We hope you are in the midst of enjoying a wonderful holiday weekend. Happy Independence Day, ya'll!
Though we won't be taking the day off from working, we'll take some evening time off to relax and celebrate. There's just too much to be doing this time of year. Long daylight hours mean ample opportunity to get things done. That's good because there's also more work to be done. The additional daylight hours mean that the plants are growing at their fastest pace of the year, so we're busy pruning and trellising the plants we want to keep and weeding and cultivating the weeds we'd like to eliminate (they also grow best this time of year as I'm sure your own gardens can attest). We're also busy irrigating in between rains to keep plants happy and healthy and to get seeds to germinate and transplants to establish.
I know you're anxious for more tomatoes. We're still waiting on our first round of outdoor plants to ripen. So far, all the tomatoes have come from our limited greenhouse space. Once the outdoor tomatoes start to ripen, we expect a tremendous harvest, so be prepared with your canning recipes for salsas and tomato sauces. In peak season we plan to again offer bulk discount boxes for prime tomatoes and for "canners" (blemished fruits). That usually starts the very end of July and into maybe mid August, so be ready to dust off the canning supplies if you have them.
Peppers are just beginning to yield. Like anything, they'll start slow and you'll wonder why they seem to always show "sold out", but that's just the nature of farming. There will be a slow and steady increase until we hopefully have peppers coming out of our ears! We planted so many sweet Italian peppers this year, I'm defying ya'll to see if you can eat them all. Right now, there are only a few, but look out, here they come!
Where are the squash?
Some of you may be asking: where are the yellow squash and zucchini? We're taking a year off on those to try to break the bug cycle on the farm. Organic squash is really difficult to grow in large quantities in our area. The squash bugs and cucumber beetles are our arch nemeses. The only reason we can grow cucumbers (same family of crops) is that we grow them in screened-in greenhouses to keep the bugs out. Last year we attempted to grow some summer squash in the greenhouses, but maybe they're too attractive because we had a squash bug infestation inside the screened tunnel. We're hoping taking a year off will break the cycle since there isn't food on our farm for them to eat. The last couple years growing summer squash has been so disheartening for us because the yields were abysmal. I mean, super-duper sad. We try to roll with things and grow the things we are good at and adopt strategies that allow us to grow the crops you'd like to eat and to do it economically without chemical pesticides (which we never use). So that's where the squash has gone. Hopefully we can bring it back next year, or maybe we can build enough greenhouses and screen them effectively enough that we can keep those pesky squash-loving bugs off of them long enough for us to pick some fruit.
Blueberries: We're starting to have some blueberries from our farmer friend Mark this week. These are available as additional purchases if you'd like. These aren't able to be swapped into. Probably by the time you see this they'll be sold out. That's because Mark is on vacation and has to estimate before he's seen his bushes and like most farmers tends to be on the careful and conservative side. So, sorry for this being only a teaser. We hope that next week, when he's had a chance to be around his bushes, he'll be able to supply larger quantities. Mark used to run the Heartland Harvest Garden at Powell Gardens. He's really skilled at horticulture and growing great things organically. He started supplying us with tasty blueberries last year and we're excited to offer as many as we can to you again this year. Organic local fruit is hard to find. You can find local growers who grow fruit but most do not do it organically or you can find organic fruit shipped in from out of state. We wish we could provide fruit more often, however it is very difficult to grow many types of fruit in our climate organically.
Bread and Cheese:
Farm to Market Rosemary Olive Oil Artisan Loaf
Hemme Brothers Fresh Mozzerella (make sure to use or freeze within 7 days)
Happy 4th of July!
Dave and Sheri
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...”
– Declaration of Independence –