Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Letter from John Krueger

Hello Everyone, 
The fields had dried out nicely during the past week and we able to get back to preparing ground for planting and to get caught up on transplanting of the fall Cole crops.  Because we have a fairly sandy soil here at the farm it drains well and dries out rapidly; a blessing during rainy times and a bit of a challenge during drought. The newly transplanted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower was looking quite sad during the hot spell last week and I was hoping for a little rain to perk them up. On Sunday night fierce storms ripped through our area and dumped nearly 2 inches of rain in about an hour; once again a little more than we bargained for. We are once again set back in terms of planting especially for the direct seeded crops. I need to plant another round of carrots and beets for the fall and I am anxious to begin planting turnips, radishes, spinach, and all of the mustard greens, such as arugula and broccoli raab. The week ahead looks relatively dry, so I expect that by Thursday I will be able to resume planting these crops.
We are still struggling with our onion crop. We have been able to save many that were beginning to rot, but we still have an abundance of bulbs that I don’t expect to keep well. Regretfully we will again be shipping onions with that will need to be used promptly. We are trying to select them carefully, but you may encounter a few that have begun to go bad at the core.  They are mostly large onions so there will still be plenty useable if you have to discard a bit of the center. We do this so that we can save the best for storage and continue to provide you with ample quantities of onions through the rest of the season. I imagine that some of you are wondering where the garlic is; we will ship it next week-I promise. We also have a nice leek crop, but they will hold well in the field and are fattening up nicely with all the rain.
August will be melon month. The cantaloupes and watermelons are ripening prolifically and we also have a green fleshed Galia melon as well as honey dews. Beans are coming in heavily now, so there will larger quantities in the share this week. Tomatoes are also ripening in copious amounts, so expect a lot more of these this week. All of the wet weather has taken a heavy toll on the tomato crop and a number of varieties have been ravaged by disease and some have been completely killed before they could mature much of their fruit. We will likely be sending green tomatoes as an extra this week, for those of you who crave fried green tomatoes. We are also beginning to gather a lot of ground cherries so we will offer these as a choice with cherry tomatoes.  These odd fruits are closely related to tomatillos but are much sweeter and have a kind of tropical fruit flavor. Squeeze them out of their paper husk and eat them out of hand, or add them to salads. They keep well without refrigeration.
The share for this week will be: Summer squash, melons, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, savoy or green cabbage, beets, yellow onions, potatoes, choice of kale, chard or dandelion greens, beans, and choice of an herb (parsley, cilantro or summer savory).      
Farmer John