Black Bears & Fireflies – Week 2 CSA Newsletter

We had friends visit on and off through the week, but it was a productive time. Reynaldo, our first WWOOFer of the season arrived (“World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms” is a program that connects farms with folks who’d like to work on farms in exchange for the experience, a place to stay, and food, basically – this is how we travel south in the winters when the farm inhospitable to non-Yeti life).

We’d actually met Reynaldo on our travels last winter, in Mississippi, at Yokna Bottoms Farm – and he came to us straight from Habitable Spaces, the Texas farm we overwintered at. It was great to reconnect, and was wonderful having another set of hands helping to keep things growing.

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We weeded rows, freeing tiny new plants from the tyranny of crowding weeds and their sun and moisture-stealing ways. The last of the eggplants and peppers moved out of the greenhouse and into the field,. and the weather mostly cooperated, giving us cloudy, gently grey days while the plants recovered from their shock.

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Our friend Eugene spent a few days, and was the first person to sleep in the Rust Shack. He performed carburetor wizardry; reviving a lawn mower and a pump that we will be using to irrigate the crops with compost tea (just what it sounds like).

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Today’s harvest was fully 20 degrees cooler than last week’s – it was much more pleasant working weather, and easier to keep things fresh and cool after picking. However, the few days of intense heat had an impact on the crops – the cool weather crops took it as a sign that summer was upon them, and reacted accordingly. The Napa cabbage decided to skip forming heads entirely, and go straight to flowering. Bok Choi, mustard greens, and most of the arugula bolted as well.

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We keep finding new vole tunnels, but not much sign of damage being inflicted above ground. We find cut worms incidentally while digging, but I can’t say I’ve noticed their damages much. We frapeed some crop eating beetles, to make organic species-specific bug repellent spray – which seemed to actually work!

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The harmless June bugs have passed their peak blundering buzzing period, and now their fat grubs are showing up in the compost piles.  Mosquitoes, delayed by the dry early spring, finally busted out after the soakings of early June … but the dragonflies and other devourers were waiting for them, and the surge faded after a couple of days.

there's a bear in this pic, but you can't tell.
there’s a bear in this pic, but you can’t tell.

A black bear has been ambling among us all week, trying to stay out of sight but not always succeeding. The hens are happy and exploring further and further from their coop. The farmers are happy, too, and are settling into the groove.

 

Eugene brought us a bag of clothes he found - and the clothes in there fit us both perfectly! I did some work in my new suit ...
Eugene brought us a bag of clothes he found – and the clothes in there fit us both perfectly! I did some work in my new suit …

 

this is a Whip Poor WIll. We didn't take the picture - they are nocturnal and we hear them throughout the nights - but never see them.
this is a Whip Poor WIll. We didn’t take the picture – they are nocturnal and we hear them throughout the nights – but never see them.
This giant spider seemed weirdly still while I worked nearby, until I wondered why and went to see if it was alive - turns out she was standing guard over her eggs, which she darted to, picked up, and ran off with when disturbed
This giant spider seemed weirdly still while I worked nearby, until I wondered why and went to see if it was alive – turns out she was standing guard over her eggs, which she darted to, picked up, and ran off with when disturbed

 

in the Box this week:

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  • Napa Cabbage – as mentioned, the Napa opted to go straight to flower and skip all the head-forming business entirely – so it’s cabbage leaves!  Stir-fry, sauerkraut, kimchi, sliced thinly, yum.
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  • Spring Salad Mix – Pea tips, sunflower greens, Argula, Red Ruby lettuce, Buttercrunch lettuce, wild spinach, regular spinach, tat soi, a little bit of sheep sorrel, mizuna, & mustard greens.
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  • Green Onions duh duh. duh dah dah dah duh duh.
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  • Radishes – Thanks to the early spring cutworms, our crop of radishes and turnips was decimated, so these little globes are now fine and precious as pearls.
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  • Salad Turnips – Smooth and mild, great on salads, delicious raw or cooked.
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  • Turnip & Radish Greens – Interchangeable and also, ridiculously nutritious.  Not good at all if eaten raw, but very good in soup, sautees,  etc – check out some recipe ideas online.
    Amy made radish green pesto with last week's share
    Melissa made radish green pesto with last week’s share

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  • Broccoli (large shares only) – a few rogue early broccoli plants formed heads early – not enough to give to everyone, but enough to share a bit.

 

 Shareholder Pics of last week’s veggies

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Celeste’s Pepper Jelly cracker topping
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Amy’s Week 1 salad
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Laura’s Week 1 Taco Salad

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PS – “Okra Exists”

2 thoughts on “Black Bears & Fireflies – Week 2 CSA Newsletter”

  1. Beautiful photos ! Veggies and the gardeners – wowza !
    Yes, there is a bear in the woods ! He visited our farm too.

  2. Hey guys I was referred to your site by your other site action squad…my friends and I have been exploring the St. Paul area and have found a lot of different caves in the area but we were looking for some of the caves and tunnels your crew went into and we couldn’t find any..if there’s any way you can send a map to me so we can find and explore them too we would be very thankful! I saw you took the names and stuff down because of 9/11 but if you search my email on Facebook you’ll see I’m not a terrorist..but if you decide not to give the info, I understand and thank you for your awesome site. Quikkchris@hotmail.com Chris mattes MN

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