Farm news and farm photos

We’re in the thick of our summer work.  I wish we were finished planting but Steve is still nurturing new seedings out of the ground.  It is tricky to keep young seedlings moist during dry weather.  Several critical carrot and winter radish plantings failed and needed re-seeding.  We are grateful that we can get replacement seed shipped to us quickly.  The latest radish planting is coming up nicely.  It’s a relief.  Otherwise, our crew is busy with harvests and weeding.  All our crops feel heavy right now: melons, tomatoes, onions.  Steve notices the melons the most.

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It takes a crowd to harvest watermelons.

Steve (furthest in back) carefully chooses ripe melons.  He tosses to David, who tosses to Kyle, who tosses to Brianna on the wagon, who washes the melons.  Steve is 65 years old but in great shape.  Nonetheless, he’s already asleep because he picked 12,000 lb of melons this week and expects to pick another 4,000 lb tomorrow.  You can see white spray from the irrigation gun in the top right corner of the photo above.  Steve and the others were at the edge of the irrigation mist during melon harvest, the perfect place to be on a hot day.

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Traveling irrigation gun with rainbow.

We’re back to irrigating all our crops.  There’s been little rain for 8 weeks.  We coasted for a while on the heavy rains that came in June, then cool weather protected the plants from stress for a few more weeks.  At this point our crops will not grow without extra water.  We are counting on our strong irrigation well which pulled us through last year’s drought.

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Blue and Boi use tip scales to weigh potatoes for the CSA boxes.

Our outdoor packing shed is another good place to be during hot sunny days.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes

1 melon (watermelon OR muskmelon OR crenshaw)
sweet corn, about 5 ears
“new” red potatoes, 3.25 – 3.5 lb
mixed slicing and plum tomatoes, 3 lb
white onion, 1 large
Romano beans, 1.1 lb
red Italian frying peppers, 2 or 3
#2 grade red bell peppers, 0 or 1
green leaf lettuce, 1
parsley, 1 bunch
You will receive 1 or 2 squash if we can fit them in your box.

Next week’s box will probably contain watermelon, tomatoes, peppers, onions, basil and more

Melons – We grow a variety of different melons and will continue to rotate the types among the pick-up sites.  Red watermelon are traditional seeded varieties.  Yellow watermelons are smaller with very sweet flesh and a softer texture than red watermelons.  You know our muskmelons by now – we’ve sent them for several weeks because they’ve been quite tasty.  One site (Evansville) will get crenshaw melons this week.  These look like muskmelons but have a different flavor.
“New” red potatoes – The potatoes are from Chris Malek of Malek Family Stewardship Farm.  They were harvested young enough that the skins have not set but (unlike most new potatoes) they were grown to full size.  The skins are fragile so handle carefully while cooking.  I boiled a pot until just cooked and they made fabulous potato salad.  Chris advises that you refrigerate these potatoes because they lose moisture very readily at this stage.  Don’t overcook them.
White onion – We’re sending white onions for a change from Walla Wallas.  The white onions are more pungent than Wallas and have low moisture so they will fry, although they do not fry as well as yellow storage onions.
Romano beans – Steve asked me to write that the Romano beans are at full maturity and will hold up to a braising recipe.  These are lovely beans, nicer than the batch we sent two weeks ago.

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