Finally, a Harvest to be Proud Of: Week 8

It feels like it has taken forever this season… and we are finally forced to choose between all the things to harvest at the same time that we notice the days start to get shorter. I guesstimate that we are where we should have been 5-6 weeks ago, harvest-wise. We’re picking the first beans and first zucchini, which typically happens in early July. The cucumbers are still struggling, but there are some here and there, which is why you’re not getting sick of them yet. The basil is finally good, but there won’t be abundance there this year. The tomatoes though… so glad I worked extra hard to start them in January, because they are LOADED! And soon the peppers and eggplants will join them.

CSA Week 8! Clockwise from top left: “Purple Viking” potatoes, Green Beans (not in Mini Shares), Carrots, Red Torpedo half-sweet Onions, Basil, assorted Tomatoes, Sorrel or Mint (not in Mini Shares), Zucchini (not in Mini Shares), Bok Choy (not in Mini Shares). Large Shares only: Lettuce and Cucumber.

Next week, we sow the last outdoor crops of the season… this means all the spinach and other greens for fall and winter. The last chance opportunity, because day length is getting shorter and plants effectively stop growing rapidly around the autumnal equinox, September 20-21. That means we plant now and get as much growth as possible before they start slowing down. Two weeks ago, we sowed the last root crops, and last week I did the last greenhouse sowing. Lettuce, Napa cabbage, and green onions for winter. Those plants will all be planted in greenhouses in September for harvest in November-December.

On the one hand, looking at the fields, it looks like we should be in late June. So much ground not used this year because we couldn’t get it worked up fast enough with the spring wet and cold. But the sky is saying, you’re nearly finished so wrap it up. I’ve talked to a few people who feel like everything should have shifted as soon as the heat kicked in a month ago. They don’t understand why everything is still taking so long. But stressed plants need time to recover and do all the growing they didn’t do when it was cold and icky, and that is why it’s just happening now. The soil is finally warm and the plants have recovered, mostly.

Tomatoes are coming on strong! Soon peppers and eggplant will join them. I can’t wait for ratatouille!

The cut-flower garden is producing well, and Rebekah has been doing bouquets for subscriptions for four weeks now. The garden is open to all CSA members during CSA Pickup windows: Saturdays 10-5 and Tuesdays 2-7. You can find pitchers and snips in the CSA shed, just please return them when you finish.

At this point, the Pumpkin Patch is looking good, but the Sunflower Patch is going to be much smaller and near the cut flower garden. Unfortunately I had to use the allocated Sunflower spot for growing food this year, as it was the only dry spot open back in June.

As farmers say, “There’s always next year.” Hopefully next year the weather will be more cooperative. One never knows, and that is why I am perpetually grateful for the continued support and encouragement of our CSA family.

In the mean time, we still have a long stretch of this CSA season, and things are looking really good. Finally.

Have a great week!

Shelley

Pile bean vines and the moon.

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