Water on, water off

We had too much water and too little water at the same time on Monday.  A thunderstorm brought two inches of rain in about 45 minutes.  That’s fast.  Everyone worked indoors for an hour before heading out into the mud.  Only one truck got mired!  Meanwhile, a nearby lightning strike damaged the electronic control for our farmstead well.  A broken well means we cannot wash produce.  This is a big problem on a muddy day.  We continued harvesting while our well expert Charlie Davis diagnosed the problem, gathered the parts, and got it fixed.  By afternoon we could start washing.  That was a full, busy day.

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A total of 2.7 inches rain fell on Monday and Tuesday.

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Steve checks electrical components in our well house.

Melon harvest is at its peak so we are sending two melons this week.  Read below about the types.  Enjoy them over the Labor Day holiday.  This was a demanding week for Steve, as he picks and throws every watermelon.  He estimates he picked 19,000 lb of watermelons and honeydew melons this week.  Right now, he’s lying down on the floor to rest.  A second crew, led by Michael and Billy, takes care of the muskmelons and crenshaws.  The melon crews love this work.  It’s fast-paced and productive, and they get to eat any dropped melons.  Still warm from the sun, they are luscious.

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Melon harvest.  From right, Steve chooses ripe melons then tosses them to Edgar, who tosses to Jon, who tosses to Ari, who washes the melons in a tank on the wagon.

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A modern scare crow protects the corn.  The final sweet corn will be ready next week.

Veggie list (August 28/29, 2014, week #15, green EOW)

This is another full, heavy box.  Carry your box from the bottom so it doesn’t break open.  We’ll send everything on this list, as long as it fits in the box.

Orange watermelon
Crenshaw OR honeydew melon
Sweet corn, about 6 ears
Slicing & plum tomatoes, 3.75 – 4.0 lb
Colored bell pepper, 1 or 2
Orano pepper, 1 or 2
Yellow onions, 1 or 2
Cucumber (1 or 2) OR pickles
Lacinato OR Red Russian kale, 1 bunch
Dillweed, 1 stalk
Some sites will get eggplant.  Some will get an heirloom tomato.

Next week’s box will probably contain red potatoes, sweet corn, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, poblano chiles, and more.

Tomatoes – All the tomatoes are in one bag.  Here’s the breakdown: plum tomatoes, about 1 lb; slicing tomatoes, about 2.75 – 3 lb.
Yellow onions – We are sending yellow onions for the first time this year.  These are pungent cooking onions, good for frying.  We’ll switch back to sweet Walla Wallas over the next few weeks, so keep them segregated if you carry onions from week to week.
Cucumbers – There are a few oddly-shaped cucumbers this week.  The cucumber season won’t last much longer,  and we’re eager to send them while we have them.  They are still delicious.

Melon ID (crenshaw vs honeydew), plus how to judge ripeness.

Orange watermelons – Round or slightly oblong, with the usual variegated watermelon ride. These are ripe.  Eat soon.
Crenshaw melons – This oblong melon has a yellow exterior.  The interior is pale orange with a soft, creamy texture, similar to muskmelon.  These melons were ripe or nearly ripe when harvested but will improve after a day or two on your countertop.  The end opposite the stem scar should be slightly soft when pressed.  Refrigerate at this stage of ripeness.
Honeydew melons – This melon has an off-white rind, and a pale green interior.  Most are round.  We picked most of these melons slightly under-ripe to avoid the cracking that often ruins an otherwise good crop.  Let your honeydew sit at room temperature for one to four days, until it softens slightly at the end opposite the stem.  Feel your honeydew the day you bring it home, so you can recognize once it softens a bit.  Honeydews without an attached stem will ripen sooner than those with a cut stem piece.

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Two honeydew melons (left) and two crenshaw melons (right)

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