CSA Newsletter #6

Well, it's another rainy night in the Finger Lakes while I write this. July has definitely picked up where June left off. The rain has definitely started to impact some of the field work that we need to get done. But there's always enough to get done around the farm, especially with the greenhouse and hoophouses. There was a continuation of tomato work. They are starting to respond nicely to the time that we have spent with them. Most plants are 3 plus feet tall with nice fruit clusters starting to form. We're even starting to see a few cherry tomatoes starting to ripen. We also gave our other houses some attention last week. In the pepper hoophouse, we treat them similarly as our tomatoes. Landscape fabric is used to prevent weed pressure and we are dropping string down to tie up the plants. Instead of one string per plant, we are dropping 2 to support the peppers. In the past, these plants are usually loaded and the weight of the fruit starts to break the branches. I'm hoping that this method will help alleviate this issue. We're also starting to see fruit pop in this house, as well. It shouldn't be too long until the first Shishito peppers. Our last hoophouse has a mix of crops, so we don't have landscape fabric down but it's something I'm going to consider for the future. So, weeds are starting to flourish and the crops need our attention. We were able to get through the eggplant and okra but still need to tackle the basil and ginger.

There was also a significant amount of time spent harvesting the black currants. We're about halfway through our summer semester and all the interns have been doing great. I'm hoping we can get through the harvest before there's a mutiny. I'm just kidding but we've already surpassed our previous high harvest and we have about a week or so left of harvesting.

And for this week's CSA choice, that means there are going to be more black currants. Last week I included a recipe for black currant jam. I ended up making it and it came out great but that's something to make and save for later. I wanted to find something to use them in now. I came across a bunch of recipes for various pastries, which looked amazing but who wants to have the oven on longer than it's needed in the summer? During one of our chats while harvesting, Laura mentioned that her sister made a sorbet and that's all I needed to hear. There's a bunch of different ways and recipes that I saw but I thought this one looked the simplest. Lettuce mix is making it's return this week and fresh garlic is appearing for the first time. Fresh garlic is basically uncured garlic. The flavor is slightly milder and since all of our garlic needs to be out by the end of the month, it's a nice way to get a start on the harvest. Fresh garlic can be used just the same as cured garlic but keep it in the fridge. We keep the stems long in case you want to cure it yourself. You can do this by hanging it in a warm, sunny area of your home. The last of the scapes will also be out, along with radishes, beets, kohlrabi, herbs and hot peppers. There will also be new potatoes. These little beauts should be refrigerated and are perfect for roasting or salt potatoes.

Have a great week, 

Farmer Todd