Summer CSA – Week 12

Cool shirt day was cancelled last Thursday, but I wore mine anyway. We hand weeded the fall carrots (except for one bed) while we waited for the dew to dry on the tomato plants.
Now the “yellow house field” is looking sharp (yes we need to finish one bed of carrots, can you see which one?).
I spotted some lacewing eggs on the stalk of a carrot leaf while hand-weeding.  Lacewing larvae are great beneficial predators who feed on soft-bodied pests like aphids.  The carrots are right next to the brussels sprouts, which can sometimes get infested with aphids at the end of the season.  I’ve seen several adult lacewings recently, so I hope we’ll have lots of larvae to keep the early aphid population in check.

We’ve been busy, as you can imagine, harvesting, mostly tomatoes, but plenty of other veggies.  Last week we managed to sneak in a final hand-weed on the fall carrots and they are looking great.  We also seeded 32 flats of spinach, 10 flats of lettuce, 4 flats of kale and few other trials.  Those were our last seedings for the field – we will plant more trays for our low tunnels and greenhouse for the winter share, but it feels pretty weird to be almost done with seedling production work for the year.

I’m writing this late tonight, so I’m going to cut the blog a little short.  I actually started working on my Labor Day blog, but couldn’t get it together for this week, so I’ll send it on Labor Day!

There are some new veggies back in the share this week, and the volume will start to drop from the summer peak right around now.  Enjoy the transition in September, my favorite month to eat in New England.

What’s in the Share:

Tomatoes (again, and still, and until they are gone) – There are lots of heirlooms and paste tomatoes this week so get creative.  This is a great time to try an heirloom if you are afraid.  With your 20% added value in your CSA, your heirloom tomatoes are costing you just $2.40/lb.  That’s CRAZY talk.  We might need to reconsider our pricing . . . There won’t be heirloom tomatoes in the delivery share – we can barely get them out of the field and onto the farm stand without bruising them, but if you ever stop by the farm or the Ashland Farmer’s Market let us know and we’ll get you an heirloom if we’ve got them. Also, those of you who take a few tomatoes with minor blemishes, you are cool – thanks.

Sweet Peppers! Lots this week, they are delicious roasted, or sauteed with onion, or chopped into fresh salsa, or dipped in hummus, or just eaten like an apple!  The horn-shaped peppers are the best.  They have a juicy sweet flesh.  Don’t be afraid, they are my favorites.

Choice: Swiss Chard, Lettuce and Celery: An odd choice mix, perhaps, but we sell them all for $2.50/bunch/head so it’s easy for calculating value.  Small gets to choose one item, large gets to choose two.

Choice Mix: Carrots, Beets, Potatoes, Zucchini, Squash, Onions and Cucumbers (maybe the last of the year!  We spotted cucumber mosaic virus while picking today).

Herb Choice: Cilantro, Basil (definitely the last of the year)

Cherry Tomatoes and Husk Cherries

You’ve got this – no recipes this week – share your recipes on facebook or instagram if you’ve got some good ones for other members to enjoy!


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