Goodness! The season is about halfway over already! Your CSA share this week contains the following:
2 lbs of Sangre potatoes
3 lbs of zucchini/summer squash/patty pan squash
1 head of lettuce
1 bunch of chard -OR- 1 bunch of Red Russian kale -OR- 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 sweet onion
1 lb bag of beans (green, wax, and purple)
1 bulb of garlic
4 lb bag of mixed beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes
1 bunch of parsley
Bread shareholders received a loaf of Honey Oatmeal bread this week. Look for all sorts of goodies for sale at pick-up this week: eggs, flowers, pizza dough, pancake mix, carrot walnut muffins, cookies, zucchini relish, bread and butter pickles, etc.
Sangre potatoes are another wonderful early variety. Red-skinned and white-fleshed, they are great boiled and baked. The cukes finally seem to be slowing down a bit while the zukes and summer squash are hitting their peak. The field tomatoes are really coming in now, too…we got a lot more out there than we were expecting today! Remember the canning option. Sonya’s been hard at work, making and canning salsa last week and canning a load of leftover market tomatoes this past Sunday in addition to her previous efforts with zucchini relish and sweet pickles (both for sale at pick-ups!) It’s comforting to know that we’ll get a solid supply of tomatoes in for the winter this season after last year’s dissappointments. Another wonderful and simple idea for saving tomatoes was passed along to us by a customer at the Bridgton Farmers’ Market a couple years ago. Simply cut up a number of tomatoes, place them on a baking pan, drizzle olive oil over them, and roast them. Let them cool, load up freezer bags, and freeze them. These make the perfect base for a pasta sauce or a soup or a chili all winter long.
With summer drifting by, we have already launched and nearly finished another project: attempting to address the issue of greenhouse flooding in the spring. After storms, we try to get most of the snow off the top of the greenhouse. By the end of the winter, we have quite the piles of snow along each side of the structure. As the spring begins, the piles begin to melt. Because the ground outside is still frozen and the ground inside the greenhouse is usually not, all that melt water comes inside. The result is a muddy mess that makes working in the front of the greenhouse a slog and makes preparing the tomato beds at the back a real challenge. With some conversations and good advice from a number of folks (most notably our pal, Hank Mosher, and farmer John Bliss of Broadturn Farm in Scarborough), we got to work. For the front of the greenhouse, we plan to put down a thick layer of crushed rock. For the back where we grow tomatoes, we dug trenches along the side walls and rear end wall, about a foot deep and a foot wide. (We all helped, but Rachael, a former trail worker out in the Pacific Northwest, gets the award for Best Digger…she also had a knack for finding the biggest rocks.) A thin layer of crushed rock went into the trenches, followed by lengths of perforated pipe covered with strips of greenhouse ground cloth. More crushed rock was applied to fill in the rest of the trench, followed by a bit of soil on top. The pipes lead to a deeper hole in the very back corner of the greenhouse with another pipe leading out of the structure to direct the water out towards Field 2. Hopefully, this set-up will help with the overall drainage of the house each spring and enable us to get in there and work in a more timely fashion. This was a big project, and I’m amazed that we got it done in really just a couple of days. As they say, many hands make light work…
Many thanks to Geof Hancock at Alma Farm in Porter for dropping his plow off over here on Sunday so we could finally open up some new land. Sonya created much of the new Field 4 on Sunday afternoon. She’s never used a plow before but found it to be pretty simple. We’ve been wanting to do this for some time now, so it’s exciting to finally make it happen! The master plan is to take weedy, weedy Field 1 (the field to the left of our driveway) out of production all together next season and work, work, work it to get the weeds under control.
Folks, we need bags! We (re)use plastic grocery bags for our customers at the farmers’ markets, and we’re running low. If you’ve been saving up these bags, we would love to have them. Only plastic grocery bags, please…we really have no use for other types of bags. Thanks! Also, don’t forget that the August potluck is happening this Thursday the 19th from 6-8 PM. The evenings on the farm have been really beautiful lately, so we’ll be gathering outdoors, weather permitting, to share some food, good company, and conversation. Bring a delicious creation to share, a blanket or chairs to sit on, and anyone who might want to come along. We hope you can make it!