CSA pick-up #6

This week’s share includes the following:

1/2 lb bag of salad mix
1 bunch of purple top turnips
1 kohlrabi
1 bunch of scallions
1 green garlic
.4 lbs of snow peas
1 pint of sugar snap peas
1 pint of cherry tomatoes

As with the strawberries last month, the cherry tomatoes are gradually coming in.  Folks at the Portland and Bridgton markets got them last week; this week, some of our farm pick-up folks will get them, and we hope to be able to harvest enough on Friday for all of our Allen Ave. members.  If you don’t get tomatoes this week, rest assured that you will get them next!  We’re keeping our fingers crossed about the cherry tomatoes.  Though growing under cover in the greenhouse, the ground under them is still very wet from all of that June rain.  The plants are producing but struggling, so we’ll just have to see how the harvesting goes in the next few weeks.

Last year, we lost a lot of garlic to rot after we had harvested it and hung it up in the barn to cure.  In an effort to make an end run around this problem in another wet season, we’re giving green garlic this week and may continue to do so for awhile.  Green garlic is easier to peel than dry or cured garlic, but the catch is that it must be refrigerated and used within about a week.  As with the garlic scapes, you can use your green garlic for anything that you would usually use dried garlic for.

Word is back from the state Cooperative Extension lab up in Orono.  They found no sign of late blight on the samples I sent in but plenty of a fungus called Septoria.  Septoria loves this cool, wet weather we’ve been having and attacks the leaves of the plant, leaving trademark brown spots.  This fungus normally appears in August when the plants are usually well-established and producing fruit.  Not this year!  We will try to stay on top of this and pluck bad leaves from the plants in an effort to keep the fungus pressure down.  Just when I was ready to call up the extension office down in Portland and give ‘em hell about the late blight diagnosis, I was stopped by a phone conversation with Bruce Watt up at the lab in Orono.  His description of the symptoms of the disease and the speed at which it can take plants down seemed possibly accurate to me regarding some of the plants we pulled.  He also reported frankly that late blight is now all over the state.  We will keep a close watch on our plants, and if you’re doing any home gardening, we recommend that you do the same.

The weather in general seems to be turning around, and we are cautiously optimistic here at Summit Springs Farm.  (“Cautiously” I type since a big dark cloud is rolling in over the farm right now.)  Sonya will probably try to get the tractor into the fields in the next few days to till, enabling us to finally plant some fall crops like cabbage that have been hanging out in trays in the greenhouse for weeks during the monsoon.  I also really need to sow some brassica mix (mizuna, arugula, kale, tatsoi, etc.) for salad mix.

The weeds have LOVED this wet weather.  They are everywhere.  Weed pressure is inevitable with organic farming, but with such a long stretch of rain making hardcore weeding almost impossible, the weeds have really taken over.  We need help!  If you’ve been thinking of coming here to volunteer, this month would be a WONDERFUL time to do so and help us get these weeds under control.  Please consider coming up and call or drop us an e-mail to let us know when.  We try to take Sundays off, and on Tuesday and Friday mornings we’re busy harvesting for the CSA and farmers’ markets; any other days and times are fine!  Thanks in advance!!

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