The Pickle Pile
2018 Week 41, Summer CSA Pick-up 19 of 26
It was 91F this weekend, which I checked the weather station to discover — when I wondered about my “let’s just catch my breath a moment” slugishness. It looks like we’re reverting to the mean, though, with the forecast calling for highs in the low to mid 60s next week. The heat has not been kind to the lettuce, but all of the other greens have taken off — Bok Choy, Yukina Savoy, Arugula, and a Spicy Mix will complement the lettuce that I did grab from bolted and bolting, but still fine tasting, plants. Field notes include, “Summer lettuce in the fall. No fall lettuce in the fall!”
I harvested some of the ginger and turmeric yesterday, and it looks great. I left the wispy roots on the bottom of the turmeric because, to me, they taste almost candied in their own right. Give them a try. If you take some of either in excitement, but never get a chance to use it in a dish … before it goes bad, put it in the freezer. Because our temperate season is not long enough to grow these two crops to full maturity, they are considered “young” ginger and turmeric, and so will not keep or dry especially well. They freeze, though!
I am still discerning the timing on the fall broccoli-family crops. The second and later round looks good, at the moment, with various kales coming in. More greens — I know — but un-devoured by harlequin bugs is a step in the right direction. This week I identified a collection of new, winter-hardy kales to try for next year — ‘Alive Vates’, ‘Western Front’, ‘Lofthouse’s Hardy Kale Grex’, and ‘Beedy’s Camden’, this last of which is out in the field right now, and is first to the pole among its current competitors. A cold-hardy kale picks longer into the winter, and will give a bit of regrowth before bolting in the spring. I should also give ‘Russian Hunger Gap’ a go, which is noted for its slow-bolt-ness, but needs some work on its overwintering (Nature and Nurture Seeds in Ann Arbor, MI — where I used to farm — is working on that one.)
One final geeky but very interesting note. I finished my cold-hardy kale list because I stumbled onto “Lofthouse’s Hardy Kale Grex” while researching the possibilities of an Atelier Farm tomato. The start of that work might be some many years down the road — one thing at a time — but this year made me increasingly interested in a landrace population for the farm. Joseph Lofthouse — of the above-named Kale — has some very good explanations on cytoplasmic male sterility, and promiscuous pollination and landrace tomatoes. Easier than writing it all out myself, and super interesting.
See you on the farm,
PS: The CSA sign-ups go public now, so sign-up for / let me know if you’re interested in next year while we have room.