Monday, September 16, 2013

Letter from John Krueger

Hi Folks, 
Well I can report that we received an inch of much needed precipitation last Thursday, but at quite a cost. The rain came in a torrential downpour mostly during a 15 minute period accompanied by fierce winds that toppled trees all over our area. We lost power for about 30 hours until midnight on Friday. I was returning from PA where I was picking up fertilizer and as I neared the farm I began to encounter branches in the roadway and the trees blocking one lane of the road.  When I was 5 minutes from the farm I was stopped by a tree blocking the entire road. I finally arrived home about an hour later after repeated detours were also found to be impassable. The storm toppled sunflowers, ripped leaves off of the bean plants and shredded some of the lettuce leaves. By far the worst damage was to our high tunnel greenhouse which had the plastic ripped off and a number of the steel cross members, known as purlins bent at a 45 degree angle. The frame can be repaired, but it’s questionable whether it will be worth buying another sheet of plastic and recovering it, with so little time left in the season. It is unfortunate because this greenhouse is full of 8 foot tall tomato plants which are healthy, lush and full of green fruit. The field tomatoes are rapidly succumbing to disease and will be out of production very soon.  Lamentably the already too short tomato season may be coming to an end quite soon.
We are back in lettuce production. Most groups will receive a lovely bronze oak leaf type. It is a very nice variety but does tend to wilt rapidly, so be sure to keep it in a plastic bag as soon as you receive it. We also have an Asian mustard green known as Yukima savoy which is similar to tatsoi but with larger leaves and a less compact head. Cilantro and dill are back and these along with parsley will be the mainstay of our herb production for the remainder of the season. Summer squash continues to come in slowly, in spite of a final planting beginning to produce. We are in a rotation and will try to get one last round of this crop to all groups, this week and next. Baby white salad turnips are back and these will also be a staple in the root crop category during the rest of the season. These can be eaten raw in salads but are also nice braised, roasted or in soups. Remember that the greens are also very nutritious and fairly palatable. We have some red skin potatoes which unfortunately aren’t very pretty; they have substantial scab issues. I am generally opposed to peeling potatoes, as the skin is quite nutritious. In this case I won’t hold it against you if you feel the need to peel.
The share for this week will be: Garlic, lettuce, peppers, Yukima savoy mustard, tomatoes, string beans, red potatoes, salad turnips, kale, and choice of cilantro or dill.
Farmer John