Week 9 – Over the Top

Yeah so I suppose that in case you weren’t a boy in the mid-80s, I should explain that “Over the Top” was a movie that cast Sly Stallone as Rocky of the arm wrestling circuit. The phrase in that context had to do with literally getting the opponent’s hand over the top and down, and about victory, and some other feel-good triumphant stuff.

And here we are at the mid-point of the CSA harvest season – 9 boxes down and 9 left to go, cresting Over the Top of the hump, grunt-screaming and flexing our sweaty, straining, shaky-vein biceps with every beastly zucchini and cucumber we pull from the field.

Totally.

(It’s actually been pretty chill, really. The field is flowing and fertile, it’s kind of dry, but that’s not so bad.)

In addition to making life into 80’s arm wrestling metaphors this week, we’ve been transplanting baby salad greens out into the field, weeding the carrots and new beets and the emptied-out rows of early-harvested crops, and pulling out giant mega weeds from anywhere they’ve raised their monstrous bodies, before they can go to seed.

the weekly harvest panorama, featuring the WWOOFers

Speaking of the field, a troop of 13-lined ground squirrels have moved in and are continuing the destructive work of erstwhile evil Madam Venison …Kristin is considering focusing her murder-eye upon them, which will be their doom if they repent not from their sins.

Oh hey, I took a picture of the compost this week to explain the next step of the “compost-shuffle” to our awesome help-squad (WWOOFers Brittany, Lukas, & Alissa), which reminds me that everyone out there is no doubt dying to know about how we’ve been turning food waste into healthy soil this year!

the chickens working on a massive pile of culled/thinned kale and beet leaves

You may remember that in previous years we made compost from weekly 60-gallon batches of kitchen scraps, courtesy of a cafeteria client. Sadly, that option came to an end this spring – but when the God of Garbage closes a trashcan, he opens a bucket, as they say. Our friends at the newly-opened Trap Rock Brewery have been brewing up all kinds of new beer, and providing us with the byproduct – a steady stream of around 50 gallons of spent grains weekly.

These are still full of nutrients and even protein – making them ideal for our existing composting method; first, let the chickens work it over and eat their fill. Then, after it is no longer fresh, we combine it with pulled weeds, damaged/excess veggies, and dead leaves (we stockpile them every autumn) and stir it occasionally as it decomposes. When the heat dies down, the pile goes into big bins for storage.

Quadrant 1) finished compost to be binned
2) almost-finished compost to be aerated with pitchfork and left for a week
3) about to be filled w/ spent grains, leaves, & garden waste the chickens’ve finished with
4) last week’s spent grains, kitchen scraps & garden waste, composting hot beneath paper

Come spring, we’ll use this to feed and build the soil up in the high tunnel and field rows, constantly building the organic matter and nutrients available in our soil. The circle of life!

In the Box

Two or three of you got randomly granted OKRA by the gods. Use it wisely!

Eggplant – You remember these! Good for ratatouille! Great marinated & then grilled.

Kohlrabi

Sweet Corn– very little was ready this week – and sadly many of the stalks knocked down in the wind storm didn’t produce ears – but hopefully more to come … hopefully. Corn might be on the losing side of the win-some-lose-some equation this year.

Tomatoes for now and later – We put both ripe and nearly-ripe tomatoes in the boxes – the nearly ripe ones will feel firmer, and can be left on the counter for a few days to finish ripening up.

Beets & Beet Greens – treat them like Chard basically

Zucchini – yup

Cucumbers – ayuh

Onions – the first of our main onion crop! If you want to store them, simply cut off the greens and use those, then let the bulbs sit on the counter. The outer skin will dry up and form a wonderful protective barrier.

Kristin harvesting your onions today

Basil in a bag with a few stalks of Cutting Celery, which is basically an herb that provides celery flavor which you can chop up and put into egg salad or something

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *