Downtown Harvest CSA is open for enrollment for the 2017 season, our 12th year!
Farm Update for the Week of June 27th
So we are still waiting for some rain. There is some in the forecast for tonight and Tuesday but they have been wrong so many times now… I mentioned a rain dance in last week’s episode; my form of rain dance is to head out into the fields on my seeding tractor to do some planting. This has worked often in the past to get the skies to open up but I tried it last week and only managed to squeeze out a few drops!
We have another beautiful share for you this week with a few new items. The second planting of arugula is ready and it looks great; we also have gorgeous beets and Swiss chard. There is sufficient broccoli for everyone this round and we have a lot more sugarsnap peas coming in as well. We are heavy on lettuce so we are sending 2 heads this week.
The share for this week will be: Broccoli, summer squash, arugula, beets, choice of kale or Swiss chard, peas (sugarsnaps for sure if you have not yet received them), 2 types of lettuce, scallions and choice of an herb (parsley, summer savory or sweet marjoram)
So we continue to experience dry conditions here on the farm. We have had several more predicted rainfalls fail to arrive. We have another shot at a little precipitation overnight on Monday and perhaps a better chance of the wet stuff on Thursday. Keep your fingers crossed, say a prayer or perhaps do a rain dance if you are so inclined. In the meantime we will continue to move the sprinklers around the fields and employ creative tricks to get the seeds to sprout.
This week’s share will be very similar to last weeks. We still have lots of spectacular spinach as well as escarole and frissee, so enjoy them now as they won’t be back until the fall. We have Swiss chard ready and a second planting of arugula for next week’s greens.
We are still inundated with garlic scapes so we will send some more one last time. These will keep for weeks even months in the fridge so don’t feel the need to use them quickly. The broccoli and the peas on the other hand should be used as soon as possible; especially the English or shell peas. These turn starchy very quickly. We will begin to have more sugarsnaps (edible pod) soon and these hold their sweetness much better.
The summer squash is coming in heavy now so there will be more in the shares. We are back to radishes for the root vegetable this week, except for those who did not receive their salad turnips last week. We will have beets for you next week. Broccoli is becoming abundant and if you did not get it last week you should see it this week. Those who received broccoli will get kale.
The share for this week will be: Lettuce, summer squash, garlic scapes, radishes (or salad turnips), broccoli or kale, kohlrabi, spinach, choice of escarole or frissee, peas and choice of cilantro or dill.
So we waited with a mixture of anticipation and dread for the severe storms predicted for Saturday. We badly need the rain but worried about the high winds and potential for hail. In the end we got no rain at all, only 2 days of high winds that have been wreaking havoc with our crop covers and drying out the soil even more. There is some hope for precipitation at the end of the week; in the meantime we will be moving the sprinklers around from field to field to keep the crops growing and the seeds germinating.
The good news is that the shares size will nearly double this week with lots of new crops beginning to mature. The broccoli has begun to head and we will send it to some groups as availability allows. Those not receiving broccoli will get kale for this week and broccoli next week or the week after. We will also be sending bunches of broccoli leaf which is almost as nutritious as kale and in my opinion more palatable. I sauté the leaf with onions and blend this with milk for a delicious base for cream of broccoli soup. Summer squash has also started to produce; small quantities for this week; more in weeks to come. We have peas, mostly English- the shell type.
The sugarsnap peas will become more abundant in the coming weeks. For lettuce we have a speckled romaine-an heirloom variety called Forellenschlus. The heads are usually fuller but with the drought they may begin to bolt and will get bitter. Garlic scapes are here! These are the flower tops of the plant and can be grilled, chopped finely and sautéed or blended to make a pesto. Hakurei salad turnips are a sweet, baby size treat intended to be eaten raw, although many folks prefer to cook them. They have beautiful greens- great for braising or sliced into ribbons mixed into salad.
The share for this week will be: Forellenschlus romaine, salad turnips, garlic scapes, spinach(2 bunches), broccoli or kale, summer squash, choice of escarole or endive(frissee), peas, bok choy and choice of cilantro or dill.
We finally got some rain here at the farm on Sunday, just over an inch. We need more but are grateful for what we receive. We have essentially lost the first planting of arugula, broccoli raab and tatsoi as a result of the dry conditions and the heat wave. It had been under siege from a pernicious pest-the flea beetle and was covered with an Ag fabric to protect it. Because it was hidden and because we are so busy with all our other planting I missed seeing that it was beginning to bolt to seed. We have another planting so perhaps we will have more in a few weeks, if not it is always much better in the fall.
We will try to salvage what we can for this week. We do have beautiful spinach and lettuces and in the coming weeks there will be Swiss chard, escarole and frissee. The garlic scapes are late this year; we should have some next week. Peas will begin next week as well. It’s a small first delivery but it will be increasing substantially each week.
The share for this week will be: 2 bunches of spinach, 2 types of lettuce, radishes, arugula or tatsoi and choice of an herb (chervil, garlic chives or mint). We have sunchokes that we will offer as an extra.