This year’s weather continues to surprise us and keep us guessing. Not only are we below on average growing degree days which is a measure of heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development rates such as the date that a flower will bloom, an insect will emerge from dormancy, or a crop will reach maturity See historical data on growing conditions here and precipitation here.
These things combined have been factors in crop outcomes. We thought it was important to communicate a few of our crop disappointments.
-The garlic crop was looking and smelling amazing and after a few heavy rains in mid-July, the crop rotted in the field – literally looked great Monday and by Friday the crop was unhealthy looking and dying…nothing we could do. While some of our other crops in that area seemed to have adequate drainage, the garlic did not like that soil type and the amount of water it retained. We’re not planting garlic there again.
-Another irony in that area of the field. Right after the county fair, we planted several different crops – our last round of planting. Much to my surprise – this week so literally 7 weeks after planting I am seeing a strong stand of carrots emerging. This should have happened a month ago. It is odd.
-Pumpkins and gourds: While we will have pumpkins and gourds to harvest, it will not be as plentiful as last year. While we will have plenty to share with all of you, it will not be what we had hoped for. Most specifically are giant pumpkins have not had enough GDU. Then in another area where we had a lot of soil compaction from tractors and gators driving over an area for tornado clean-up last September – it to under-performed. So, we are not sure if it was all around bad seed or the soil compaction or a combination of both that affected pumpkin growth.
We appreciate you bearing with us as I am sure you to are disappointed about some of these crops. We assure you that there are plenty of surprises yet to come in the last few weeks of the CSA. So, keep you eyes peeled and thank you for bearing with us in one of the craziest growing seasons on record according to many of the farmers I know.
Boxes of Produce
This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.
Remember that some of the crops are ran under cold well water to take the field heat off them so they last longer in your refrigerators. They are not washed – just cooled. So, remember to wash your vegetables before eating.
Lettuce/Spinach – You have some Red Oak Lettuce and Spinach in your box. This next crop has been a real challenge to get going, but it looks like this cold weather and rain has encouraged it. Looks promising for next week.
Arugula – Arugula is a peppery, distinctive-tasting green that originated in the Mediterranean region. If you like this crop, let us know and we will put more in your box next week.
Carrots growing.Carrots – This weather helped this root vegetable mature. Learn more about baby carrots from America’s Heartland.
Radishes – These Cherry Belle Radishes are loving this colder weather.
Detroit Dark Red Beets – The entire plant is edible – that includes the leaves. Check out the recipes for beets at Taste of Home.
Dragon Tongue Beans – This heritage variety of beans can be used like green beans. Enjoy the different color.
Kohlrabi – Giant Duke kohlrabi. Peel it and slice like an apple. Here are more ideas.
Cucumbers – FanciPak cucumbers – we will have cucumbers for a while. We hope you enjoy this healthy snack. Check out these refrigerator pickle recipes from Taste of Home.
Onion – Walla Walla onions in your boxes this week. Learn more about onions from America’s Heartland.
Tomatoes – A taste of a few cherry tomatoes and Fourth of July tomatoes this week. Here are a few recipe ideas from America’s Heartland.
Potatoes – Yukon Golds are a versatile potato. – check out these ideas. Some of you may have some younger potatoes in your boxes (smaller). I find that the potatoes right out of the garden often cook and bake faster than others. Yeah – faster meal preparation!
Green Bell Peppers – The peppers are just taking off.
Banana Pepper – I cut these up and freeze extra peppers for later in the year.
Butternut Winter Squash – It has a sweet, nutty taste. It has tan-yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the bottom. When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer. It is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium; and it is a source of vitamin A. Although technically a fruit, butternut squash is used as a vegetable that can be roasted, sautéed, toasted, puréed for soups such as squash soup, or mashed to be used in casseroles, breads, muffins, and pies.
Zucchini – The crop that keeps on giving. Flower after flower will grow into a zucchini.
Summer Squash – Make these into noodles, sauté and more. Try making this or zucchini into noodles.
Purple Cabbage – We hope you enjoy this garden delight. Here are some ways to use this vegetable.
Flowers of the Week – Zinnias, Hydrangeas and Sedum
Recipe of the Week
- Cut it in half, place cut side down in cake pan.
- Place about an inch of water in the pan.
- Cover with aluminum foil.
- Place in preheated 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for one hour. If it is a larger squash, I will leave it in the oven if there is enough water still in the pan for an additional 30 minute.
- Take out of oven.
- Peel the skin off.
- Scoop out the seeds and enjoy.
Using hand mixer – blend in a ½ cup of butter and ¾ cup of brown sugar.
- Freeze extra in cupcake tins to use at another time.