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June 19, 2017

 

What’s in this Week’s Veggie Box & Fruit Bag:

 

VEGGIE BOX: Sorrel, Plums, Dino Kale, Fennel, Carrots, Cabbage and Onions

FRUIT BAG: Plums, Peaches, Nectarines and Apricots

 

This Week on the Farm

               Today’s recipes are all salads-thinking that I sure don’t want to turn on the oven or stove in this weather-so it’s the week of salads! And of course you can make a fruit salad dessert with the fruit and a bit of yogurt and maple syrup to finish on the week of salads each evening.

               The heat is what we are all working with right now. The crew is starting the day at 5:50am to get greens, flowers, herbs picked before it gets hot. They are leaving at 4pm, so they don’t have to work too much into the hotter part of the day. Usually we try to move their work into the shade in these hotter afternoons, but even the shade or the shop it is still hot. We are thinking of just working a half day on Wednesday and Thursday of this week when the temperatures are predicted to reach 112 degrees. The first real heat of the season is the hardest to get used to, although days that are over 105 is hard to get used no matter what, when working out in the fields. In general we do have to continue to get the work done, no matter what the temperature outside, but we do make priorities of an early harvest, early deliveries if possible, and lighter work in the afternoon. Yesterday, Jeff told the crew to take a break and go into the office where we have our first time air conditioner. So they sat up here for half and hour, for their break. Up until about a few weeks ago, pre-air conditioner they called the office the Devils’ Office because it was so hot. There is little insulation nor double paned windows to keep the heat out-and this used to be our bedroom! Growing up in the barn the kids dialed into wet t-shirts going to bed, then for middle of the night a wet towel over them and a fan to keep cool. Made us all tough hot bodies-the winters were cold, so then we used a lot of sweaters. Yesterday by 4pm all of us were in the house splayed out on the coaches napping in front of fans, waiting for it to cool off so we could then later go back out to work, Jeff jumped on the tractor mowing and disking and Ali and I went out at 9 to put Diatomaceous earth (a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder with a particle size) on the Dahlias to discourage the insect attacks. It’s hard to go back outside after dinner and stopping for a period of time from the job.

  

                Jeff and Rogelio did what they could with the apricot harvest, and we have finished what we could. We are starting the plums, a few nectarines and peaches are in the fruit box this week, with figs not far behind. Francisco tried to get some cherry tomatoes for you this week, but there was not enough-soon though they will be here soon. The squash is starting to fruit too, so summer is defiantly rolling in. With this heat though not only do we suffer, want to check out, find the coolest place to be and not do ANYTHING, but that is how the plants feel too. The tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, beans-all of the plants that produce flowers will stop flowering-Plant Stress: In nature when a plant is under stress, they are shutting down for survival too. It will not produce fruit or it will abort existing fruit. It is a survival mechanism, allowing a plant to focus upon survival first. I can imagine that insects also shut down a bit to survive the heat waves-but I am no entomologist!

 

               With all of this going on juggling fruit, weather, harvest, short on labor to harvest, Jeff is trying to get the next summer planting in for our successive plantings and harvest. He has been doing a lot of weed mowing and disking as I said, and his next job is to get beds ready for more seeds in the ground. For Ali and I the spring flowers are ending, and the summer zinnias, cosmos, and sunflowers are starting, but we too need more beds prepared for successive flower plantings. At the same time we need to place this coming fall tulip order, and spring flower transplant orders. Which means an evaluation of how the spring flowers did, what we want to eliminate, what we want to continue and what we want to increase? Last year I placed these orders really late, and did not get my usual 6000 tulip bulbs-only about half, and my flower transplant order was all messed up with not at all what I ordered. So I am determine to place my orders in good time, and work out the details-it just takes time.

 

               The flower business with Ali is going great-it seems that we are getting everything harvested that we plant, and are selling it all. We finally got a label that goes on the paper sleeves for the stores so the customer can see that the flowers are from ‘The Garden at Good Humus” which really brings us up a notch. We have some new flowers this year which is fun, and are really trying to analyze what we plant when to try to keep a consistent flow for floral. What has really changed in the shop is that instead of letting the crew ladies make whatever flower mixes they want we are making examples of mixes for them and then changing up the mix. So at the farmers market there will be different theme colors and mixes to choose from, which I think makes the flower stand more exciting. We are also paper wrapping which gives them a little special extra look, and then the customer can also see the individual bouquet while still in a full bucket. Exciting, all very exciting for sure, to be on the hunt for new flowers, to bring back flowers that I grew years ago and dropped, to analyze and keep an eye on what does best, and let go of what doesn’t, and to have someone that has a very good eye on design to do it with.

Have a great week-stay cool or at least try to~Annie

 

    This Weeks Newsletter

July 28, 2015