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Archive for September 27th, 2010

week 16 update

Howdy Folks,

Summer has officially ended and with it go the warm weather crops.
The tomatoes are definitely over for the season; the peppers should
continue producing for a few more weeks. The eggplants are full of
small fruit but they are sizing up very slowly. We will give them a
rest this week in hopes of getting one more large harvest of medium
size fruit for next week. The late summer squash planting peaked last
week and production will begin to decline rapidly. Many of the plants
already have powdery mildew issues and with wet weather coming will
probably fade quickly. We still have a good supply for the shares this
week.

We have a good winter squash crop which we are in the process of
harvesting. Next week we will begin the rotation of the various
varieties of winter squash; from acorn to spaghetti, which will take
us to the end of the season.  The first large broccoli planting is
heading up nicely and we should have sufficient quantities for
everyone this week. If we run short we will substitute kale and ship
broccoli to those groups next week.    We have put in nearly 10,000
plants so expect broccoli frequently during the remainder of the
season.  There are also thousands of cauliflower and cabbage plant
which will begin to mature during October. I expect to have lettuce in
the shares again by next week. We have some spinach which is large
enough to pick, principally a red stemmed variety. We need to harvest
this type first because it is more prone to bolting and also because
the deer have decided that they like it!

I just returned from the Garlic Festival in Saugerties NY where I went
in search of seed garlic for next year’s crop.  Garlic is grown from
individual cloves which we plant in late October.  It will begin to
grow some roots and then emerge in early spring as soon as the ground
thaws. Seed garlic is rather scarce at present and prices are high,
due to both increased demand for the richly flavored stiffneck
varieties as well as a recently discovered nematode problem in NY
State. Nematodes are microscopic worm -like creatures that attack the
roots of the plant and are spread on infected bulbs. One bulb can
contain as many as 50,000 organisms! This is a serious problem which
also affects onion crops, so those who have the problem have had their
crops quarantined. For many others testing is necessary to insure the
absence of these critters and prevent the spread of the plague.

Since I never seem to have as much garlic as I would like (or as you
would like!) to put in the shares, I was anxious to obtain a
substantial quantity for next season. I came back with my Subaru
loaded down with nearly 600 lbs. of several varieties that I am fairly
confidant do not harbor the pest. I spent $4000 on this haul.

Farming is like that, we are always reinvesting the profits in the
next crop or the next season. I look on it as money in the bank, only
a bank without FDIC insurance and that is subject to frequent
robberies!

The share for this week will be: Red skinned potatoes, yellow onions,
spinach or chard, summer squash, broccoli, string beans, peppers,
carrots, choice of arugula, tatsoi or other mustard greens, and choice
of an herb.

Enjoy!
Farmer John

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