CSA Pick-up #6

Your CSA share this week contains the following:

1/2 lb bag of salad mix
1 bunch of young carrots
1 head of Romaine lettuce
2 lbs of zucchini/summer squash
1 lb bag of turnips
Cucumbers:  3 large and 1 small
1/2 lb bag of green beans
1 green bell pepper
1 lb of beefsteak tomatoes
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of herbs: Choose cilantro -OR- dill

Bread shareholders received a loaf of Oatmeal Wheat bread this week, loaded with organic rolled oats and plenty of local honey from Tom’s Honey and More.

There’s nothing too “out there” in this week’s share…just a lot of solid summertime favorites!  You’re getting a lot of cukes this week, and I just have to suggest one of my favorite summer lunch sides:  the simple and refreshing cucumber salad.  Just slice up a cuke and toss it in a bowl with salt, pepper, a dash of balsamic vinegar, and a drizzle of olive oil (sesame oil is nice, too.)  After a long morning on a hot day, I can’t think of a better way to cool down.  The green beans are coming in strong, lovely to look at and delicious.  You may find a stray purple bean or two in your bag this week.  This “green” bean variety is called Royal Burgundy.  I love putting a big basket of mixed beans on display at market with green, purple, and yellow wax beans.  Alas, the rainbow of fun ends with the cooking process, for the purple beans turn green when cooked.  Those wax beans will be coming soon, too…  Also, if you’re cursing us for giving you more turnips, never fear:  this is it until the fall!  They keep for months in the fridge, by the way, so don’t feel as though you need to plow through them right away.  Sonya discovered a new recipe for sweet sauteed turnips with raisins that I will try to get up on the recipe page soon.  Even I, a turnip skeptic, was somewhat impressed.

Just as the weeds and the work in general are pushing Sonya, Corey, Rachael, and I to the limit, help has arrived in the form of WOOFFers.  WWOOF, as you may recall, stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.  Travelers can stay on a farm in exchange for a few hours of labor each day.  Our first WWOOFer, Pete from Halifax, came way back in April and helped us out with various projects.  This past week, we welcomed Melissa and Brendon, a nice young couple from Providence, Rhode Island.  She is a vet tech, and he is an Army reservist and student (history).  Both gamely braved the heat and humidity and helped with weeding and the big Friday harvest.  Just yesterday, Maggie arrived, all the way from Thailand via New Hampshire.  She’s actually been working in the states since the spring and wanted to try volunteering on a farm or two before heading back home in early August.  She helped out this morning with harvest and will be here for the rest of this week.

A ghost from last year has crept into our state:  MOFGA is reporting that late blight, a serious fungal disease that attacks tomatoes and potatoes, has appeared in Maine again this summer.  This disease did a number on tomato plants all over New England during last year’s incredibly cool and wet summer, and we were in the thick of it.  We lost every single one of our field tomatoes last season to late blight, roughly  a thousand row feet of plants.  It’s probably safe to assume that the blight won’t be as rampant this summer, but we are concerned nevertheless.  Sonya and I have talked about spraying copper, an organically approved fungicide, on our tomato plants this very evening.  Stay tuned…

Many, many thanks to CSA member Ted Bridge-Koenigsberg for delivering and dumping several truckloads of sheep manure here this past weekend.  We plan to compost the stuff for awhile before spreading it around in the fall, mostly in Field 2.  We appreciate it, Ted and Ted’s flock!

Don’t forget that the next farm potluck is happening later this week on Saturday 7/24 from 5 – 9 PM.  If the weather is nice, we can all eat outside under Martha the red maple at our spiffy new picnic table!  Bring along a dish to share and chairs or blankets to sit on (alas, it’s only one picnic table!)  Potlucks are a great way to check out the farm and meet or reconnect with some great neighbors and friends.  We will also be hosting the season’s first weeding party on the same day from 3 – 5 PM.  If you’ve been wanting to visit the farm, get your hands dirty, and get a little closer to the fields where your food has been coming from, this will be a great opportunity for you to do so!  It’s also a good way to get to know fellow CSA members better.  Bring gloves if you would like to keep your hands clean and any weeding tools you may have.  Come for both the weeding and the feeding or one or the other.  We ask that folks RSVP this time around so we know what to expect.

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2 Responses to CSA Pick-up #6

  1. Jean says:

    John, I don’t know what you and Sonya decided about the application of copper to your tomato plants, but I just saw a report from a garden blogger in New Gloucester (too close for comfort!!) who has found late blight on tomatoes growing in containers on her deck. I wanted to let you know in case it tipped the balance toward the copper.

  2. Sonya says:

    Thanks Jean. We did decide to hold off. So far no confirmed reports of late blight have appeared near us. We had a neighbor who thought they had it too. Late blight is a pretty tricky thing. There are so many other diseases and even nutrient deficiencies that look like it. So far our field tomatoes are looking gorgeous. If the humidity increases again, we will spray.

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