CSA pick-up #3

This week’s share includes the following:

1/2 lb of salad mix
1/2 lb of arugula
Napa cabbage (1 large head or 2 small)
1 bunch French Breakfast radishes
1 bunch of scallions
1 pint of strawberries

This week, the berries we have will go to those who didn’t receive them last week.  Hopefully, next week we’ll be able to harvest enough berries for everyone in the CSA to get a pint in the same week!  Thanks to everyone for their patience on the berry front, and we hope you’re all enjoying them as much as we are!

On a run to Webbs Mills Variety on Route 11 (owned and operated by CSA members Maggie and David Horowitz) for post-harvest sandwiches today, I noticed an article right on the front page of the Portland Press Herald:  “For Early Crops, a Wet Blanket” is all about the recent three weeks of cool, rainy weather and how farmers are struggling with mold and spoilage in crops that are coming in now and how the weather is making the planting of some vine crops (like squash) difficult.  Spring haying has been a washout, too.  It’s certainly been a challenge here.  Our fields are soaked!  Kate and I spent Monday morning planting peppers, lettuce, summer squash, and flowers and barely made it out of the field with our lives!  (We managed to hold onto our boots, too…the informal slogan of the day was “What the muck?!”)

So far, so good, though.  We have some mold in the strawberry bed but not as much as we feared.  We’ve managed two weeks of decent harvesting and hope for another one, at least.  Some of the arugula you’ve received this week is a bit yellow…blame the rain.  Our biggest problem, by far, during this wet spring has been with slugs.  They are EVERYWHERE, en masse:  in the greenhouse, they’ve been eating tomato and pepper plants; out in the fields, they’ve been eating everything else.  The lettuce has been especially hard hit, as well as the Napa cabbage.  We were forced to strip away most of the outer leaves of your cabbages because of slug damage, leaving only the hearts.  The variety we chose to plant this year also generally forms tighter heads, too, as opposed to last year’s leafier variety (on taste and appearance, Sonya and I have decided that we prefer last year’s cabbage, so that will be coming back next season).  Anyway, please bear with us on the slug damage!  I’m hearing similar horror stories about slugs from home gardeners we know and from other veggie growers at our farmers’ markets.  It’s just a bad spring for the slugs.  Everyone keep your fingers crossed and think SUN.

As always, check out the recipes page for meal ideas based around what you’ve received in your share.  We have a couple recipes up for Napa cabbage listed under “Chinese Cabbage“.  Arugula is generally consumed raw in a salad, but Son and I have recently learned that you can make pesto out of it.  I believe you can simply make your pesto as usual and just swap the basil out for arugula…I will, however, track down an actual recipe and post it soon.

Sonya’s dad, Ron Theriault, has been hard at work building us a cooler in the barn.  It’s been only two days, and the room is very nearly finished!  Photos are below…  Many thanks to friend-of-the-farm Hank Mosher for his help yesterday and to CSA member Howie Powell for hooking us up with loads and loads of insulation he had lying around.  We have enough to do a double layer all around and seriously insulate that cooler!  Also, thanks to everyone who came over for last night’s potluck!!!

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