Monday morning and my work is ready and waiting for me – 3 trailers of seedlings, with close to half of them big enough to be planted.
The actual planting is the easy part.
But first the beds must be prepared. Normally I would lightly rototill the soil to clean up any weeds and make a nice, smooth surface for transplanting. But the ground is too dry to waste moisture by rototilling. Besides, my rototiller is broken and at the mechanic for repairs – expensive repairs – and the parts are difficult to source (thank you COVID!), so who knows when it will be up & running again. So we prepare the beds by hand – pulling the weeds, then raking and smoothing the soil. It takes extra time & effort – but it works!
The top few inches of soil are quite dry – dusty even – and that’s where my tiny seedlings are planted. So we have to water … and water … and water. Daily we give them a soaking, for about a week. By then they are established, their roots have reached the moisture and they are left on their own. We collect rainwater off the barn roofs, save it in a couple of cisterns and use that for watering.
What’s in the box?
Cherry tomatoes, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, zucchini, salad greens, green onions.
extras – garlic scapes.
- It’s tomato time! Enjoy the first taste of cherry tomatoes this week. We’re still only picking a few, so it really will be just a taste – a tease of what’s to come!
- Chinese cabbage is one of my favourite vegetables. Crisp, tender, and mild – it is delicious used fresh in a salad instead of lettuce. Or use the large leaves as wraps, make it into coleslaw, kimchi or stir-fry it. While the outer leaves are a lovely green colour, the inside is often creamy white. It prefers cooler weather and does best in fall, but we like to try it in spring & summer as well. This week’s cabbages are smaller and looser heads due to the warm weather we have had, and lack of rain. There are a few insect bites too – bugs also like Chinese cabbage!
- Kohlrabi is a new vegetables for many of our 1st time CSA members. Did you like it? We plant kohlrabi every couple of weeks and try to include it in the box regularly. It makes a great snack!
- The zucchini harvest is increasing. (Plus we just seeded again so hopefully we will have zucchini all summer.) Many of you prefer very small, green zucchini, but the yellow, and the green striped zucchini are similar in taste & texture. I always suggest choosing the smallest size for eating raw. They are the most tender. Larger ones are great for spiralizing or for grilling. And if zucchini bread or cake is on the menu then choose the biggest fruit!
- Green onions and a salad green finish off the box this week.
- Garlic scapes are available for those who want them – we still have lots!
Around the farm this week …
While us humans keep working regardless of the weather, our animal friends know how to relax during the heat of the day!