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Archive for July 13th, 2010

week 5 delivery

Hi Folks,

I am happy to report that the farm received nearly 2 inches of rain
this past Friday night into Saturday morning. This was much more than
expected and a bit more than was needed, but nevertheless a huge
relief, both to my worried mind and my drought stressed plants. We
were occupying too much time moving the sprinklers around and I was
unable to begin preparing ground for the fall planting which will
begin soon.  When the ground gets dry it shrinks and tightens, making
plowing difficult and dusty.  I will have to wait a day or two for the
soil to dry a bit, but soon I will be able to get some seeds in the
ground.

I picked and ate the first few tomatoes over the weekend. The first
few always end up on my plate, since there aren’t enough to distribute
or even to take to market. And what a delight they are- acidic and
sweet, unlike anything available from far away places, out of season.
The tomato crop looks good so far and I anticipate having sufficient
quantities to begin distributing in 2-3 weeks.  Peppers and eggplant
are on the horizon as well.  The pea harvest is essentially done but
we are still picking a few shell peas and some snow peas which were
planted late. Their replacement in the legume category-the string
beans are just beginning to fill out. The plants have been looking
quite sad this past week or too, a result of the dry conditions and
also the damage caused by the bean beetle. It is necessary to tolerate
some defoliation as we wait for the parasitic wasp to do its job.

While we are on the subject, 2 weeks ago in my update I discussed the
Mexican bean beetle and the biologic control program run by the NJDA.
I like to try to inject some humor into my writings and I jokingly
referred to these insects as “undocumented aliens”.  I received a
message from one of the members saying that she found this offensive.
I apologize if any one else did not find this amusing. I did not mean
to compare undocumented immigrant to bugs, but since in recent days
some politicians have done just that, I suppose that my remark could
have been easily misunderstood.

I have tremendous respect for the hard work done by the immigrant
population, in agriculture and in other areas. I have seen the poverty
that exists in Central America and I have sympathy for the risks that
are taken and the sacrifices made by these folks in order to provide a
better life for their families. The United Farmworkers Union is
currently promoting a program they call “Take our Jobs”, encouraging
average Americans to spend a day doing farm work, in an attempt to
promulgate greater respect for these workers and the arduous tasks
they perform. I guess in some way we are unofficially participating in
this program with the volunteer work days we have been hosting. I wish
to thank those members who came out this past Sunday to help with the
garlic harvest. We were able to bring in about a third of the crop.

We have needed to harvest large quantities of lettuce in the past few
weeks in order to not lose them to bolting in the scorching heat. Some
of these varieties do not hold well and the coolers are getting quite
full. We will be sending 2 different types of lettuce in the shares
this week. Hopefully you won’t mind eating lots of salad this week. We
also had to harvest the Napa or Chinese cabbage this past week, so
that will be in the share.  While I planted sufficient quantities for
all the members and to have for market, a substantial number were lost
to either rot or bolting, so we may need to substitute regular green
cabbage if we run short.

The share for this week will be: Romaine Lettuce, green leaf lettuce,
napa cabbage, choice of kale or Swiss chard, elephant garlic, carrots,
summer squash, cucumbers, peas and or green beans and choice of an
herb.

Enjoy!

Farmer John

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