Saturday, August 20, 2011

Farm News for August 20th

Hi everyone, snap-happy Kimberly here again, but ashamed to say I forgot my camera for last week's distribution so I have no picture of last Tuesday's bountiful share (which included potatoes, cucumbers, zucchini/summer squash, onions, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, cilantro, lemon basil, chard, lettuce, bell and hot peppers, and lots of extras from Saturday's market). We always would love to hear how you used your share, but I'm especially interested how you used the lemon basil, and whether you liked it or not.

This past couple of weeks we've done some final fall plantings, of broccoli and storage cabbage as well as arugula and spinach, plus the ongoing staggered lettuce plantings to keep you all in cut lettuce for as long as possible. There hasn't been quite as much rain as we would like for planting, so we've walked a delicate balance of irrigating the new plantings while keeping the tomatoes from getting too much irrigation (the ripe ones tend to split if they get too much water).

We also worked on some season extension techniques: the tomatoes in the greenhouse were strung and clipped--soon we'll have to start closing the greenhouse at night to keep it properly warm--and we harvested a bunch of storage onions (as opposed to the green onions you've been getting the past few weeks) and put them out to dry. Some are in the greenhouse on pallets, and some are in the garage on appropriate surfaces we whipped up, but both have fans blowing on them; air circulation is important to keep them from molding while drying.

Sadly, one of the chicks died, but the other is getting special attention and is living in the house with a heat lamp in his little "room". In honor of it being a "free bird" it has been dubbed Lynyrd Skynrd. Little Lynyrd needs as much socialization as possible and so sometimes joins us for meals. S/he can't live with the adult birds yet as they would peck at her/him.

On a personal note, I finally spent a Barnes & Noble gift certificate I had received from a coworker as a going away present, and one of the books I bought was "You Can Farm" by Joel Salatin, with the intent of getting some more inspiration. Maybe you have heard of Salatin, he's a farmer who has been interviewed in the movie Food, Inc., and is featured in Michael Pollan's book "The Omnivore's Dilemma", both of which I highly recommend. I'd also like to recommend another Salatin book to you: Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer's Guide to Farm Friendly Food. If you have any favorite food/farm books or videos you'd like to recommend, please use the comments button for this post!

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