Thursday, September 17, 2009

Week 18, I think

We started harvesting a week late this year so although we should be at week 19 we're only at week 18, pretty good though and the shares seem to just be getting better. Thanks to everyone who has returned mid season surveys so far, they are very helpful. In today's share there are two heads of lettuce, we harvested some flashy lightning, blushed butter cos, and blushed icy oak so you'll get one or two of those in your bag. There were enough peppers to go around today and I recommend letting them get a little more color on the kitchen counter before using them. This will sweeten them even more - they are not at all hot, we're not growing hot peppers this year so any pepper you get should be sweet no matter how much it looks like a hot pepper. Some shares got dill and some got cilantro this week. Partly due to member feedback in the surveys we decided to go with bigger bunches of one instead of smaller bunches of both. Cucumbers and summer squash are randomly distributed and continue to produce decently despite a bit of mildew on the plants and the cooler weather. Tomatoes are slowing down but there are lots of unripe fruit so if we get some more sun those will continue in the shares for a few weeks. We put a few onions in the shares this week, the largest from the OSU Organic onion trial that we're taking a small part in. There were just a few of each variety so they're all mixed up now and I couldn't tell you which is which but we'll have some more small ones to give out soon. Some of the shares are getting melons this week. Everyone should be up to half a melon at this point and by next week we hope to have everyone at 3/4 of a melon, which is 1/4 more than we were expecting a few weeks ago. Italian plums are ripe, and plentiful at the farm right now so we've put 4 in each share.

Fall crops are looking good in general, Now that planting season is over we've been able to spend more time weeding and cleaning up around the edges. We're missing a few crops from the original plan but we have a few extras so there should be enough for harvests to go into December, weather permitting. We just picked up cover crop seed so that we can start putting some of the harvested beds into cover crop for the winter. We'll be using rye and vetch which will hold soil against erosion, keep nutrients from leaching and ultimately add nitrogen and organic matter back into the soil, as well as improving the tilth of the soil for next season. I'll try to post some photos as the fall cover crops come up and start growing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A mid week post?


Here's a photo of the farm last Thursday morning when I arrived. I haven't had much time recently to update the blog, and truthfully I don't really today either, but I will. Recently my posts have been limited to a quick photo at lunch after harvest and then a few notes on the share typed on my phone. Today I get to sit in front of a computer and load a few extra photos.


One of the carrots we harvested last week was 3/4 lb. After I took this shot I found a larger, although not quite as photogenic carrot. Carrots get really big if you give them space and we had thinned this planting earlier in the year, although not all the carrots had as much space to grow as this one.


There was a bit of wind at the farm two weekends ago when it rained and the popcorn was knocked over, as well as a bit of our bean and tomato trellising. We propped the trellises up but the corn will have to mature on its side. Unfortunately we also noticed a bit of deer nibbling. The most effective option, an 8' fence, is out of the question so we'll protect as many greens as possible with row cover as soon as we can round up enough. We may get a bit of blood meal to hang as a deterrent, as they dislike the smell. Blood meal is a byproduct of the slaughter houses. It's steam sterilized and ground into a meal and is high in nitrogen so it is commonly used as a fertilizer on organic farms. We use another slaughter house byproduct, feather meal, which is a bit cheaper but supplies the same nitrogen.


These are some of the chicories we'll have in the fall shares. We've switched to transplanting and I'm very happy with the results. It's a bit more work up front, having to take care of the starts and hand seed flats, but we get much better weed control and even spacing, which leads to more even maturity. The two pictured above are frissee and radicchio. With the cool fall weather these should blanch quite nicely and come out sweet with none of the bitterness associated with chicories grown in the warm season. They're a favorite of the deer so we'll be sure to protect them soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shares get heavier

I definitely noticed a bit more weight in some of the bags today, either that or I'm getting a little wimpier as the season goes on. In the photo above there's the full array of possibility although some items are rotating through the different drop sites. Some folks will see a quarter melon this week and we hope to get them a quarter again next week. The Jimmy Nardello sweet peppers continue to slowly ripen and a few folks will get those today. We thinned the root parsley so there are small bunches in the share. Both the tops and roots are good for cooking and give good parsley flavor. The roots can get quite sweet when fried, my favorite way to eat them. In honor of our first returned survey which identified sweet lettuces and carrots as their favorites those are in the share today. We've also included a bit of parsley, the usual mix of tomatoes, squash, and/or cucumbers.

We're spending the afternoon weeding and doing a little planning for the fall. Unfortunately the deer have discovered our crops and are nibbling around the edges. We'll try to get some cover on the beds before they do too much damage. I'll see if I can get a little time one day soon to give a few more updates on how the season is going and to post some more photos.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


A little dill and cilantro this week along with a few new partial crops. We harvested just a handful of Jimmy Nardello sweet peppers and the first few melons. We probably will only end up with enough melons for everyone to get half so we will put the in shares pre cut. They should all ripen within the next three weeks and we will have peppers into October with any luck. Some folks are getting a few more beans from the end of this planting. There is another planting that should be ready soon. The lettuce today is a mix of blushed butter cos and blushed icy oak. Tomato varieties, cucumbers and summer squash are distributed randomly through the shares and there are also a few beet thinnings. Italian plums continue to ripen slowly so there is one in the share to round things out. Our last planting of lettuce goes in today. We are almost done planting for the season so now we can concentrate a little more on weeding and cleaning up before it starts raining.