CSA Newsletter #11

Well, we survived the heat last week. It was pretty brutal. I felt like a runway model with how many outfit changes I made during some of those days. After getting a bunch of plants in the ground the first half of the week, we had to pause the field plantings because we "dry farm" in the field. That means we don't use irrigation, so I felt it was best to wait until it rained again before planting more. But guess what? It's Tuesday and keeping with 2021, it rained today. The beginning of August was bucking the trend of the season by being hot and dry but the start of this week proved otherwise. 

The second half of last week and into this week was spent working in the greenhouse and hoophouses. We spent a good amount of time making the tomatoes happy. And it paid off. Since we grow our tomatoes indoors, the diseases we face are limited. One thing that we do throughout the season is to continually prune lower leaves to create more airflow. This helps us to minimize disease in these indoor spaces. We also continued prepping the areas for our fall/winter hoophouse plantings. After weeding the big weeds, we use a flame weeder (think a really big blow torch) to take care of the small weeds and then we use a broadfork to till the soil. The broadfork is a great tool and even though it's a bit more work than a rototiller, it ends up being better for our soil structure because we can get much deeper to break up the soil. The next thing is to plant, which will hopefully happen by the end of this week.

August also represents the end of the summer semester for the student interns. Even though the semester officially ended last week, I'm flexible with the interns to complete their required hours, so some will be finishing their hours over the next couple of weeks. It's been a great experience with them this summer. They definitely experienced a challenging growing season but have persevered. 

This week's share is all about heirloom tomatoes. After just harvesting enough for everyone to get their first taste last week, the heirlooms really took off this week. It's a perfect week to make a roasted heirloom sauce by halving the tomatoes, drizzling some olive oil, top with spices of choice and slow roast until they start to blister. We then toss them in a pot and use an immersion blender to smooth them out. There will be a handful of beefsteaks mixed in with the heirlooms this week. The cherry tomatoes are increasing in number but aren't cranking just yet. They will be part of a choice with paste tomatoes. There will also be more green peppers, shishito peppers and a good mix of hot peppers. Garlic, basil, mint, kohlrabi, rainbow chard and a mix of zucchini and patty pan squash will also be part of the choice this week.

Have a great week,

Farmer Todd