We have enjoyed moderate temperatures and reasonable quantities of precipitation this past week. No weather related problems or catastrophes to report this update! We have been able to transplant out thousands of fall vegetables. I have been busy sowing many of the direct seeds vegetables from root crops-carrots, turnips and beets to greens-arugula, spinach, and broccoli raab as well as more herbs-dill and cilantro. Our biggest challenge at present is with the pests; both the four legged and the six legged kind. The deer continue to bust through our temporary nylon fencing and ravage the melon crop and seem oblivious to the horrible sounds which emanate from my electronic deer scare system (recordings of deer distress calls). On the four legged front we continue to battle the pernicious flea beetle which hop, skip and jump (well perhaps not skip-the point is they can’t fly) from the remnants of the spring brassicas on to the tender young transplants of the fall crop and lace the kale with tiny holes. Now that the spring crop is done and the plant debris plowed under, and after repeated spraying we have them nearly under control. The other main insect pest with which we must contend is the Mexican bean beetle, whose populations rise rapidly as they pass through their 2nd and 3rd generations and the newly morphed adults fly into the 2nd and 3rd planting of beans. On Tuesday I have been promised release of 20,000 parasitic wasps by the NJ Dept. of Ag. Insect labs. These Pediobus wasps lay their eggs on the larval stage of the pest and should help to control the populations going into the 3rd generation.
We are beginning to have an abundance of beans maturing which will soon overwhelm our ability to get them picked in a timely fashion. I am issuing a new schedule of volunteer days for the 2nd half of the season and will welcome any assistance in keeping on top of the harvest. Tomatoes are ripening prolifically, so expect large quantities in the share this week. For this week’s root vegetable we will offer bunches of multi colored carrots. The yellow, red and purple varieties tend to not be as sweet as the orange ones; but they sure are purty. I recommend eating them cooked rather than raw.
The share for this week will be: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, summer squash, beans, garlic, yellow potatoes, fennel, melons, rainbow carrots, choice of ground cherries or cherry tomatoes and basil.