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Archive for July, 2009

Farm Update #9, Week 7, July 28th delivery

Hello Everyone,

We received some much needed rain this past weekend and fortunately the hailstorms that were about missed us this time. The ground is still quite dry, which is good for digging potatoes but not for much else.

We have been busy putting up trellis for tomatoes and for many people’s favorite, the Rattlesnake pole bean. The beans have been coming in heavily, so we have an ample supply for the shares this week. Unfortunately one variety that I planned which was supposed to be a green bean has produced yellow wax beans, so we have more wax beans than green beans at the moment.

This week you will be receiving Ailsa Craig sweet onions, a wonderful heirloom variety. These we will send with the green tops still attached, which can be used like a scallion.

We will also be shipping radicchio, most of which is the trevisio type which has a form like a small romaine lettuce.

We are continuing with the rotation of cukes and summer squash (zukes). If you got one last week you should get the other this week.

The share for this week will be: Red leaf lettuce, sweet onions, red skinned potatoes, string beans, cabbage, choice of Swiss chard or dandelion greens, radicchio, red skinned or golden turnips, cucumbers or summer squash and choice of an herb- summer savory, sweet marjoram, or parsley.

The fruit share this week will be Shiro plums and Mutsu apples.


Farmer John

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Farm Update #8, Week 6, July 21st delivery

Hi Everyone,

The continued dry spell enabled us to get somewhat caught up on the work we fell behind with during the monsoon.  Unfortunately we are now falling behind on the planting and some of the other tasks normal to Mid-July, such as tying up the tomatoes and harvesting the onions.

We have finished harvesting the garlic and it is hung up to cure. The harvest looks good with good size bulbs and not much problem with rot. It will be in the share again in 2 or 3 weeks.

We have begun harvesting the onions and as I feared the wet conditions have caused problems with rot. We have tried to save as many as we could by spreading them out in the greenhouse to dry, but many were too far gone. We will begin shipping some white onions this week and a sweet variety called Ailsa Craig next week. For the time being I recommend using your onions quickly as the sweet onions don’t keep well.

A word about the updates- I try my best to make predictions about what will be ready during the coming week on Sunday, because some groups receive their delivery on Tuesday. Please bear in mind that this is a prediction and not a guarantee. Things change and sometimes there is not enough of an item for groups that receive later in the week. I keep careful track of who has gotten what and to keep things equitable. Generally if an item is on the list and you don’t get it that week you will get it the next. This is the case for a number of items this week such as cauliflower, and squash/cucumbers as well as peas and favas which are ending vs. beans which are just beginning.

During the past week we were forced to harvest thousands of heads of lettuce we were about to lose to bolting. These are now in cold storage to be saved for distribution over the next several weeks.  Lettuce keeps very well this way for 2 or 3 weeks, but we just have too much and no more space in the coolers. And since many of the heads are a bit small, we will be sending 2 different varieties this week, probably a red romaine and a Boston (no guarantees!).

The share for this week will be: Yukon Gold potatoes, white onions, lettuces, carrots, cauliflower, choice of Swiss chard or kale, basil, bok choy, peas or beans, and squash or cucumbers.

(NOTE: the fruit share this week will be blueberries and peaches)


Farmer John

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Farm Update # 7, Week 5, July 14th delivery

here’s John’s note from the farm this week!

Hello Folks,

We’ve been busy this past week trying to catch up with the planting and with the weeding that we were unable to get done this past month due to the rain.

I have almost finished planting the pumpkins and the winter squash. On Monday I will finish up with planting the acorn squash and will also try to plant the edamame soybeans. We have also begun to harvest the garlic and hang it in the barn to cure. We should finish that project as well early this week.

We have also been busy in the greenhouse planting broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and other thing for the fall crop. The tops on some of the onions have begun to die back so we will be starting the onion harvest next week.

The share for this week will be: Romaine lettuce, Chinese cabbage, carrots, fresh garlic, peas, basil and choice of mustard or dandelion greens.


Farmer John

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Eggs & Broilers

This week is an egg and broiler delivery week and everyone should know that if eggs and broilers are not picked up, they will sit in the coolers for a week and spoil.  PLEASE BE EXTRA CAREFUL this week to pick up all orders.

Two weeks ago we had seven dozen eggs and a broiler that were forgotten at pick-up and we had to scramble to find their owners.  Ken sends down an inventory list each week with his delivery, but over the course of the pick up hours, the prior delivery’s list got mixed up with the current weekn and some of our members were signing off on one sheet and some on the other.  Additionally, members didn’t have that week’s note about broiler weights and last minute orders.

This week, we’ve asked Ken to date each sheet, and to only include the inventory for the current week on the list so that each delivery sheet will be more distinguishable and we can avoid this kind of mix up again.

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Farm Update #6, Week 4, July 7th Delivery

Hello Folks,

The weather looks good for the week ahead so perhaps this means we have reached the end of the monsoon season here in the Northeast.  With abundant sunshine and some moderate heat the warm weather crops should begin to grow rapidly.

The summer squash has recovered from the hail damage and is beginning to produce prolifically. The tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are beginning to flower, so we should have these in another 3 or 4 weeks. The sweet potatoes, cucumbers and beans are growing nicely, although the main bean crop was planted about 2 weeks later than planned, so it could be awhile until beans are abundant.The broccoli crop is still coming in heavily so we should have broccoli to deliver for the next 2 shares.

The pea patch, which looked so beautiful and promising for the longest time has succumbed to the one two punch of hail and repeated rains. Most of the dwarf varieties, which are not trellised, were flattened and the developing pods ended up against the soil under a mat of wet vegetation making them quite ugly if not completely rotten. This has been an especially bad problem with the sugar snaps since they are eaten whole. I hope to have peas in the shares for the next 2 weeks, but I can’t make any promises as to the quantities or quality.

By the way, I promise not to open next week’s update with a weather report or mention the hail storm again!

You will have a choice this week of baby salad turnips or red skinned turnips, which are generally cooked. I suspect than many of you may be tired of the radish and turnip rotation by now, so I wanted to reassure you that this will be the last until the fall, and that carrots and beets are coming! If you still have your radishes, take the tops off and they will keep for weeks until you find a use for them (this is true for the turnips as well). Radishes can be cooked in stir fries or soups and lose much of their spiciness in the process. One idea for getting your family to eat turnips is to make fritters out of them substituting them for potatoes in a potato pancake recipe.

The share for this week will be: Peas, scallions, summer squash, Oak leaf lettuce, choice of tatsoi or kale, turnips, choice of dill or cilantro, and kohlrabi (broccoli for those groups who got kohlrabi last week).


Farmer John

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