What a gorgeous morning. Quite a difference from that wild black cloud and Herculean wind that swept through the farm last Friday night. I think that was the strongest wind I've ever experienced here. Everything was fine, but all of you who where here during the storm must have had an exciting time.
We've spent the last week on our hands and knees, digging in the dirt, and dragging 35 pound lugs behind us for 8 hours a day. Can you guess what we're doing? Try!
Answer: Harvesting 12,000 pounds of potatoes in 35 pound increments! I can say that potato harvest is one heck of a work out. Although I think you have to do it for 8 hours to get the full benefit. We planted twice as many potatoes this spring as we did in '11. As a whole, you guys and gals LOVE potatoes. Understandable, they are filling, sustaining, and delicious, and a core food in our culture. So, the big plan was to double the amount of potatoes that you get in our quest to ever make the share better and better. Best laid plans..... The drought this year hit the potatoes hard, as potatoes absolutely thrive with lots of rain. Alas, instead of doubling the harvest this year we're going to come in under last year's yield. (Very sad math if you care to calculate). Such is farming and life. Rest assured, next year we still plan on the monster size planting of potatoes, and hopefully we'll get fantastic rain in timely, perfect increments all summer, and you all can eat potatoes to your hearts content.
chard - looking heavenly, and will last until about a 22 degree frost (usually end of October)
kale - looking cherubic. The kale is only going to get better as Fall deepens. I don't even eat kale until we've had the first frost. (I'm a chard gal in the summer) The frost converts some of the starches in the kale to sugar. Frost does that to lots of cold weather crops - you'll notice many crops getting sweeter after a frost or two (especially carrots!)
beets - here until next June.
squash - we are picking about a bin of this every other day, as opposed to the 8 bins every other day that we get in the main squash season. What I'm saying is that these cool nights are telling the squash to go ahead and give up the ghost. There probably won't be any this week.
carrots - there aren't any carrots this week. We plant a big round of carrots in the spring, and then another, huge-er round of carrots in late summer. Right now we are between these two plantings. The late summer planting is almost ready, just not quite to size yet. Soon. Once we dip into those there will be delicious carrots 'til March.
garlic - say hello to garlic again this week.
tomatoes - Need I say more than cool nights? These are making their closing speechs of summer to us.
hot peppers - yes, we'll pick them for you as well as open them up for you pick.
cilantro - surprisingly good at cold weather production even though we associate it with hot, south of the border weather
tatsoi - a funky Asian heading green. We grow it as a head, although maybe you've seen it as individual leaves in salad mix (not ours).
pac choi - ah wonderful fall contender. The bread and butter of much of the world.
arugula - it just doesn't stop this year
spinach - ditto!!
salad mix and head lettuce - they were tired this week and asked for time off. They've worked hard so we said ok. They've got quite the work ethic however, so they'll be back soon.
onions - here for the long haul
leeks - we've got to cut you fiends off for a week or two! They'll be back though.
basil - yummy this all up for the next couple of weeks because it's almost gone. Very tender hearted.
And....... I am almost scared to write it..... Broccoli and Cauliflower! These crops trickle in as they get start, pump it up, and then trickle out. A verbal description of a bell curve. The trickle in has begun, so go easy this week. We may put one out at a time.
Raspberries! One cup season limit. The way to handle this is to head out to the patch, fill your hand with raspberries while popping a couple in your mouth, and then put your head down and half run out of the patch and away from temptation while carefully cradling your precious berries in your hand. Eat them once you are a safe distance from the patch. They are actually looking ok after looking awful, so watch for that limit to increase sometime soonish. These are fall bearing berries, the ones that we had earlier are summer bearing. Two separate plantings and crops.
tomatillos - 2 gallons
paste tomatoes - 5 gallons
hot peppers - 2 gallons
flowers - fill up your soul with color
green beans - this is a new patch, and is the last crop of the season.