Abbe Hills Farm CSA

  (Mt. Vernon, Iowa)
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field day Aug 4, good rain last week

Greetings shareholders,
 
This week, we'll have red and yellow potatoes, garlic, white onions, cabbage, the last broccoli, green beans, fennel, dill, chard, kale and collards.   We'll also have whatever squash and cucumbers I can scrape together just before we put the plants out of their misery later this week.  It won't be pretty.  I'm sorry that we haven't had better luck with the things in the cucumber family so far.  Stupid cucumber beetles have just completely cleaned us.  Over and over and over.
 
Pretty soon, like the next two weeks, expect eggplant, sweet corn, green peppers, carrots, and basil.  The 2" of rain last week really helped get all those deep summer crops moving in the right direction.  (Now for a little heat!)  The nice rain also made it possible to do field work without choking ourselves to death on dust, so this week will be a big week for planting the fall crops.  Today, we start with green beans, carrots, beets, and turnips.
 
The garlic we are giving you is quite puny.  This is result of the drought stress.  The "seed" for this year's crop was grown last year.  One problem last year in the beginning of the drought was a very unusual garlic disease brought here by aphids blown up from Texas on the warm winds of March.  So all last spring, the garlic looked a little sick, but good enough.  We harvested it in July and picked our healthiest, biggest, prettiest garlics and planted their cloves in October into very dry soil for this year's crop.  They got plenty of rain this spring, maybe too much.  But they never really looked very robust, and now we know that all the drought and disease stress from last year is showing in this year's crop.  The kind we have been giving you is Musik, one of our favorites.  Perhaps the next varieties we dig will be a little nicer.  Either way, we save the best heads for seed for next year's crop and hope for the best.
 
The farm open house is this upcoming Sunday, August 4, 4:00 until 7:00.  It is being co-hosted by the Iowa Learning Farm and Practical Farmers of Iowa.  I hope you can come.  Our state urban conservation specialist will be here to talk about strategies urban and suburban homeowners can do to improve our water quality and to answer your questions.  We'll take a farm tour, walk around the gardens, visit and eat a little at the end.  There will be a hayrack for those who need a ride.  Iowa Learning Farm is bringing The Conservation Station, a cool interactive display that the kids will enjoy.  It's kind of a big deal!  Everybody is welcome and the event is free.
 
Remember to get your raffle tickets to support the SE Linn Community Center.   We can't run the place without your support.
 
See you this week, 
Laura
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