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Letter from Farmer John: June 24 2008

Hi Folks,

These are times that try men’s souls!

This is the time of the season that is perhaps the most difficult for me and my workers. We have begun harvesting substantial amounts of produce and yet still a great deal of planting to be done. We are battling the first batch of summer weeds, which grow so quickly that they rapidly overtake many slower growing crops. There are irrigation lines to be run, sprinklers to move around, and trellis to be put up for the peas, cukes, and tomatoes.

I have hundreds of melon plants ready to be transplanted as well as herbs and flowers. It is time to plant the pumpkins and winter squash and the edamame soy beans, and in the greenhouse we must begin planting all of the fall crops, such as broccoli, cauliflower and radicchio. If I can just make it through these next few weeks it will all be downhill from there! Not really, but that’s what I like to pretend.

The first planting of summer squash is growing nicely and beginning to flower, so we should have zucchini in another 2 weeks. My first planting of string beans has germinated well, and I expect to begin harvesting them in about a month.

One bit of bad news is that I did not receive the sweet potato plants that I ordered. The company I ordered them from advised me that due to an extended drought last year and a very cool spring this season, their production was substantially reduced and they could not fill my order. I am very disappointed because I enjoy growing them almost as much as eating them, and I had planned to double my plantings from last year and try several new varieties. I will try to source some locally grown sweet potatoes to purchase and include in the shares this fall.

The share for this week will be: Red Boston lettuce, radishes, peas, kale, bok choy, and choice of escarole or endive (frissee). Those who did not receive broccoli last week will get broccoli instead of kale.

Enjoy!

Farmer John

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