2021 CSA Newsletter #5

Happy July, folks. It's hard to believe that we are putting June behind us. I know I wrote about the weather last week but I read an article over the weekend that said June was the 3rd hottest and 11th wettest on record. July has started a bit wet but we'll see how things ended up.

The weather hasn't slowed us down, though. Last week we were able to get some transplanting done and spent a good amount of time working on the tomatoes. All 700 plus strings are now dropped to trellis our plants. After we get them tied up, we spend time weekly "suckering" the plants. We completed our first round last week, which is usually the most challenging, especially if it's something that you haven't done before. It's a pretty straight forward job but can be a little confusing at first, with multiple new growing points on the tomato plants. I have to say, folks did a great job and it's already made a huge difference with the plants responding nicely. We're starting to see lots of flowers and the first fruit clusters. This week I'll be ordering a bumblebee hive to help with pollination for the greenhouse tomatoes. Since our ventilation is only at the endwalls, it's hard for native pollinators to make their way inside the greenhouse, so we bring in bumblebees. We use bumblebees because they are supposed to be less aggressive than honeybees but I've still had my fair share of stings over the years.

In this week's CSA share, black currants will make their debut. I know I mentioned this last week, but this is going to be a bumper year for our currants. The plants are loaded. The first picking is usually the slowest because very few full clusters are ripe and we need to pick them individually or clusters of 2-3. Two years ago we harvested about 55 pounds. We will definitely surpass that this year and maybe come close to doubling that number. If you're not familiar with currants, they are small and a lot make up 55 pounds. I'll have to find some more recipes because I think they'll be around for a few weeks, but I'll start out with a simple jam recipe. If you're into dehydrating, I like to dehydrate them and then add them to muffins. There will also be more hot peppers, herbs, scallions, carrots, beets, radishes, garlic scapes and kohlrabi. I forgot to mention kohlrabi last week. It's such a versatile vegetable. I love adding it to salads. You just peel the outer skin and slice it up. It's great with hummus and you can even make a "kohl" slaw. Greens will be making a return this week. There will be some lettuce, kale and chard to choose from.

Have a great week!


Farmer Todd