Happy first day of summer ya’ll! We’re hittin' the lake after a hot day of harvesting and weeding.
Swallowtails and Monarchs are showing up!
There are new friends and foes in the garden every week. This week we had a little garden snake hanging out by our potting shed, hopefully on mouse patrol. We’ve spotted toads as big as your palm hiding in the soil that pop out with a little yelp when we get too close with a garden tool. These are the good guys, eating the caterpillars and beetles that eat our crops. Then we have the robins scouting out the berry patch… Luckily we beat them to it and covered our strawberries with netting to deter them. A new pest for our farm was found on the ground cherries this week, the ground cherry leaf beetle. Right now we are controlling this pest and the colorado potato beetle by hand. They are large enough and slow enough to catch and squish. It’s so important to take action on pests early before they become an infestation.
Toad friend, cooling off in the barn
We’re ready for round two in the gardens. We did a lot of seeding this week in the nursery and in the field. We pulled up the spinach that’s beginning to bolt and seeded french breakfast radishes, arugula, and carrots. We’re beginning to seed our fall crops like rutabaga, broccoli, red cabbage, and celeriac in the nursery. And we transplanted lettuce mix, beets, and summer cabbage. The cabbage is beautiful and if we’re really on top of it we’ll keep the cabbage moth caterpillars and flea beetles at bay because they love our cabbage as much as we do.
Summer cabbage in the nursery
Lettuce and beet plantings
Where are the carrots? We had a crop failure pretty early on with our baby carrots. It was supposed to be the first round harvested last week but the germination was not great and the bed became overtaken with grasses in May. We had to make the hard decision to cut our losses instead of keeping a bed with only half the amount of carrots in it. We will start harvesting from the next seeding we had of carrots which was successful very soon!
The harvest is starting to pick up after a long and cool spring. In our CSA bag you’ll have rapini also known as broccoli raab. It’s a tender version of broccoli and the whole thing, leaves, stems and florets are used. It’s very good pan fried or roasted. The leaves get crispy and delicious. The tops of the salad turnips are also good for eating. They can be put into salad fresh or if you cook the turnips, throw in the greens toward the end of cooking to wilt.
Rapini thrives in cool weather. Last season we did not succeed at growing it.
The strawberries are starting to ripen this week which means it’s possible we’ll have a few early quarts at market this weekend and strawberries in the CSA in the coming weeks. The first summer squash will be ready by Sunday market as well.
What’s in the CSA this week?