Week of July 15th – CSA Newsletter Week #6

Greetings! I hope that you all are surviving this dry, hot weather. I’m not going to harp on it too much but we are a far cry away from the cool, wet spring that welcomed us at the beginning of the season. In all my years farming, one thing is for certain, farmers are never truly happy with the weather. We got such a late start early on and now a lot of crops are just in a holding pattern, waiting for that wonderful drink of water that they so desperately need. But Grassroots is coming up this weekend and it always rains at some point around Grassroots. On the bright side, disease pressure in the field is way down at this point in the season.

Despite the heat, we kept plugging away at getting plants in the ground and our usual weekly tomato maintenance. Some fall brassicas were planted, as well as a second planting of summer squash. The tomatoes are really starting to thrive and cherry tomatoes should be showing up in the share in the next week or two. I’ve picked about two pints worth. We are growing a few new varieties this season and we were able to sample some of them on today’s weekly farm walk. Taste and color are excellent. I’m just hoping that their yield will match.

Last week, we had the opportunity for a really interesting field trip. We headed over to Cornell and met with professor and organic plant breeder Michael Mazourek. We got a crash course in plant breeding and the work that Michael is doing and had some great conversations about the qualities and traits that breeders, farmers, chefs and consumers are looking for with certain vegetables. It was fascinating stuff and I look forward to seeing what Michael and his team come up with in the coming years. One of the big takeaways that I had, was this isn’t all lab work and field trials. Yes, that’s a big part of it. But working with both farmers and chefs is crucial in developing these new varieties of vegetables.

This week’s CSA share is going to have a similar choice to last week. There will be kale, lettuce mix (the heads are taking at least a week off), sugar snap peas, snow peas, turnips, rutabaga, fresh garlic, black radishes, basil, summer squash and cucumbers. The cukes really took off this past week and there should be a good amount in this week’s share.

Have a great week!

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