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CSA 2020 – Week 11

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What’s in the box?

Blackberries, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, green onions, garlic.

  • When blackberry harvest begins we know that summer is at least half over! Blackberries are always a highlight of the season. It seems almost everybody enjoys blackberries. Picked properly they are a little sweet & a little tart. If they aren’t quite ripe, they are sour. Too ripe and they are soft & mushy, but incredibly sweet. We try to pick them as ripe as possible, but still firm. Unlike raspberries, blackberries are not hollow, but have a centre core which is soft & edible. The only way to eat a blackberry is to pop the whole thing in your mouth. Try to take a small bite, and you are covered in black, staining juice. Blackberries are best eaten fresh, but also make great jam, juice, sauce, ice cream …
  • Please note that we do use pesticides on our blackberries. For many years we did not. That was one of the good things about growing blackberries – no spraying necessary! Then along came the spotted wing drosophila. Spotted wing drosophila is an invasive vinegar fly that has the potential to cause extensive damage to many fruit crops – especially soft and dark coloured fruit like blackberries. In the last number of years it has been found throughout much of southern Ontario and most of the fruit-growing areas of North America, and has become a chronic pest in berry and tender fruit crops. Effective biological controls are not yet available. There are cultural practices that we use to help reduce the insect populations, but the only effective control right now is chemical. And so we spray regularly to try to kill the spotted wing drosophila and protect our blackberries (and elderberries). We would rather not! But then again, we would rather not have worms in our blackberries!
  • Carrots and I have a complicated relationship. First of all, I prefer not to eat them – especially raw – except maybe shredded in coleslaw or salad. Then, we find them difficult to grow. I’m not sure why. 2020 was going to be the year we grew lots of amazing carrots – carrots of every size & colour. Beautiful carrots! Alas it was not to be. We seeded carrots 5 times this season. Two times they never even germinated. Twice they came up spotty but ok, and once we got a lovely patch of carrots. Not a good average at all! We have spent way too much time weeding them, watering them and encouraging them! This week the CSA box will include a bunch of carrots from the good patch. We’ll pick them tomorrow so fingers crossed there will be an abundance of sweet & delicious carrots. But you’ll have to tell me how they taste – I probably won’t try them!
  • Green beans will be in the box this week, along with tomatoes (beefsteak & cherries), zucchini, green onions and garlic.

_________________________________

Thank you for the many good wishes, cards, emails, flowers, food … and love that we have received this past week since the passing of Lorie’s dad. He was a fixture on our farm for many years and many of our CSA members & market customers knew him well.

He was well-loved and is greatly missed!

https://tallmanfuneralhomes.ca/tribute/details/8815/John-Klassen/obituary.html#tribute-start

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