CSA Newsletter #12

Before we jump into the farm update, let's take a moment to welcome the folks who are joining the CSA for the second half of the season. 

Ok, so I guess I shouldn't have complained about how hot it was because we got some serious rain out here on the farm. It was 5 plus inches in the 3 plus days. To say that there was an impact would be an understatement but we persevered. We were on a good run of getting plants in the ground for the fall until this little hiccup. I, for sure, wasn't going to be able to get any tractor work done but we probably could have planted a little. I decided against that because we are really concerned with the health of our soil. Soil structure can impact the health and it was so wet and muddy, that I was worried about compaction and just the way it would crust from all of our footprints and knees once it dried out. 

That just gave us more time to work on projects around the barn and hoophouses and greenhouse. Little jobs like cleaning up old seedling trays and staking our hot pepper plants got done. The greenhouse tomatoes were wrapped around their strings and some suckering got done. All of the work on the cherry tomatoes now needs to be done with a step stool or ladder. There are a handful of plants that are approaching 13 feet! The big job that completed, though, was weeding our big hoophouse. Three of our four houses have landscape fabric to warm the soil and prevent weeds. That does a great job but in alternating years, either the greenhouse or our big hoophouse doesn't have landscape fabric, which means weeds! It didn't get finished, but some serious progress was made. 

Lastly, some kale for the late fall and winter months were planted. Those are planted outdoors and in a few months the hoophouse that has the peppers will be moved it to cover the kale and whatever else we get planted. As day length decreases, plant growth slows down to an almost stop for a month starting mid to late December. It's important to get plants established and harvestable before that time comes. This is why our movable hoophouses play such an important role on the farm. We are able to push our summer crops as late as possible and also get plants in the for the winter.

Tomatoes continue to rule the CSA share, with all four types increasing production. If you thought there were a lot of heirlooms last week, wait until you see what's available tomorrow. One of our favorites this time of year, especially if we're doing dinner with family or friends, is to make a heirloom tomato platter. Just slice a few different types of heirlooms, some fresh mozzarella and arrange that on a large plate (we like to make circles with alternating slices of tomato and mozzarella). Top with some fresh basil and drizzle a nice balsamic over it and you're starting to feel really good. Bonus points if you have fresh bread to slop up the juices on the plate. Cherry tomatoes are starting to really produce and will be by themselves this week. The beefsteaks and paste will be boxed and together. Some beautiful hot peppers, shishito peppers and green bell/fryers will be available. I noticed some starting to turn color while harvesting, so sweet peppers aren't too far behind. Garlic, basil, rainbow chard, kohlrabi and most likely the last of the zucchini/squash round out the choice.

Have a great week,

Farmer Todd