The weather in July and August was great to work in, but terrible to grow in! People always tell us that we must be thankful for all the rain and are surprised to hear us say that we wish it would stop raining. Due to technological advances over the past 50 years that have lowered the cost of irrigation equipment, we are able to irrigate our crops using drip irrigation. This allows us to give exact amounts of water to plants weekly giving us an amazing amount of control when growing crops. Many of your favorite summer crops are from parts of the world that do not receive abundant rainfall, therefore, they have evolved with an inability to tolerate wet leaves. Wet years present many problems for all vegetable growers, but organic growers usually suffer from fungal and bacterial outbreaks due to the restrictions of strong fungicides. Luckily, we have invested in many high tunnels over the years to keep our summer crops dry, but we still plant summer crops in the field. This year we can definitely see the benefits of our investment. Peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini have fared well in the tunnels, but succumbed to bacterial and fungal problems in the fields. We have been leaning on our high tunnel production for much of the summer season. Even in the tunnels we have begun to see issues due to the lack of sunlight over the past three weeks. On the bright side, we are very excited to see the fall crops growing quickly!
Fall crops love cooler conditions, therefore, our broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage have been growing quite nicely. The first of the fall beets are right around the corner and we are almost done picking the winter squash. The spaghetti squash is curing in the high tunnel and the butternut has about one more week of growing until we harvest. We dug up a couple sweet potatoes this week to check on their progress and they are looking good (and tasting good too). The first radishes should be ready in a couple weeks along with hakurei turnips. The lettuces are always better when the temperatures drop and we are close to seeding the first spinach. Our later season apples are really looking good as well.
We will have a break for a couple weeks while we wait for our mid-September apples to ripen. We have planted our fall kale and swiss chard and are excited to see them off to a good start. Hopefully, the weather is on our side for the rest of the season and we have a great fall!
This week's suggested share consists of:
Small Family Vegetable Share- head lettuce, delicata, potatoes, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant
Large Family Vegetable Share- head lettuce, delicata, potatoes, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, onions, kale, beans
What can I make with my share this week?? Here are a couple of ideas!
Kale and Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash- https://greenhealthycooking.com/kale-quinoa-stuffed-delicata-squash/
Parmesan Herb Roasted Delicata Squash- http://www.lifesambrosia.com/parmesan-herb-roasted-delicata-squash/