Friday, June 20, 2008

kohlrabi and friends

We harvested all morning, and had lots of help from volunteers.  Besides being super helpful in the fields, they bring us home-baked goodies which we eat during our mid-morning break.  One of the perks of being a farmer I guess!  Thanks Nancy & Catherine!  (And Judy & Daniel too!)

Here's us harvesting kohlrabi:
Kohlrabi is basically a broccoli or collard plant, but instead of growing a big flower or leaves, it makes a big stem.  A big round weird alien-spaceship stem.  To harvest, first you tug it up from the ground.  Then you take these big tree pruners and lop off the roots (full of dirt).  Then you cut off the leaves with a sharp knife.
Here's a box of them ready to get washed:
We also harvested scallions for the first time.  We tug them from the ground gently, then we wash them, separate them, pull off a leaf or two for aesthetics, and bunch again.  They take a lot of time all in all, but they sure look yummy!
Nancy & Judy pulled up the rest of the turnips from our first turnip bed.  We removed the leaves on them because they weren't that appealing, and we're already giving so many other greens this week!
Other greens include:  heads of lettuce, heads of bok choi, & heads of chinese cabbage!  Oh, and beautiful broccoli.  And summer squash.  And basil.  It's going to be a huge share.  Here's everybody helping to wash kohlrabi & turnips:
Here's what the field looks like after a harvest (this was chinese cabbage):
I spent the afternoon on the big John Deere, tilling in the crop residue in field W1.  Under the rotating blades went discarded leaves & stems of broccoli, spinach that had become too tough with the heat, and lettuce stubs.  All back into the soil to decay & provide organic matter & nutrients for the next crop.  Soon we will seed a summer cover crop into this ground.

We also hilled potatoes this afternoon.  It's hard because they're over two feet tall, and you have to make sure you're hilling up the dirt evenly on both sides, but not knocking over any plants.  The potatoes grow in the mounds you make, off the buried stems of the plant.

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