Summer 2014 Weekly Farm Updates - August 20th
Week 14 of the CSA season! Can you believe it! It’s hard to imagine that we have just 8 weeks left. It’s going by so quickly.
Here's a look at what's in the CSA basket this week:
- Summer Squash & Zucchini
- Slicing Cucumbers
- Pickling Cucumbers
- Fortex pole beans
- Garden of Eden pole beans
- Northeaster pole beans
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Lunchbox Peppers
I hope our members have been enjoying the beautiful produce as much as I have. I get a half share every week, and I’m just as excited to pack up my basket and take it home as I know they are to receive theirs.
And yes, like them I’m sure, I have been guilty of letting some of it go to waste. There’s so much food, that it can be tough sometimes to eat it all, even for me! So I’ve started sharing with friends and family in an effort to keep as much out of my compost pile as possible. Knowing how hard our crew works, I cannot bring myself to toss even one more bean! So I’m going to start freezing things as well.
And speaking of our hard working crew, I’m pretty bummed to say that three of our guys have left after a busy summer. Two went back to college — Corey & Shawn — and another, Austin, went back to his full time gig in Richmond. Corey is Ryan, our farm manager’s, younger brother and Shawn is Corey’s roommate from college. We knew we’d have to say goodbye at some point, but it came upon us way too fast! And Austin was lucky enough to be able to put his other job on hold so he could do what he loves and work the farm with us this summer. All three will be missed, but they’ve sworn they will come back at Thanksgiving to help with pies, and we plan to hold them to that!
We’re down to a field crew of four, plus Steven, and while it may seem like summer is winding down to most, we still have plenty to do on the farm. We’ve got corn coming out of our ears, and so many stalks filled with beans that even Jack wouldn’t know what to do with himself. If only a few of the Fortex were magic, then we wouldn’t mind how quickly they fill the farm walk-in cooler.
The one thing we haven’t had to take on in a while is picking blackberries, which is really devastating for us. A new fruit fly variety, known as the spotted wing drosophila, has invaded the country, coming over from Asia just as the stink bugs did. It has saw-like ovipositor that mangles the berries, as it injects its larvae into the fruit. It’s been destroying berry crops all over the country and has left us with no blackberries well before the season is typically coming to an end. Steven has made the tough decision to cut all the bushes down to the ground, as we don’t want to leave the rotting fruit around, acting as bait for this awful little bug.
We’re praying we can save the raspberries from the same fate, so please think good, healthy berry thoughts for us!
On a better note, the pumpkins are coming along beautifully, and so are the winter squash. As I drove along side the fields on my way home, I hopped out to check on my favorite fall crop, and I snapped a few pictures to share. Steven planted more varieties than even he can remember, so I’m so excited to see what comes out of the patches at harvest time! I’m already dreaming up jack o’lantern faces as we speak.
Here's a sneak peak of what is plumping up in the patch: