The vegetables are definitely in a much happier place. It also helped to cool things down considerably and that is going to help out our Fall vegetables a lot. It was a tale of 2 seasons last week for our Sustainable Farming and Food Systems students. On CSA day last week, it was borderline oppressive as they helped to harvest for pickup later that day. When they came to class on Thursday, the long sleeves were out.
A lot of what we do in the Fall is what I like to call “preparing the farm for bed”. We spend a lot of time doing bulk harvests of some of our storage crops (like onions, potatoes and winter squash) and then we’ll get areas ready for cover crops, which is an important aspect of farming. Not only do cover crops help with winter weed control and erosion but they help to put organic matter and essential nutrients back into our fields. We hope that by the end of October that we can get a cover crop on most of our finished beds. Let’s hope that the weather cooperates for us.
There are going to be some new and exciting items in this week’s share. First off, there will be watermelons! Watermelons (or any melon for that matter) are always a challenge to grow in this climate. There aren’t many varieties that do well in a shortened season and they like to have a good amount of water. One of the other problems is that it is really hard to tell when they are ripe. There are some signals that the plants give indicating ripeness but it’s not always foolproof. We’ve been checking and tasting for the last few weeks and feel that they are pretty darn good at this moment. If we wait any longer, we could miss our window. There will also be scallions for the first time this season as well as snow peas. I usually don’t plant Fall peas but because it was so wet this Spring, we never got a chance to get them in the ground. They will go great in any stir fry that you do. The other new item this week that I’m excited to share with you are Shishito peppers. Shishito’s are a Japanese frying pepper that are super easy to prepare. I just like to saute them in a pan (I prefer cast iron for these guys). All you need to do is heat a little olive oil and wait until it gets hot. Add your peppers (no need to cut them or take of the stems) and toss and turn them until they start to blister. When they are done just toss them with a little sea salt and add a squeeze of lemon if you’re so inclined. They are best served hot! Other items in the share this week will include the return of the lettuce mix, beans, summer squash, cosmetically challenged cucumbers, cherry, beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes. We are taking a break from eggplant and new potatoes this week but they will return.
I hope you all have a great week!