There was good news and bad news.
But first thing on a Monday morning, the bad news always seems to take precedence, leaving the good news behind.
Here goes …
Sometime over the weekend, the rabbits decided the beans & edamame were a delicious buffet, and began to eat their way down the row.
And that’s not the first critter damage we’ve had this season!
The first planting of sunflowers was destroyed by the birds. Every seed was dug up, the inside eaten, and the shells left in a nice row. We’ve replanted and added some yellow tape – often this is enough to keep the birds away. Fingers crossed!!
The one planting of arugula that we didn’t cover with insect netting looks like this …
The Chinese cabbages have also been enjoyed by bugs.
But the worst damage is on our zucchini, where the cucumber beetles have been ravaging the plants. Most years we experience some damage, but this season it is extreme. Some varieties of zucchini were destroyed …
(Too late) we applied a spray of white kaolin clay which is a natural substance that coats the plant and forms a barrier to insects. We also used it on the newly transplanted squash & pumpkins, hoping to protect them too.
The frequent rains this spring have caused a lot of rust in the blackberries – a bright orange powdery substance on the leaves of the new canes especially. It weakens, then kills the plants. Several times we’ve gone through and removed diseased blackberry canes. This year’s crop will certainly be decreased.
Enough with the bad news! Let’s move on to some good news.
While the damaged vegetables will set us back, we can replant all of these and still reap a (later) harvest.
Some varieties of zucchini were hardly damaged by the cucumber beetles. Now we know which kinds to grow!
Those blackberry plants not affected by rust are beginning to bloom – there are lots of buds coming!
Snow peas are ready and will be in our CSA shares this week, and possibly at the farmers’ markets too.
What’s in the box?
Snow peas, beets, baby kale, bok choy, spinach, green garlic, green onions & parsley.
- The first snow peas are ready! Sweet & tender, these first ones are best eaten raw as a snack! But that’s just my opinion. Throw them in your salad, stir-fry them or quickly blanch them – they are delicious any way!
- Same with the beets! These early beets are small & tender – perfect in a salad or lightly cooked, you will find them so delicious!
- Baby kale is also great in a salad. Because it is small, it will be more tender & can be eaten raw – but you can cook it if you prefer!
- Bok choy & green garlic are back in the box this week as well as spinach, green onions & parsley.
Here’s an easy & delicious spinach recipe shared by one of our CSA members.
LEMON SAUTÉED SPINACH
- 1 bag of baby spinach
- ¼ cup of pine nuts
- 1 or 2 green garlic plants chopped
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat medium saute pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add olive oil.
- Add a portion of the baby spinach to the pan (the whole bag may not fit in the saute pan but as it cooks, it will shrink).
- Stir frequently continuing to add spinach until entire bag is added.
- Cook spinach until soft and limp.
- Add chopped garlic and pine nuts.
- Stir spinach, garlic and pine nuts in pan until garlic and pine nuts are slightly browned.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over spinach before serving.
We’ll finish with a few beautiful pictures of the farm today!
Blooms in our water garden.