If it won’t rain we have to make our own!
It’s been a long, loooong time since we have had a good soaking rain on the farm – and the crops are showing it! New transplants especially have an almost impossible chance of getting established and growing well. But we keep trying, and give them a daily watering for the first week or so. Success is limited!
Rainwater is collected from all our barn roofs and stored in several large cisterns. Then we fill our old sprayer and use a hose to water the little seedlings – usually from the tractor seat, though sometimes we have to drag the hose down the rows. It’s the easiest & most efficient way for us to get life-saving moisture to the vegetables. However if a good rain doesn’t come soon, we will have to start watering even the established vegetables like tomatoes & peppers and the blackberries too. That will mean buying water by the truckload (if it’s available) which gets expensive. Plus it is a time consuming task during an already busy season.
Come on rain!!!
What’s in the box?
Mini red romaine lettuce, Spanish onion, beets, tomatoes, fresh garlic, basil.
green beans? salad greens?
extras – kohlrabi, eggplant, zucchini.
- Another variety of mini romaine lettuce is ready. This one is a very dark red/burgundy colour.
- We have been waiting for our big Spanish onions to grow larger – but without rain, growth has stopped and the tops are drying off rapidly. So we will pick them! Most years we have onions for several weeks, sometimes even for the rest of the season. However this year the seeds germinated poorly and then more seed was not available during the height of the pandemic. By the time we could get seed, it was too late to plant. So we will have big onions only for a week or two. But we’re still planting green onions and will have them in the box again soon.
- More beets are ready for harvesting. Beets continue to be one of our most popular vegetables for CSA and at the market. This week we will have orange beets and candy cane (red & white striped), along with the usual dark purple (red) beets.
- Tomatoes big & tomatoes small, this week we’ll have them all – lots of cherry sized fruit especially, and the first few larger beefsteak tomatoes too.
- Everyone was excited for the fresh garlic last week. We will be including a bulb in each CSA box for the rest of the season. Garlic lovers can enjoy the strong, fresh flavour now – but the bulbs can also be dried for using later in the year. Keep them at room temperature away from any moisture and they will dry out nicely in a few weeks.
- Basil is one crop that really, really likes this dry weather. There will be another bunch in your share this week – either lemon (which was a big hit!!) or regular Genovese basil (also delicious!).
- Green beans are starting – but there will probably not be enough for everyone this week. We seed beans every week – 8 times so far, and will continue to seed them for another 3 or 4 weeks. So there will be lots of beans coming. Same with other salad greens. These continue to struggle through the heat but there should be some ready (later) this week.
- Extras this week include kohlrabi, eggplant & zucchini. Some members have had enough of them (kohlrabi) or have lots in their own gardens (zucchini) or don’t really enjoy them (eggplant) but we will have them available for those who would like them.
** Please remember to return your vegetable containers & boxes so we can re-use them!
We enjoy tomato salads these days. Here are our 2 favourite recipes.
1. Quick Tomato Salad
Chop some tomatoes – any size, shape, colour, quantity … Add a handfull of dill … For the dressing combine equal parts sugar & vinegar (or less sugar depending on taste). Salt & pepper to taste.
2. Tomato Salad
For the dressing combine –
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1½ tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon each salt & pepper
1 clove fresh garlic
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped cucumbers
½ cup each chopped green & red pepper
¼ cup chopped (red) onion
1 can chickpeas (drained)
Combine and add to the dressing. Marinate for 2 hours.
Then add ½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
½ cup feta cheese.
Around the farm this week …
The blackberries are beginning to show some colour! Usually their season starts during the 2nd week of August. They sure could use a few inches of rain to help them get some size and energize the canes.
It’s Japanese beetle season – they show up in July, do their damage and disappear sometime in August. Here they are on the edamame (soybeans). Sunflowers are another favourite of theirs.
Most of the greens have to be covered now. The insects are hungry & thirsty and are even eating the kale and other crops that normally are pest-free!
A new sweet pepper we are trying – candy cane!
Hot peppers and a new planting of cucumbers in the greenhouse. They both need weeding but it’s too hot to work in there these days 😦
Can you spot Sage hiding in the squash?
Everyone likes ice coffee on a hot day!