Keep updated on all that is happening around Thiessen Farms!

CSA 2016 – week 4

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This is a picture of bean plants just poking up through the soil.

When I checked this morning to see if they were up, there was nothing. This evening most of the row was visible. I’m always amazed how they first appear as little green hoops (like on the left). Then the one end pops out of the ground & quickly the first leaves unfurl. By tomorrow morning there will be a whole row of bright green leaves on little stems. We’ll be eating these beans later in August.

Seeds germinating & growing are always amazing & beautiful – but common on the farm. We plant beans every few weeks in order to have a continuous supply for much of the summer.

What is different about this planting is the extra effort that it took for them to reach this stage. Last week we sowed these beans into soil that was really just dry dust – barely any moisture was visible. I watered the row hard after planting & almost every day since. It paid off & most seeds have germinated. However I cannot continue to water daily so I hope their roots will go down deep & find enough moisture to grow & thrive on their own.

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In contrast to the beans, our latest seeding of lettuce mix is doing well without any watering. Notice how dry the soil is.

Other vegetables growing well now include green onions & sugar snap peas.

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Our fava beans got off to a good start & customers at our markets have been waiting anxiously for them. But without the needed rain, many of the bean pods are drying up & even the plants are wilting & drying.

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The zucchini plants are beginning to produce zucchini, but the bugs – many of which thrive in hot & dry weather – are feasting on the leaves & blossoms.

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It is becoming a challenging season & we desperately require rain. There have been brief showers in the area, but we seem to have missed them. What is needed now is at least an all-day (or night) rain & preferably several days of steady precipitation in order to bring moisture levels back up.

What’s in the box?

Peas, garlic scapes, green onions, beets, zucchini, kohlrabi, salad turnips, lettuce mix.

  • Peas are a good news/bad news story. Good news – the snow peas in your box last week tasted great! Bad news – while we can usually pick a patch of peas for 2 weeks, the snow peas lasted only 1 week, due to the drought. Good news – we have more rows of peas coming. Your share this week will include more delicious peas. They might be snow peas, or shelling peas or even sugar snap peas. What’s the difference? With snow peas you eat the whole thing, pod and all. Shell peas have to be opened & only the round little peas inside are eaten – the pods are tough & stringy. Sugar snap peas are the best of both. You eat everything like a snow pea, but the peas inside are bigger, almost like a shelling pea.
  • Garlic scapes are a favourite for many. They are the top of the garlic plant. We cut them off so the garlic puts all it’s energy into forming a nice big bulb underground. Leaving the scapes to grow would produce flowers & seeds instead, which we don’t need or want. Use them wherever garlic bulbs are used – raw or cooked. Their flavour is a bit milder than garlic.
  • The first onions of the season are green onions, also called bunching onions or scallions. Use the whole thing – the green leaves & the small, bottom white bulb.
  • Beets – one of our favourite vegetables. We prefer them roasted in a slow oven, either alone or with some of the other vegetables from the box. They are also good raw, shredded into a salad or grilled on the barbecue.
  • Ugly or misshapen vegetables are a big thing in some of the grocery stores now. Of course on the farm we’ve been selling blemished produce or 2nds for years. This week’s zucchini might have some odd shapes & sizes. The first picking of zucchini is often like that. Still tastes great though!
  • How did you enjoy the kohlrabi last week? Our favourite way to prepare it (other than raw in slices) turned out to be sautéed in butter & garlic (or garlic scapes) for just a few minutes. Then add just a dash of nutmeg. Delicious!
  • This week’s share will include lettuce mix & salad turnips again. There should be lettuce for several weeks yet – or until the hot weather turns it bitter.

A reminder that we still have CSA pick-up this Friday – Canada Day!

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Flynn looking a little lazy on a hot afternoon.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “CSA 2016 – week 4

  1. Hi there! I have to say that I really love reading this email and the pictures that are included. I also find it extremely helpful when you include ways to use some of the food and what the differences are (ex. How to eat the kohlrabi and the differences between the peas). This is so greatly appreciated and makes things so much easier for me when deciding what to do with them!!!

    So thank you again! Have a great week.

    Laura

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Still glad to get your emails, but very sad that you are no longer going to the East York Farmers Market, so I don’t any longer too. Hope you and your family are well.

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