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August Tenth

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This week on the farm we finished up our onion and garlic harvest which are always two large harvests that take a lot of time and labor.  It feels very good to have the onions all tucked away into the greenhouse curing and laid out to dry safe from the heavy rains, drizzle and high humidity that we experienced over the weekend.  There is a saying we learned from our Amish farming friends that goes “never let an August rain fall on your onions”.   I believe we did have one early August rain fall on the onions, but we got them pulled before the heavy rains last weekend.  Onions are prone to rot if left in the field even a little too long, especially when there is a lot of moisture. 

We have also been working hard at keeping the sweet corn patch protected.  We have a method for keeping our sweet corn safe from the racoons that has worked very well for us for many years that has failed us a little this year.  We put 5 lines of electric fence wire up around the perimeter of the sweet corn patch and keep the wires hot with a deep cell marine battery.  Somehow the racoons (or just one very brave and intelligent racoon?) have been finding ways to still get in.  Adam and I are perplexed!  They are either diving through the hot wires or jumping over somehow, but we are certainly scratching our heads over the matter.

We figured the sweet corn loss was about 1/3for this week’s harvest.  We were able to give everyone 4 ears of corn this week when we had planned to give 6 ears per box.  The racoons were getting in and taking a little each night over the course of the last week.  We do believe the fence is keeping many racoons out that are not brave enough or smart enough to figure out how to navigate our electric fence.  We did go ahead and order 8 rolls of electric fence net that comes in 100-foot rolls that should be here in the next week.  This net is easy to set up and take down and is 18 inches high and is built as a racoon fence that we can use for future years as well.  Unfortunately, it was on backorder and we can’t get it here as fast as we would like.  Hopefully this week it will come. 

Luckily we still have several more successions of sweet corn on the way.  We should be giving sweet corn for the next four weeks or so in larger quantities if we can continue to keep the racoons away!  We know how much everyone loves sweet corn and are working very hard to protect it.  We weed whack (trim) around the fence once a week and keep the battery for the fence charged up.  Farmer Adam is up there several times a day checking for damage, walking the fence line, checking the battery and trying different spots out for his trail-cam he just bought for this purpose.  I’m serious guys, it’s a heavy focus around here!

We’re even setting live traps baited with marshmallows that the racoons are completely ignoring as the lure of fresh sweet corn is much tastier apparently!  I even tried to buy snap traps in town, but maybe those are too dangerous or old fashioned and no one uses those any more?  Adam is trying his trail cam out at various locations around the perimeter of the patch as we’re still trying to figure out where and HOW they’re getting in.  Our ten-year-old imagined that they’re being air-lifted in by small racoon helicopters.  At this point, who knows, maybe she’s right? 

I figured the sweet corn drama deserved an entire newsletter as we are very focused on it at this point.  I’m hopeful that next week we will have good news for you regarding sweet corn!  Stay tuned! 

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What’s in the Box????

Sweet Corn-  4 ears of sweet corn per member this week.  Sweet corn is best eaten the fresher it is.  We recommend eating them up right away or keeping the cold and in your fridge until you get a chance to eat them up! 

Cucumbers- 5 or 6 per box.  Cukes prefer a 50 degree storage temp.  The fridge is a little too cold and the counter is a little too warm, so eat them up soon!

Broccoli or Cauliflower-  Either a broccoli or cauliflower per member.  They varied in size a bit. 

Melon- 1 big one or 2 smaller ones.  Canteolope this week!  More melons coming over the next few weeks! 

Summer Squash and/or Zucchini- 2 or 3 per member.  Prefers 50 degree storage temp.

Carrots-  1 pound bags per member. 

Onion-  White onion

Garlic-  Asian Tempest. Garlic will store just fine on your counter until the new year.  If you still have it after the new year, garlic must be refrigerated. 

Kale-  Lacinato kale bunches for all this week!

Celery-  Local celery has a stronger celery flavor compared to California celery.  Another thing we’ve seen in celery since we started growing it 17 years ago is that the hearts start to turn brown.  If the heart of your celery is turning brown, you’ll have to cut out some bad parts, we’re really sorry about this, it’s a mystery in celery growing that we’ve never been able to figure out! 

Lettuce x 2-  Romaine lettuce.  We’re hoping to still have it for next week so you make BLT’s with your tomatoes next week! 

Next Week’s best guess: celery, sweet corn, watermelons, cantelope, broccoli, green beans, summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, onion, lettuce?

Recipes

Easy Garlic Butter Kale with Rice by RecipetinEats

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Easy Cheesy Corn Fritters by Now Cook This

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 Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwich Rolls by Christina's Cucina

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Carrot GInger Salad Dressing by Detoxinista

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Vegetable Chowder (for your celery!) by Together at Home

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