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week #2: veggies!

The vegetable share for this will be: Red leaf lettuce, scallions,
salad turnips, sugar snap peas, spinach, a mustard (tatsoi, broccoli
raab, green wave), choice of endive or escarole, broccoli (some
groups), summer squash (some groups) and choice of an herb (parsley,
cilantro, dill)

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Farm Update from Starbrite Farm

Hi Folks!

The first round of deliveries seems to have gone fairly well, from all
reports. There will generally be some glitches and confusion with the
first couple of deliveries, especially with new groups. Some lucky
groups got broccoli last week, an item that wasn’t on the list. Those
that did not, will receive it this week.

The earliest variety of broccoli we planted is producing a meager
harvest due to stress from temperature extremes soon after
transplanting. Stress in plants, it should be noted, is completely
unconnected to stress in humans, except as it relates to my stress
levels. Plants react to stress by flowering, which since broccoli is a
flower, should be good, but the flower forms when the plant is still
too small and hence produces a small bud. There are 4 other varieties
in the field for which I have good expectations (not great though-
sorry Charles).  We should have sufficient quantities for all groups
several times in the coming weeks.

We are also beginning to cut summer squash, though not in great
quantity, so we will begin a similar delivery rotation with this crop
until we have more in 2 weeks. Which leads me to the following
disclaimer: We reserve the right to omit or change any item on the
farm update list from your actual share for that week. We also reserve
the right to add a vegetable to your share which was not on the list.
All legal facetiousness aside the update list should be considered a
close approximation, my best guess, of what will be in the share. I
can’t be 100% accurate all the time.

We have at present, what I suppose should be called a good problem to
have- we have too much stuff (foodstuffs).  There is enough spinach
for this week and probably next week as well. It still looks beautiful
but it won’t hold as we head into some hot days this next week (and I
was trying so hard not to talk about the weather!). The problem is
that we don’t have the time to harvest it all, and don’t want to
overwhelm you, the members, with too many greens all at once.

The Swiss chard looks great, but will have to wait. The bok choy is
ready too, but next week will have to do.  All of the mustards-
tatsoi, broccoli raab, and green wave are bolting to flower and the
arugula is already too far gone to salvage anything from this
planting. We will be sending as much broccoli raab as we can as a
choice with the mustard greens this week. The flowers have been
damaged a bit by a new pest- the tarnished plant bug, but the leaf is
nice, and there’s never much of a bud with raab anyway. There will
also be Hakurei salad turnips in the share this week, a favorite among
the veterans and hopefully a new treat for the neophytes. They are
delicious eaten raw, sliced like a radish or grated in salads or can
be cooked.  The root is sweet and mild flavored and the leaf can also
be steamed or braised.

I apologize that there was so much soil on several items last week. We
had a torrential downpour last Sunday and it splashed a lot of soil
onto the leaves. We can’t practically wash the leafy greens like
lettuce and spinach, because if they remain too wet they rot quickly
in storage and transport. My crew compounded the problem a bit by not
removing enough of the lower, dirtier leaves, during harvest and so
soiled the other heads in the tub. We will try to do better!

Many thanks to the pea picking volunteers who came out to the farm to
lend a hand today. We had representatives from Metuchen, Jersey City,
Westfield and Staten Island. Together they picked about 120 lbs. of
peas.

The share for this will be: Red leaf lettuce, scallions, salad
turnips, sugar snap peas, spinach, a mustard (tatsoi, broccoli raab,
green wave), choice of endive or escarole, broccoli (some groups),
summer squash (some groups) and choice of an herb (parsley, cilantro,
dill)

Enjoy!
Farmer John

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