Above: the heat lamps in our chick brooders keeping the little girls toastie on a cold night last week.
Last week we had 4 frosty mornings. Not super hard frost, but enough to turn the green beans, summer squash, and basil we were going to put into last week's boxes into a sad and droopy brown. On the positive side, frost really sweetens up all the brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower etc.). Kale really is a pretty boring affair in August, but come late October, after a few frosts have kissed it, it becomes tender, flavorful, and pretty delectable. Now we're crossing our fingers that the rain predicted for next weekend materializes. Everything is soooooo dry. This season Fall seems to have arrived very suddenly. Often it feels like a drawn out slow down, but I think the drought and having to reduce or cut off watering pushed a lot of crops to finish up earlier than usual. The raspberries still have some fruit, but the crew insists there's not enough to warrant picking anymore. :( We had a bad case of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus in our tunnel grown tomatoes and peppers so production is so reduced, that while we usually eek out enough for CSA into November, we will probably pull the plug and start clearing the tunnels this week. Farming, to quote Kirstin Kimball, author and farmer in Upstate New York, is "like having a gambling problem. A farm is a living, breathing slot machine, doling out just enough reward at exactly the right moment to keep you coming back for more." While the tomatoes and peppers really failed in a big way this year, the melons were spectacular! Instead of calling it quits on tomatoes, here we are, already trying to plan our next attempt.
Product Hightlights for this week:
REAL Golden Delicious Apples- As Orin Martin our mentor from UCSC's Farm & Garden would say "Golden Delicious is neither golden nor delicious after 5 months in storage. But fresh off the tree..." well, it's a whole other thing. You might not even recognize it. Glowing yellow with the occasional pink blush. An old standby looks and tastes leaps and bounds better than it's commercial counterpart which has often been stored for months prior to arriving at a store near you. The foundation of many popular apples.
Hokuto- Notoriously large apple. A cross between a Fuji and a Mutsu. From Japan, these very large, juicy, sweet, crisp apples are famous for their size- in 2005 a Hokuto claimed the World's record for heaviest apple.