Still Young

I recently heard somonee express in a podcast that when he sees a thing for a third time, he should finally wake-up and act on it. It has been well more than three times that some curiously gorgeous detritus of life has stopped me in the greenhouse. Stopping is probably the proper end, but maybe a photo in passing, too ...

I recently heard somonee express in a podcast that when he sees a thing for a third time, he should finally wake-up and act on it. It has been well more than three times that some curiously gorgeous detritus of life has stopped me in the greenhouse. Stopping is probably the proper end, but maybe a photo in passing, too ...

2019 Week 28, Summer CSA 6 of 26

I believe we have had a proper and official welcome to summer. So, welcome to summer! I hope some of you got to enjoy it over the 4th of July with water other than sweat, and maybe of the cold, jumping-in kind. I suddenly have the urge to recraft the schedule to harvest blackberries while the sun is still somewhat eastward, being as that gives at least one round of shade. On that count, blackberry harvest -- this being the first year for real production, young as the farm is -- has been one of the most enjoyable parts of this new farm season. But if the curve continues, we might change our minds -- Wednesday, 10.4#; Friday, 19.6#, Monday, 47# -- I'll let you know this Wednesday. :) At any rate, there are lots of blackberries!

Also on my mind — and wanting to put in yours — is the still awesome youth of the farm. We have two years under out belt, with one of them being a total — 5.5 feet of rain — wash-out. Some things work, others don’t, that are very particular to the circumstances of this land. Hopefully it will just take a tweak here and there to fix it all. The thing in farming, though, is that it takes at least a year to make one tweak, and another to make a second. I am learning patience on this front, with my love of fixing things luckily balancing the weight of what breaks. A note then, if you find a thing broken.

I have had questions about the Winter CSA, and can address them in person, as the dialogue is probably easier than email. I will also make some amendments to the website to clarify all the logistics surrounding it. Thank you for asking! :)

So many thanks to you all,
See you on the farm,
Austin

Expected Harvest

Greens
Chard
Kale
Lettuce

Veggies
Bean, Snap
Bean, Soy / Edamame
Broccoli
Corn, Sweet*
Fennel
Tomato, Small

Roots
Carrots
Kohlrabi
Onion, Fresh
Radish, Salad

Fruit
Blackberries

Herbs
Ashwagandha
Basil, Holy
Basil, Italian
Basil, Thai
Cilantro or Dill
Dried Herbs
Garlic, Scapes
Hot Pepper, Frozen
Mint, Citrus Kitchen*
Turmeric, Frozen

Flowers

Cooking Classes
Wednesday, July 10th: Sold-out
Thursday, July 11th: Space Available
Contact cecelia.baum@gmail.com to sign-up.

Althea Bread
On break for the summer.

The 'Honeydrop' cherry tomato. Perhaps I'm a little weird, but I very much do not enjoy eating tomatoes out of hand, even all the sweet cherry tomatoes. But for trial purposes, I taste them all the same. I had one of these yesterday, for the first time ever, and found myself totally astounded. It was sooo good! So, here's to the first tomato I've ever enjoyed in the field. :)  We had 100 varieties of tomatoes last year, and I clearly meant to reduce that count this year ... getting better year, by year. But, somehow, we ended-up with 100 varieties again. And, again, I mean to reduce that count next year, as we pile-up more and more winners and drop the loswers. 'Honeydrop' -- by flavor, at least, not yet knowing its field health -- is one of those winners.  Here’s the Fedco write-up that first lured me:   Honeydrop Small-Fruited Tomato ECO (62 days) Open-pollinated. Rampant Indeterminate. From a selection of F-1 Sunsugar, Rachel and Tevis Robertson-Goldberg of Crabapple Farm in Chesterfield, MA, developed Honeydrop and sent us the original seed, with their blessing to keep the production going. Honeydrop’s sweet juicy fruity honey-colored treats taste almost like white grapes. They are much less prone to cracking in wet weather than    Sun Gold   . Seeking to add another light-colored cherry to our selection, we trialed it against Blondkopchen, Dr. Carolyn, Isis Candy, Lemondrop and Weissbehart. It bested them all by such a wide margin in earliness, sweetness and complexity that we declined to add any of those others. Parthenocarpic. Still retains a percentage of recessive pink off-types but see    Pink Princess   ; these are also yummy!

The 'Honeydrop' cherry tomato. Perhaps I'm a little weird, but I very much do not enjoy eating tomatoes out of hand, even all the sweet cherry tomatoes. But for trial purposes, I taste them all the same. I had one of these yesterday, for the first time ever, and found myself totally astounded. It was sooo good! So, here's to the first tomato I've ever enjoyed in the field. :)

We had 100 varieties of tomatoes last year, and I clearly meant to reduce that count this year ... getting better year, by year. But, somehow, we ended-up with 100 varieties again. And, again, I mean to reduce that count next year, as we pile-up more and more winners and drop the loswers. 'Honeydrop' -- by flavor, at least, not yet knowing its field health -- is one of those winners.

