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Farm Update, July 2, 2016

This week at the farm things have really taken off and we are picking like crazy trying to keep up.  The rows of vegetables have shot up and filled out so that it’s hard to imagine just a few weeks ago they were just babies.  The plants are loaded with blossoms and as you clear aside a few leaves you notice loads of fruit developing nicely.  The cucumbers, squash, and beans are ready to pick, in fact this week we have picked about 200 cases of them.  Where is that Peter Piper when you need him?  The cherry tomatoes are just days away, as is the eggplant.  Beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes are just around the corner along with the peppers.  There is a tired feeling which seems to emerge at the end of each day echoed on the faces of the farm crew.  But it is a good feeling to be at this stage of the game where the plants look healthy, the vegetables taste amazing, and we are using almost everything we pick in the CSA and at the stands.

Almost”  because it would seem we may have made a few miscalculations in what a plant would yield.  We had planned on producing about enough for 50 bushels of beans per week, but now we are thinking that soon we will have about 100 per week!  Whether it’s the fertility of the soil or the variety we selected we are not sure.  But either way it’s probably a good problem to have.  Our business was built on the creative problem solving of having to move a surplus of product while the stopwatch of its perishability factor goes tick tock.  In this case whatever we don’t get to pick will add nitrogen back into the soil.  Who knows maybe a little “Pick Your Own” Party at the farm.

Can you pickle that?  The next crop which seems to be kicking off more than it’s fair share are the pickling cucumbers.  Despite the name these cukes are for more than just pickling.  In fact, I personally prefer them to the slicers for cucumber salads because they have fewer seeds and a thinner less bitter skin.  We also grew this great little persian cucumber variety called “Diva”.  They are about the size of the kirby “pickling” cukes but thin smoother skin, a great crunch, and practically seedless.  If you get a chance, give these guys a try.  In the meantime, now is the time to pickle.  Let us know if you can use a case.  $25/ half bushel and CSA Members get 15% Off.

This week I received a lesson on squash blossoms as well.  Every morning we harvest the blossoms of the zucchini plants.  We pick them early in the morning when they start to open because by late morning they are spent.  There are male and female flowers.  The blossoms look almost the same except there is a difference in the center of the flower and the females are the ones producing the fruit.  We harvest the male blossoms as not to disrupt the zucchini harvest as much.  Speaking of which, what a harvest it is.  We have a great selection of a variety of squash.  Gorgeous dark green and gold zucchinis, striped Italian heirloom varieties, and adorable little patty pans.  My personal favorite, the bonita.  It is a light green slighly shorter and slightly chubbier version of the typical dark green zucchini.  I love cooking bonita squash on the grill because it’s a bit more firm and even a bit more flavorful than the other squash.  Also really nice in a saute.  Definitely give them a try.  This week we are running a bonita squash special at the stands and are piling it high to watch it fly.  That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading our newsletter and have a great week everyone.

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