With some much needed heat, the peppers and eggplant are really starting to kick it into gear. We did leave quite a few peppers out there until next week to give them a chance to turn red as we have so many other things to give this week. We’re hoping that the tomatoes follow in the pepper’s footsteps and start to ripen up this week. Adam has been working so hard to keep the blight at bay so there is enough foliage on the tomato plants to cover the fruit and keep new flowers coming on. It’s been a tough year for tomatoes on our farm so far.
We’ve been making an extra, extra, extra strong effort to have a really great tomato year ever since mid March. Adam, who doesn’t even really like to eat raw tomatoes, has taken it upon himself to ensure that we have the best growing season for tomatoes so far. We got an early start on planting them in the green house. Perhaps, even, a bit too early. By the time it was warm enough to plant them outside, we jumped right on our first opportunity to get them out. Our slightly over zealous attempt at getting them out “early” proved to be a bit damaging since they were all hit by a late frost in late May.
Okay, so we can handle a little frost, we had some back-up plants that hadn’t been planted out yet, they were sort of an overflow of pants that we didn’t even think we would need. We got our ‘extras’ planted and they sat in cool, damp, soil with only very mild temperatures all of the windy, windy, windy spring-simply refusing to grow. It was a bit painful watching them suffer thru a Wisconsin spring, as their native southern origins did not prepare them for this very well.
By the beginning of July, things were finally starting to take off a little. We had been trellising them as they grew (slowly) and keeping them weeded and spraying an organic fungicide (strong vinegar solution) to keep the blight from picking up. But to keep the trend alive on our farm, the tomatoes are blighted as usual. We planted them in red plastic this year as we have heard that the red plastic draws in the ultra violet rays and stimulates the plant growth. We think that what we have learned from all of this is that we simply cannot plant our tomatoes early because there aren’t many advantages to doing so, and to plant our tomatoes into a straw mulch to keep the soil bacteria from splashing blight up onto the leaves.
I know that we are perfectly capable of having tomato yields at least as good as we have been getting in the past few years providing that we maintain a bit of these full sun, warm-ish days. I want farm-fresh tomatoes as bad as you do. So lets all pray together for a nice long warm fall. Because it’s just not summer without tomatoes!
Sooo….WHAT’S in the BOX???
Red Potatoes- The first of the potato harvest. We do not wash the potatoes for you as we’re so busy harvesting and washing everything else. They still taste just as good! Does not need refrigeration. Keep out of direct sunlight in a cool and dark place.
Carrots- More of these orange, delicious roots. Stores best in a plastic bag in fridge.
Cilantro- Yummy cilantro! Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Cucumbers- Fun cucumbers. Summers way of helping you cool off. Stores best in plastic bag in fridge. You may have also received an heirloom lemon cucumber or an burpless asian cucumber.
Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers or Jalapeno Peppers- Sometimes these little guys are hot and sometimes they’re not. It’s a bit of a hit or miss. When they are hot, they’re one of the most mild of all of the hot peppers. Jalapenos are a bit hotter!
Green Peppers- A pepper for everyone. Stores best in a plastic bag in fridge.
Eggplant- Some members received eggplant. If you did not get it this week, look for it in your box next week.
Yellow Summer Squash and Green Zucchini- Their flavor is remarkably similar. Stores well in a cool place. Does not necessarily need refrigeration, but no warmer than 50 degrees. Hope you like to incorporate these veggies into your diet as there will be lots more where these came from!
Bunch Onions- Yummy onions. Keeps best standing up in water in fridge or just in a plastic bag in fridge. Green tops are edible like chives.
German Red Hardneck Garlic- Stores best in a cool, dark place.
Basil- Does not store well at all under many circumstances. Basil will keep for four to five days with stems in water like fresh cut flowers. It will definitely turn black and wilt in your refrigerator. Best used as soon as possible.
Next Week! A short list of items that we may have next week, but will not promise to have. Due to the unexpectedness of the season and perishable nature of produce, anything could pop up or go down hill unexpectedly.
Zucchini, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Green and Purple peppers, Hot peppers, Eggplant, Green Beans, Parsley, Swiss Chard, Purple Cabbage, Red Beets