As this September evokes some new routines for many of us, it is only prudent that we change the menu up a little bit :-)
Just like it is with students in the classroom, a farmer will tell you that every vegetable has its' own personality. Radishes are the 'fast aquaintances', Lettuce is the 'fair weather friend', Eggplant possesses the 'allure of the exotic' and Peppers are the 'late bloomers'.
"what...August already?? oh crap! we had better start growing!!" Says all the peppers at once.
Years ago now, when I was down in Manotick Station, I had a great catch of sweet peppers. I was so proud of the plants and the bountiful harvest. I had all these bins, full of green peppers that I took to market. They didn't sell very well. That evening I had supper with my friends Greta Kryger and her partner Martin and I shared my frustration in the lack luster sales.
For those of you, who don't know, Greta is legend and has quietly done much for the regeneration of seed production in our region. She has taught me an incredible amount over the years and has done so in the most memorable of ways. A very special person. It was on her property that I had my first field and was there for years 1 and 2. That first year I was struggling growing in the heavy clay soil and came to her often with questions. One day, she had had enough and she abruptly stopped me in my tracks and pointed behind me.
"Enough! Go back into your field and let her teach you" A very wise woman indeed and a true mentor. Things went much better from that point foward between the field and I.
So back to the meal I shared with her and Martin. At the end of it, she walked out with me and I accepted her invitation to follow her to her greenhouse to see some peppers that she had harvested. She handed me a sliver of red pepper. Ohhhhh it was sooo good!! Like an explosion of flavour. "yes, yes" I said emphatically' "this is what I want to grow next year!"
Greta smiled and replied, "you are growing them this year. You just haven't let the peppers ripen yet."
The art of pepper growing is still a work in progress to be honest. But we have a nice catch of hot peppers. Not like.. death by fire hot, but a nice medium heat as is found in Jalapeno, Hungarian Hot Wax, Cheyenne and Chilli peppers.
As gathering is time consuming (hence the late share release this week and to be honest I still don't have a proper count) we are offering a mix collection of hot peppers and a full array of fresh herbs this week (and possibly the next depending on supply). So for those of you that are not interested in that sort of thing, this will be the week you learn how to swap your preferences. I am Greta's student after all. So, as such, you will not bother me. You will take it upon yourself to go onto your page https://www.harvie.farm/login and you will learn. Yes? Good. If you do have problems with the help files on your Harvie profile page, you can reach out to Harvie support by writing your question via the contact link or you can call them at: 412-567-3864 I think you will be fine :-)
Also this week...there are no bunching onions. Instead you will find in the offering nice bunches of yellow field onions. They are not dried, but they are fresh for immediate consumption. Onions start their journey in the nursery in the middle of March and are planted at a tediously slow pace over 4 to 6 days. So it is exciting to finally get to the point where we can enjoy them.
Also, this is the last or second last week of Karen's amazing garlic. So for those of you who are wanting to stock up for the winter please be sure to select your choice as this is a farm store item and as such is considered an extra.
Thank you also to the many of you for being faithful in returning your bags each week. I realized when we started this program there was a risk of diminishing returns and we would have to replenish. But thanks to your enthusiastic participation we have not had to do that yet and it is very much appreciated. It would be terrible to have to go to plastic bags at this juncture. We have all done so well in this regard so lets keep it going :-)
Looking into the week ahead, as always... enjoy.