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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
in the Box this week:
- 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.
- 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.
- Green Onions – duh duh. duh dah dah dah duh duh.
- 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.
- Salad Turnips – Smooth and mild, great on salads, delicious raw or cooked.
- 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.
- 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
PS – “Okra Exists”