Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Crop report

Well, it seems like everyone's been enjoying the summer bounty ...

...and the pick-your-own flower garden is overflowing with blossoms!It's time to say goodbye to spring cabbage (sadly, I know!)... but we've just planted the fall cabbage, so we'll have lots more in a few months!

Chinese, or Napa, Cabbage was a big hit this spring. A BIG hit-- with heads weighing over 6 pounds! I won't be growing any this fall, but there will be more treats, like purple & orange cauliflower, and brussel sprouts.

You could say we've had some "steady beets" all summer... you can look forward to more of the same through the fall.

Summer squash seems to be slowing down a bit-- the cloudy moist weather has produced an environment favorable to Powdery Mildew, a fungal disease that appears in white splotches on the leaves. The winter squash (pumpkins, butternut, delicata) have some of this on their leaves too-- I will be spraying some Potassium Bicarbonate (organic approved) on them to keep it in check. What a crazy summer!

The carrots have been huge & beautiful-- we have a lot more on their way too. Maybe we should have a carrot cake contest next.

The onions have all been harvested from the field! A little early-- the wet weather forced us to pull them a little prematurely, but they are still huge & beautiful. We gave out the last of the "fresh onions" and now we will be giving out "cured onions"...

If you've peeked into the greenhouse lately, you may see all these onions curing on the tables there, with fans to dry them out, and burlap to keep them from getting sunburned. After a few weeks, the tops turn brown & crispy, and the papery husk has formed around the onion to give it that storage quality we know so well. I will be storing the onions until November, giving them out a few every week with shares.

The cucumbers have started rolling in-- hope you found a good pickle recipe! If you want to learn how to make lactofermented pickles (the way they used to, with a salt brine & no vinegar), ask me sometime. Grab some flowering heads of dill while you're out in the flower garden.

And the eggplants. One of my favorite vegetables. I think they taste best roasted on the grill or in the oven, with plenty of olive oil & salt.

Speaking of olive oil & salt, add a little cornmeal to the recipe, and you've got the perfect fried green tomatoes. Who says that late blight has to keep us from enjoying tomatoes? We just have to be a bit creative this year...

Other crops:

Beans are in-between plantings right now. We picked about 8 times from the same bed and now it's ready to retire (be tilled in)-- the new bed is just starting to produce beans. We'll have plenty more beans soon on their way. (Pickled dilly-bean recipe anyone?)

Sunflowers! Yes!

Potatoes: at this point they are no longer "new potatoes" since they have been "cured" in the ground for the past 2 weeks. They now theoretically have a longer storage life, although with blight being all around, I suggest cooking the potatoes in a week or so.

Melons-- watermelons & canteloupes-- looking huge. In the next week or so I'll be cracking the first one open for a taste!

Sweet corn-- I grew sweet corn. The ears are almost ready. It was an experiment, since I've never grown it before. We'll see how it goes!

Peppers, bountiful. If it ever gets hot, they might think about turning red. Until then, I give out green peppers. Hot peppers up the wazoo! Hungarian hot wax, jalepeno, Czech black.

Fall crops to look forward to: parsnips, celery root, rutabagas, turnips, radishes, arugula, tat soi, chard, kale.

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