Have you enjoyed the rain and cool? Been nice for us but not for some of the plants. One place where we haven't found success this year is on the tomato front. This is a picture of our main outdoor planting that caught foliar disease and has bitten the dust. Commercial or even local, non-organic farms use powerful chemical fungicides that effectively prevent this type of loss, but since we don't use the stuff, sometimes the weather conditions, despite our best efforts, work against us.
This means, unfortunately that tomato production will be down for a few weeks while we wait on our second crop to start producing. And we are keeping our fingers crosses for this final planting because they've developed the same spots, septoria leaf spot to be exact. Even though we follow all of the organic production suggestions, this disease has been really bad this year. Those last several consecutive days of rain caused it to spread rapidly. This is why we plant so many of our tomatoes in the greenhouses to escape many of the foliar diseases caused by rain.
Every single item in your CSA shares up to this point have been grown by us on our farm. However, given our tomato issues, we've reached out to a few of our organic farming buddies in the area to see if they have extra tomatoes to sell us for the next several weeks. We know tomatoes are pretty dang popular and we feel awful that we just can't produce enough for everyone who wants them right now. Our friend Mike Pearl has a few extras that he has allowed us to purchase. It's not a large number because he had a whole bunch split in the heavy rains but he sold us what he could spare. His tomatoes will be marked "Pearl Farm Tomatoes" on Harvie if they end up in your share. We'll have some of our own as well that will show up simply as "tomatoes". We just want to be 100% transparent that these tomatoes (marked "pearl farm") aren't from our farm, though we'd happily eat them without washing because we know Mike and how he grows without chemicals. It's not our intention of being a produce wholesaler, but these aren't auction tomatoes, they're grown by farmers we know and trust. (And we made sure to pay a fair price for them because we know how much effort goes into growing them organically).
I don't want to be all negative here, but late July and August is our hardest time to give you the variety we would like for you to choose from. We've had some unexpected losses and also the normal summer slump. We really feel like our farm shines in spring, fall and even winter but we feel like we have some room to improve in the heat of summer. Fall is just around the corner and the cooler weather has allowed us to get a lot of transplants in for fall harvest. If you are new to the CSA you'll find fall is when the selection expands. We'll have most of the summer heat loving crops along with all the cool season crops and things like sweet potatoes and ginger that we can only harvest int he fall. We just need to get through these next few weeks and then we should be into the bounty.
Thanks for sticking with us,
Dave and Sheri