In this week’s share:
- Not pictured: either Potatoes or Carrots (Monday got potatoes, Thursday will get potatoes or carrots)
- Swiss Chard
- Sweet peppers (current varieties: Jimmy Nardello, Gypsy Queen, Liebsapfel, Stocky Red Roaster)
- Mini Head Lettuces
- Summer squash / zucchini
The transition to late summer means more color, especially the reds and other bright colors of tomatoes and peppers. The summer squash and cucumbers are still producing, but they are slowing down a little bit. The eggplant may have hit its peak as well and start to reduce production a bit. Basil is still going strong. This week we are giving out a bunch of basil that includes fibrous stems, so you’ll need to pick the good tender leaves off yourself. We have a really beautiful looking stand of summer-planted rainbow chard right now so we thought we’d put that out this week again as well. Lettuce doesn’t love this summer heat, but being vigilant with the irrigation they are doing ok. These mini heads actually look pretty nice this week.
Sweet peppers are yummy raw cut into salads, or try roasting them and then removing seeds and skin. What you’ll be left with is deliciously sweet, soft pepper flesh that’s easy to keep in the fridge or freeze in freezer bags for longer storage. Roasted peppers can be used in stews, pasta sauce, salsas, and more. Or just eat them on their own or with some olive oil and salt.
Notes from the field this week: We pulled all of our onions out of the field yesterday and made long rows of them on the ground by variety to continue their curing process. They will be probably flipped once after 5-7 days, allowed to cure some more, and then put into crates for storage in a cool dry location. Here’s what the onion field looked like before pulling out the onions. Note that the onion tops were all down.After getting the onions out of the field we covered that area with tarps and will be running drip irrigation under them to encourage the crop residue and weeds left in the field to break down for a few weeks. Once the beds are cleaned up in this way, we will seed a cover crop into that area. A few other areas have already had this tarp treatment and are ready for a cover crop sowing. Right now it is too early to plant our standard cereal rye and vetch that is a great overwintering cover crop mix, so we are going to put in sudan grass (a summer cover crop) mixed with crimson clover. The sudan grass will grow fast in the last bit of summer heat but die in a hard frost creating a thick mat of mulch to protect the soil through the winter, while the crimson clover survives the cold weather and will be able to take on a lot of biomass in the spring as the days get longer.
In other news Martin and Mark were able to put in supports for the peppers to keep them from falling over too much with the weight of their fruit.
Mark has been doing a summer term internship with us this year for his Clackamas Community College Organic Farming certificate program. He has been an amazing contributor to the farm crew, and yesterday was his last day with us as the summer term is over this week. He was specifically working on hoophouse and irrigation management, as well as recordkeeping and planning. Thank you Mark for all your help, your attention to detail, and your curiosity! Here’s Mark taking care of some weeds in the hoophouse:
Well I know I said the summer squash was slowing down a bit, but a few of those patty pan plants are doing the opposite. Check out this cluster!