CSA Week 17: Persistently Dry
News
Expected Harvest
Allium Overload
by Farmer Dana
Harvest #17 (Week A) should include potatoes, winter squash, onions, leeks, garlic, scallions, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, hot peppers, okra, Swiss chard, endive, eggplant, rosemary, cilantro, dill, and parsley. U-pick should include snap beans, edamame, green/less-ripe tomatoes (cherry, plum, grape), tomatillos, flowers, and herbs. U-pick crops are quickly winding down; this may be the final week for many of them. Very soon we need to prepare the field for waterway excavation to solve the flash flood problem out there. Also, we're planning to take a brief intermission from sweet pepper harvesting to let them bulk up and ripen.
Notes From The Field
Supplemental Water
by Farmer Derek

28,700 feet of drip tape was applied and/or hooked up to tubes that were connected to our 3000' of buried 3" mainline pipes over a 3 day period at the end of last week. All of the drip tape had been saved from prior years and was re-used.
Another round of precipitation came and went without depositing more than a few drops on the farm and as a result we had to resort to irrigation infrastructure investment inundation. Three days and 30 hours later 90% of thirsty crops that still have a harvest life left in them are under water management. Depending on what happens with tomorrow's forecast rain event the final 10% may receive a well water drink. As predicted, after we install the irrigation and run it once, we'll probably receive ample rainfall and we may not have to irrigate those crops again. Such is the nature of farming, and nature. With the completion of August yesterday we can now assess the rainfall total for the month and compare it to the past. With a total of 1.3" received (half of it in the first week of the month), it was our second driest August in 11 years. That follows 8" received in July. September can occasionally be dry so I'm hopeful I'll get to use the irrigation system again now that it is in place.
Besides irrigating, we also finished harvesting the 2019 potatoes. Five varieties and 1,500 pounds of seed yielded an approximate total of 7,500 pounds. Compared to other years, conditions were pretty perfect for harvesting the spuds due to the dry soil which allowed the potato digger to scoop and sift and convey as best it can. We also transplanted more lettuce, chicory, kale, and collards successions. Including this coming week we have 3 more weeks of outdoor transplanting then we switch our focus to tunnel growing for Late Fall CSA harvests. Anticipating a rain event this past Wednesday we also direct seeded another round of arugula and hakurei turnips as well as spread compost on finished crop areas and sowed a cover crop mix of oats, buckwheat, and daikon.
Workshifts for this Week (9/2/19)
by Farmer Derek

A beautiful eastern black swallowtail found on the ground fully intact but lifeless.
Workshifts scheduled for this week:
Wednesday (9/4) 9-11am
Friday (9/6) 9-11am
Sunday (9/8) 8-10am
Workshift sign-up instructions may be found here. Calendar is here. Member Work Guidelines are here.
If it is actively raining during the time of the shift it will be canceled.
We're into the final quarter of the workshift season! Work opportunities will last for another 1.5 months or so but frequency will decrease as we approach and are in Fall/Autumn.
If you still need to complete your pledged farm labor hours for your share discount please sign up soon. Alternatively, if you'd rather pay the full amount for your farm share that is fine, just send us a check to cover the workshift hours.
Late Fall CSA to be Announced Soon!
by Farmer Dana

Back by very popular demand, rutabaga is also thriving in this dry weather in a field enjoying a post-fallow boost. An awesome winter storage root vegetable, it just might be the tastiest ingredient in a miscellaneous root roast, turning bright orange. It was transplanted this season instead of directly seeding into the soil and thus with adequate spacing and good fertility it is quickly approaching softball size.
Very soon we'll open registration for the 2019 Late Fall CSA. It will run for 8 weeks after the conclusion of the Main Season CSA (which ends the week of 11/4/19, harvest week #26, Week B). After the New Year there may be the occasional Flash Greens, etc, sales.
A few Crop Notes
By Linda Dansbury

Make a plan and keep good records. Assess health, yield, success, failure of crops, evaluate, make hypothesis, test, make new plan, try again, establish theory. Control some variables. Find what works pretty well most of the time.
Summer crops are transitioning to fall - think greens, potatoes, etc..., so I am sure your cooking recipes and methods are starting to change as well.
A couple notes on crops you are receiving:
Garlic - is now cured and can be stored at room temperature - a cool, dark place is best for keeping the garlic for a while.
Potatoes - don't worry about the small blemishes/holes - they are delicious potatoes and the red ones we just received keep their pink inner color when cooked, making them so pretty for potato salads for your Labor Day cookouts. Store in a cool, dark place, away from onions for longest storage, but keep in mind that some of our potatoes, including the redskin ones are not meant for long term storage.
Onions - these small beauties are meant to be stored in the fridge - they will keep for weeks.
Butternut squash - if you take one with a blemish, use it fairly quickly so it doesn't go bad. If there is no blemish, they can be stored in a cool, dark place for quite awhile - but check your storage crops on a weekly basis so you don't lose them to rotting.
How I Enjoyed My Harvest
Enjoying the Transition
By Linda Dansbury

We simply need a picture of a heart shaped potato at least once per year.
I, like you, am enjoying the cooler, drier weather pattern we have been having. It is pleasant to spend time outside. I didn't realize how much I missed the greens until they came back again! I was away most of the week, so didn't cook much, but here are a few ideas I am planning to do today and tomorrow.
Kale - so school is or has started - need a delicious, healthy, easy after school snack? Make the Kale Chips recipe on this site. I have a couple notes - make sure the kale is dry when you bake it or it won't properly crisp up. Dry on kitchen towels or in a salad spinner. Also, you can top with herbs to add flavoring your family likes - dried oregano, ground cumin, smoked paprika, a bit of chili pepper are a couple of ideas.
Kale Salads - are a nice way to change up your routine - I love Kale Caesar Salad, but I am also adding a new salad called Northern Spy's Kale Salad - switch out any of the ingredients to make it what your family will like best.
Peppers - the sweet peppers have been really bountiful this year and I have been cutting them into a lot of dishes - pastas, salads, and slicing and eating them as snacks dipped into hummus or Edamame Hummus
When we have a lot of peppers, I tend to make Pepper Puree and/or Romesco Sauce. Both freeze well, and I love to pull out a container and use on grilled or roasted meats, veggies or fish later in the year.