Here’s the Fedco write-up that first lured me:

Honeydrop Small-Fruited Tomato ECO (62 days) Open-pollinated. Rampant Indeterminate. From a selection of F-1 Sunsugar, Rachel and Tevis Robertson-Goldberg of Crabapple Farm in Chesterfield, MA, developed Honeydrop and sent us the original seed, with their blessing to keep the production going. Honeydrop’s sweet juicy fruity honey-colored treats taste almost like white grapes. They are much less prone to cracking in wet weather than Sun Gold. Seeking to add another light-colored cherry to our selection, we trialed it against Blondkopchen, Dr. Carolyn, Isis Candy, Lemondrop and Weissbehart. It bested them all by such a wide margin in earliness, sweetness and complexity that we declined to add any of those others. Parthenocarpic. Still retains a percentage of recessive pink off-types but see Pink Princess; these are also yummy!

Success! We have been double-seeding the greenhouse lettuce, finicky as it has been at germination. Being a shoulder-season crop, lettuce does not like the heat — neither in germination, nor in growth. On a prior farm we had a special, cool room with fluorescent lights to get them started; in past years I have put them under benches in the greenhouse to keep them cool, only to step on them; last year I took the seedlings into the walk-in fridge for a few days to get them started. But I never got the balance of germination and seed-attention — i.e., lack of spindly growth — that I wanted.  But look at all those pulled seedlings. We have success. I keep the greens seeds — lettuce and spinach, principally — in the fridge year-round. And when it’s time to germinate, I pull them out; seed; dust with vermiculite for moisture retention but light access; mist with a fog nozzle; and then put in the normal caged-from-critters seedling site, but this time cover the cage with cardboard. I didn’t think that would be cool enough, but it was well hot last week — over 100 in the greenhouse at times — and we had close to 100% germination. Here here!  After a two-month planned hiatus from the heat — because it doesn’t grow so well in summer — the fall lettuce is on!

Success! We have been double-seeding the greenhouse lettuce, finicky as it has been at germination. Being a shoulder-season crop, lettuce does not like the heat — neither in germination, nor in growth. On a prior farm we had a special, cool room with fluorescent lights to get them started; in past years I have put them under benches in the greenhouse to keep them cool, only to step on them; last year I took the seedlings into the walk-in fridge for a few days to get them started. But I never got the balance of germination and seed-attention — i.e., lack of spindly growth — that I wanted.

But look at all those pulled seedlings. We have success. I keep the greens seeds — lettuce and spinach, principally — in the fridge year-round. And when it’s time to germinate, I pull them out; seed; dust with vermiculite for moisture retention but light access; mist with a fog nozzle; and then put in the normal caged-from-critters seedling site, but this time cover the cage with cardboard. I didn’t think that would be cool enough, but it was well hot last week — over 100 in the greenhouse at times — and we had close to 100% germination. Here here!

After a two-month planned hiatus from the heat — because it doesn’t grow so well in summer — the fall lettuce is on!

Because the grass is always greener on the other side — and for me the fence is the present, dividing the past from the future — I’m somewhat jealous of the future farm. Here’s to making that future present, with a seriously gorgeous mix of cherry tomatoes.  This one is ‘Napa Chardonnay Blush,’ and despite its beauty — this photo not especially showcasing that trait — it’s tastes first, aesthetics second. Don’t be scared of the weird ones — if you think this one weird — or you’ll miss out on some super yumminess.

Because the grass is always greener on the other side — and for me the fence is the present, dividing the past from the future — I’m somewhat jealous of the future farm. Here’s to making that future present, with a seriously gorgeous mix of cherry tomatoes.

This one is ‘Napa Chardonnay Blush,’ and despite its beauty — this photo not especially showcasing that trait — it’s tastes first, aesthetics second. Don’t be scared of the weird ones — if you think this one weird — or you’ll miss out on some super yumminess.

Tithonia is so popular! Hummingbirds, butterflies, honeybees, bumblebees. Tithonia’s stems and leaves color the vase water and make it smell a certain not-bad way. Some winter research showed farmers using a genus relative in a water ferment to spray on their crops. Maybe we’ll try that this year or next, and see what the impact might be.

Tithonia is so popular! Hummingbirds, butterflies, honeybees, bumblebees. Tithonia’s stems and leaves color the vase water and make it smell a certain not-bad way. Some winter research showed farmers using a genus relative in a water ferment to spray on their crops. Maybe we’ll try that this year or next, and see what the impact might be.

And lastly, I wanted to point out the new-to-you ‘Salmon Rose’ scabiosa. It is a slow bloomer, but well worth the wait. These pictured are somewhat light on its continuum of color, with the deeper hues making me quite eager to put them on the list for 2020 — which list, I should note, is happily and already populated by a good few other new additions from this year.

And lastly, I wanted to point out the new-to-you ‘Salmon Rose’ scabiosa. It is a slow bloomer, but well worth the wait. These pictured are somewhat light on its continuum of color, with the deeper hues making me quite eager to put them on the list for 2020 — which list, I should note, is happily and already populated by a good few other new additions from this year.