Week 3

“Now not enough water puts thirst in a man
And just enough water puts joy in his land
But too much water will overflow
And drown the man’s laptop, so there you go.”

This week’s tale is;

it didn’t rain, it didn’t rain some more, then
it finally rained and it was wonderful and
the crops rejoiced and
the farmers allowed themselves a small smile at this, and then
the next morning realized that
the wonderful rain had ran down the woodstove’s chimney pipe
into the screen porch and
dripped off the elbow and
onto and into and through our laptop
and now it’s dead dead dead:


the field on CSA #3 harvest day
the field on CSA #3 harvest day

Oops! But let’s not miss the relevant and important thing here which s that we got over an inch of rain finally! A good long soaking for the field, just what we needed. And speaking of good news & rain, we are super happy about the turnips in this week’s box, and thankful to little creatures that look something like this:

microscopic beneficial nematodes to the rescue!

Over the last few years, most notably last year, our root crops really suffered from underground bugs called “cabbage root maggots.” Remember the rutabagas with the worm-chewed surfaces? The ones we sent out to you were ugly – and those were the best we got; the others were devoured and ruined. And the little shits were stunting the other crops as well, by gnawing on their roots. We don’t like to use chemical pesticides, not even organic-approved ones … so Kristin ordered us some sea monkeys.

OK not really sea monkeys, but the beneficial nematodes did come to us in a two little cooler packs of organic-looking slush. We waited for a rainstorm, and then these predatory flatworm slushies were dissolved into lots of water. I donned a heavy raincoat (this was during the chilly-wet early springtime) and a heavy 4-gallon backpack sprayer loaded with nematodes, and walked around the full area of the field, trying to spray it everywhere.

These beneficial nematodes work by being ruthless packs of predators, seeking and destroying the root maggots – like this:

It was hard to believe it would work – we couldn’t see anything of course. It wasn’t cheap, and it wasn’t easy to apply – and until today, we didn’t really know if it had done a thing. But!

Last year the turnips were totally destroyed and we didn’t even give any out to you. This year – salad turnips are beautiful! Thank you, little badasses!

Oh! I wanted to invite y’all to come out to our friend & neighbor’s weekly event – every Wednesday evening, Maaren fires up her woodfired pizza oven at her place, for “Peace by Piece” (nee “Pizza on Purpose,” which was a name someone possessive was using alas). She’s quite near the Farm, and there is a good mix of new and regular characters there, enjoying some donation-based pizza chowing, a bonfire, and good humans. We go pretty much every week! 

But that’s tomorrow – today, let’s talk veggies. Kristin?

Box Three

Kristin sez:

  • LettuceBaby Romaine & butter crunch & bekana for your fresh leafy green needs. It’s the time of year to enjoy them and eat lots of salad!
  • Kale (Red Russian / Curly Blue / Dino)
Red Russian & Dino Kale hanging out w/ a milkweed (we let them grow for the monarch butterflies)
  • We often enjoy a big pile of  kale sautéed with a little oil, salt and garlic or onions. You can add it to a creamy pasta dish, eggs, or rice. We are also a fan of kale chips and massaged kale salads.
  • Sugar Snap Peas
eating peas fresh from the vine
eating peas fresh from the vine
  • Definitely Widget’s favorite vegetable and I’m inclined to agree. They are good fresh and sautéed.
  • Onions
  • I use a lot of onions when I cook and assume others do too. You can use them raw and temper their flavor with something acidic, like lemon or lime juice or a vinegar depending on how you are using them. Otherwise mellow them out by cooking them in a dish. 
  • Garlic scapes – The soon-to-be-flowers of the garlic plant, snipped off so the plant puts its energy into bulb development. Chop them up finely and use ’em like garlic. Goes great in a recipe with:
  • Garlic chives – stir fry, pesto, salad dressing …
  • Radish/turnip – see above. NEMATODES FOR THE WIN
  • Broccoli – The broccoli has been set back repeatedly by cutworm assaults this spring, and so formed small, early heads. They’re tender and delicious – just small. We’ll keep the plants for sideshoots, and have already started a fall season crop – which generally seems to flourish better for us.

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