Farm Happenings at Where the Redfearn Grows Natural Farm
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Veggies don't like that much rain

Posted on May 22nd, 2021 by Dave Redfearn


Although vegetables are a high percentage water, the plants do not appreciate as much rain as we received this past week, and neither do your farmers.  We're pretty tired after slogging through the mud all week.  I don't know if you've ever tried it but walk around all day with 5 pounds of extra mud on each foot and see how it feels.  Is there a CrossFit event like that?  

Sorry if your veggies were a bit on the muddy side last week.  Between getting rained on while harvesting, trying to find time to spray everything down (our wash station is outside), and having muddy hands and harvest containers constantly, and then getting rain on your shares while we did pickups, it was a little difficult.  Normally we try to work around the rains, but that was pretty much constant.  

Bolting Napa

Unfortunately between all the water stress and probably the stress from the super cold spring, the napa cabbage isn't happy and is wanting to flower.  That means we have to harvest it earlier than we had wanted.  Brassica family crops (Broccoli and cabbages and some others) are tricky in our climate.  We were hoping the cool spring would give us time to get some nice sizable Napa cabbages, but I think that stress was too much for them to take.  You see, just like people, plants have hormones.  If they get too stressed out, they release hormones that effect how they grow and often they are triggered to try to reproduce in case they are about to get killed.  This is the same reason you don't want to buy a tomato plant that is covered with flowers and fruit.  Even though you think you'll get earlier fruit (you will get earlier fruit), that plant because it is root bound in a small container has transitioned to a reproductive mood when it should be focused on growing more roots and plant tissue (It's focussed on reproductive growth rather than vegetative growth).  A tomato plant that has flowered and fruited early will have less fruit overall.  It's why we remove the first flower on all our pepper plants even after transplanting to prevent the plant from putting energy too early into fruit production.  

Plant biology lesson over...All this to say, we'll have Napa for the next week or two but they won't look like the big ones at the store and there may be small yellow flowers in the center.  If they do, they'll have a little larger hard core that you'll simply want to discard.  We're always hoping for knockout awesome beautiful produce, but sometimes we swing and miss...

Garlic Scapes are Coming!!!

Garlic scapes are the flower stalks from hardneck garlic.  They're only available in spring for a few weeks while the different varieties send up their stalks.  Each garlic bulb will produce one scape and snapping the scapes not only helps the plant put more energy into developing a larger bulb but also provides a tasty and unique culinary ingredient.  These are picked by hand one at a time, so wish us luck over the next few weeks as we snap, snap, snap....around 12,000 times!  And be on lookout on our Private Facebook page for recipe ideas and other members sharing their creations!  This is a spring treat we get to enjoy while we wait for the spring onions and garlic!

Sugar Snap Peas

They are SOOO Close!!! If we had gotten a little sunshine last week, I think we would have had some ready for you this week.  Now it's looking like the start of the harvest will begin next week.  We planted around 2x as many peas as we've ever planted before because we know how much you love them!  We need the sun to come out and the weather to remain relatively cool (under 90 please) for a good extended pea harvest!  Let's do this!!!

Bread orders (one off)

You guys asked and we managed to work things out with Farm to Market Bread Co so that we can put in our bread order late enough that those of you without bread shares will be able to purchase the bread of the week individually as needed.  Just look in the "extras" area of your emails or when you are logged in to Harvie.  OP pickup folks, we don't have a way to prevent you from purchasing bread, but just be aware that we only receive one bread delivery of fresh-baked bread which is Thursday, so your bread would be a couple days after baking.  Up to you, some of the loaves, especially the artisan type keep surprisingly well.  If you have a bread share and think you'd much rather just purchase week by week, we can cancel your bread share at your request, but we do need a certain minimum order qty in order for Farm to Market to deliver each week, so it's really the bread shares that make it possible for the rest of the folks to purchase individually.  Also, the bread share will end up being less $$$ per loaf than purchasing individually.  


Bread this week: Italian Artisan loaf

Cheese this week: Rubbed and Smoked Cheddar Block

We ordered a few extra if you'd like to purchase those as well.  We'll try to order extra cheese when it's available.


Have a great week!

Your farmers,

Dave and Sheri