Farm Happenings at Hoot Owl Farm
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CSA Week #15

Posted on August 21st, 2020 by Bonnie and Rudy Geber

...Just sittin' around pickin' beans. Picking beans takes a LONG time, it sure is nice to grab several people to tackle that task together! This photo pretty much sums up our week - a lot of picking! We started out last Friday...because a farmer's week really ends the day of the market and starts again the day after, lol - with the potato harvest. We didn't quite make 1,000 lbs of potatoes, but we were darn close. We dry and then store those potatoes at optimum temperatures so that we can parse them out to you guys for the rest of the CSA season. 

After potatoes came the startup of the 'multiple pickers', we tend to group these together and harvest summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and glads at the same time, but three times a week. Then came the major harvest, that's the once weekly picking of the bulk of our produce for market/CSA/wholesale orders: salad, roots, beans, leeks, oh so many carrots, etc. Our major harvest begins on Tuesday and goes right up until market morning. We threw in a bonus this week, and harvested some melons. We planted a couple of rows of melons this year to see what we think of them. Guess what? We like them! Both types are absolutely delicious, so we'll plan to grow a bit more next season. In the meantime, some may find their way into boxes or we may just have some at market since it's a small quantity this year. Don't forget that we also inject in a couple more pickings of the 'multiple pickers' at some point in the week! Our picking fingers could use a break! But they'll have to wait  a few more days, because we're all geared up to start again next week with some winter squash harvesting. 

The main challenge that we have with our winter squash harvest is where to put them! Winter squash needs to be cured right after harvesting to ensure optimum storage life. While curing, the squash is essentially evaporating off extra moisture and the skin is also hardening. A hard skin slows respiration and helps the stored squash resist rot and collapse. The difficulty is that curing is most successfully carried out by spreading the squash in a single layer for a couple of weeks in a warm area with good airflow. That's easier said than done! Spreading out several hundred winter squash in a single layer can take up a lot of space. So we're brainstorming for the next couple of days so that we'll hopefully have a spot to put the squash when we start picking on Friday...the start of the next week! 

Remember to swing by your pick up location this week to grab your produce box. We hope you guys are finding time to try out some cool recipes and maybe coming up with some new ones of your own? If you have any you'd like to share with the group, please send them our way! 

Cheers, Bonnie & Rudy