Week of July 2nd – CSA Newsletter

We (and the plants) survived the mini heat wave. I hope that you did, as well. I would have been a little more stressed going into the weekend but we got just over an inch of rain last Wednesday right before the temps started to rise. After a heat index over 100, the rain this evening will really help to get things popping in the coming week. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Last week was another busy one with lots of things getting crossed off on our weekly lists. With all of our big plantings behind us, we are now able to turn our attention to cultivating and weeding. The big task we started was to start to liberate our onion/leek field. After last season’s complete onion failure, I am determined to have as a successful crop as we can. We put about 6000 transplants of sweet onions, red onions, yellow storage onions, leeks and shallots in the ground this season. And they will need a lot of maintenance throughout the season. We started with an early season cultivation but as we continued to get plants in the ground and start harvesting for the season, the weeds began to thrive. So, now we’re at the point of hand-weeding. It’s not the most glorious job and definitely not the fastest, but it sure is satisfying. To be able to look down a bed and see a nice stand of plants without any competition from weeds gives everyone on the farm a tangible accomplishment.

Hello! Onions, are you in there?
Oh, there you are.

(Shameless plug time.) If you want to come on out and enjoy that feeling, join us for a Farm Friday, from 10-12. 

There was also some transplanting done and continued work in our tomato houses. We’re almost at a point where we are standing for our suckering and trellising and that’s a good feeling. I think they’re really going to take off with all this heat and sun we’re having.

We also had a chance to visit our good friends over at Main Street Farms in Cortland. It was great to take the student interns to a much larger vegetable operation, to see what kind of equipment and infrastructure is needed for that size. Main Street Farms are doing some great things are one of, if not the, largest organic vegetable farm in Cortland County. They have a 300+ member CSA, sell at the Regional Market in Syracuse, wholesale to accounts in New York City, to name a few of their many endeavors. And one of the may comments I heard from everyone was , “the rows are really long!”.

Rows of lettuce at Main Street Farms.

Initially, they all thought our 100 foot rows were long. But after they saw the 350 foot rows that sometimes need to be hand-weeded, there was a new appreciation.

Let’s talk about veggies, shall we? There’s starting to be a shift with this week’s CSA share. The choice this week will still have carrots, hakurei turnips, kale, chard and lettuce mix, but there are a bunch of new items this week. Remember when I mentioned in last week’s newsletter that coming soon would be basil, snap peas, zucchini and cucumbers? Well, they are all making their first appearance this week. I’m not sure how the zucchini and cukes will break down just yet, but there are some out there that need to be harvested. In addition to those new crops, there will also be some snow peas, fresh garlic and kohlrabi. If you’re not familiar with fresh garlic, it’s different from what you see in the store or later in the season. The plant has been harvested at an earlier stage and hasn’t been cured yet. You’re more than welcome to cure it yourself or use it now, just as you would garlic. It has a slightly milder flavor and needs to be stored in the fridge (feel free to clip the top). Now, if you haven’t had kohlrabi before, you’re in for a treat. Packed with loads of vitamin C, this alien looking vegetable is a kind of cross between cabbage and broccoli in flavor. When it’s this hot out and turning on the stove and oven is kept at a minimum, I’m thinking salads and smoothies. Kohlrabi is the perfect addition to any salad. The leaves (which can totally be eaten) should be trimmed and the bulb peeled. I just slice the flesh and add this crunchy goodness to my salad. It can also be used to make a small batch of cole slaw.

Coming soon are more cukes, snow peas and if we’re lucky, some arugula and radishes.

Have a great week!!

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