Abbe Hills Farm CSA

  (Mt. Vernon, Iowa)
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New potatoes, garlic, summer squash. Little bit of rain was good.

Greetings shareholders,

This week, we have new potatoes, nice white onions, kale and collards, kohlrabi, bok chois, lettuce, fresh garlic, and cabbage.  I hope we can find enough broccoli, summer squash, and beets for everybody, too.  New potatoes are potatoes that were just dug and haven't had time for their skins to cure.  The red potatoes we dug at the end of last week are SOOOO yummy, especially the skins.  Don't peel them, just brush lightly and cook them skin and all.  Unfortunately, they - like the onions and garlic, aren't irrigated, so their yield will likely be reduced from what I had expected at the start of the season.  But they are just beautiful and taste so good.   Onions and garlic seem very nice, too. 

We keep the irrigation going six days a week, but rain is better.  We had 1" last Sunday morning, then .6" on Friday night.   Finally, a week with enough rain that we could still prove it 48 hours later!   It should have boosted the beets, broccoli, and squash to finally get big enough to harvest this week.  I sure hope so.  Gardens need about 1" of rain per week - and probably more with irrigation - in order to have high yields and good quality, well-shaped fruits.  I don't know how western growers do it.   Just keeping the soil moist enough to keep things alive is a pretty big challenge.  And our pond is shrinking fast, not because of irrigation so much, but more from evaporation and wind.  Luckily, it is quite deep so it still holds lots of water, and hopefully, it will fill up in the fall so the fish will be happy over the winter.

Heat this week is going to be tough on the broccoli, lettuce, chois, but most of the other things can take it. The winter squash, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes are looking marvelous with their plastic and straw mulch.  We've not had too many disease or bug problems, but I did notice lots of damage to leaves of many things from the wind on Friday.  Chard is pretty shredded and may not be harvestable for another week.  We'll figure it out when we get to the garden.

This week, we plan to dig the garlic and get it curing.  The garlic we give you will be fresh.  If you don't want to use it right away, leave it on the counter so it can dry out a little and it will keep longer.

Unfortunately, this is the first newsletter some of you are getting this season.  I had a hard time getting my lists all set up this spring, but I think everything is figured out now.  If this is your first note from me, please check out the past newsletters to find what's been going on around here this season.

See you this week,



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