Farm Happenings at Hoot Owl Farm
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CSA Week #13-B

Posted on August 6th, 2021 by Bonnie and Rudy Geber

Well, this secret smiley face in the salad mix didn't turn out as perfect as Bonnie intended it when she sneakily laid out the transplants in a pattern. But you get the idea, and the wilty lettuce head is sort of like a gap tooth or something, adds character, right?! It sure was nice to get some rain earlier this week. We actually had quite a bit at our 'Home Plot' as well as some hail. The hail was small enough that it didn't pose a threat, so we just enjoyed listening to the sound on the roof - it was LOUD. The next few days of cooler temps were even more welcome. But we've tried not to get to secure in the new comfortable temperatures since we know that it's fleeting and we will probably all be roasting again by the weekend. 

The big project of the week was an adaptation on Shakespeare - 'The Taming of the Tomatoes'. The last time we pruned the cherry tomatoes was 3 weeks ago, and that is TOO LONG during the main growing season. Things just kept getting in the way, and before we knew it, we had a truly daunting tomato jungle. We're not exaggerating - the suckers were growing suckers!! Anyway, this is more of a problem than simply creating a mess, the fruit production on our cherry tomatoes was noticeably down this week. And no wonder!...It takes a lot of energy to grow into a labyrinth of suckers in such a short time, and that energy was taking away from fruit production. So we've sharpened our focus and tackled the job. It's not totally done, but I think we learned our lesson - some jobs are just best not to ignore for too long! If you notice that your cherry tomatoes are a little less ripe this week, now you know the 'rest of the story'...give them another day or two and they'll be perfect!

We're looking ahead to a couple of big harvests. First up is the onions. It's about time to get them out of the field and into the curing area. We've also got the somewhat disturbing task of 'killing potatoes' on our to do list. Many of our potato plants are dying back as they're spent, but some are still struggling along. When harvesting a big area of potatoes all at once, it's best to ensure that the plants are done growing at least a week or two ahead of harvest. That way all of the potatoes under ground are signaled to toughen up and grow a thicker skin. So our tradition is to go through and cut back all of the tomato plants killing two birds with one stone (putting those spent plants out of their misery while also removing crop debris ahead of digging time). We'll also be starting to harvest winter squash and melons periodically in the next few weeks so expect to start seeing them in your boxes - in fact some should even have melons this week. Let us know what you think! These are new varieties for us and we'd love to know if you think they're keepers or not. See you all at pick up!

Cheers, Bonnie & Rudy