Well, it was a great last week of the semester for the summer interns. I know I extolled all of these accolades on them in last week’s newsletter but they really did a great job this summer. They truly made a challenging growing season during challenging times much easier. To reward them, I had them do one finally hilling of the potatoes and ginger and some serious weeding of beds that we’ve completely ignored for the last 2 months. Since we are 95% “human-powered” at the TC3 Farm, we hill potatoes the old fashioned way with a strong back and a garden hoe. We need to bring soil from our paths onto the plants creating mound around them to promote maximum tater growth. Hilling is usually an exhausting job but when you throw in drought conditions and hard rocky soil, it makes for a challenging task. The ginger on the other hand is being grown in the greenhouse, where the soil is nice and loamy and easy to work with. I’m really excited for this year’s ginger crop. It’s currently as tall as when we usually start to harvest in early October.
We were also able to do some more plantings of fall crops and the weeding of the beds allowed us to prep an area for plantings in the coming weeks. The maintenance of the hoophouse and greenhouse crops continued as well. The crops (beefsteak, cherry and heirloom tomatoes, sweet peppers, eggplant, ginger and basil) are thriving and are on the verge of producing a lot of food. I think I mentioned this before but we trellised the peppers and eggplants a new way this year and they seem to really be enjoying things. I harvested the first of the sweet peppers (it went to my wife, of course), so they should be ripening in the coming weeks.
This is the week where the CSA shifts to tomato time. They will be part of the share for most, if not all, of the remaining weeks in the CSA. So, dust off grandma’s sauce recipe, clear room in the freezer and get ready. I was pleasantly surprised with the harvest of both the heirlooms and cherry tomatoes. Last Thursday, I harvested 10 pounds of heirlooms for Coltivare and today I harvested over 70 pounds. Now the cherries weren’t that fruitful but I harvested way more than expected. There were a few ripe beefsteaks but the thinning of green tomatoes on the larger fruit clusters will surely speed up their ripening. Tomato time is one of my favorite times of the growing season. A favorite in our house is just a simple tomato salad and the heirlooms are perfect for it. We just chunk them up and toss them with some balsamic and add some fresh basil, mozzarella and a little salt. An added bonus is some fresh bread (we love Wide Awake Bakery) to soak up all the juices at the end.
Have a great week!