Abbe Hills Farm CSA

  (Mt. Vernon, Iowa)
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Frost and drought slowing growth, we change schedule next week

Greetings shareholders,
This week, we'll have some combination of potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, sweet peppers, chilies, cucumbers, summer squash, kale and collards, swiss chard, leaf lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, and herbs.  It could turn out to be a sort of skimpy week, with not everything on the list, or not much of some things.   We have to wait a couple more days to see just how much damage the cold did and to know how it will affect the Thursday people. 
Between cold nights and the drought, it's been hard to get the fall crops growing.  I started irrigating again late last week and will continue this week.  If it stays sunny and if I can get enough water in the ground, we should have some nice crops starting next week or the week after.  There are kohlrabi, beets, carrots, and lots of greens trying to grow.  The winter squash has more maturing to do, so I'm going to wait at least a week, maybe two, before we start to cut it.  Might as well have it be as tasty as possible!  There's going to be good eating the middle of October.
Remember that this is the last week that you pickup in the evenings.  Starting next week, everybody picks up on Saturdays, 10:00 until 2:00.  So, come tonight or Thursday, then the next time you come is Saturday, October 6.  It's a long time between Monday and the following Saturday, I know, but the extra week will give the crops time to catch up to you, and you to catch up with what you've got piling up in the frig!
The young hens are laying lots of eggs, all the time, so it's finally time to eat more eggs!   I'm trying to make sure that there are always a few in the walkin cooler in the big shed.  I think you should be able to stop nearly any time most days this fall and find the big doors open.  If in doubt, zap me a note to make sure you can get to them when you want.  And remember to keep eating eggs after the CSA ends in October.  Not sure what I'm going to do with 65 dozen eggs a week in November!
I've just finished a new book, "Turn Here Sweet Corn", by Atina Diffley, that I think many of you would enjoy.  It's the story of her family's relationship with their farm, Gardens of Egan, near the Twin Cities.  Quite a good book for both farmers and consumers.  Atina was in Iowa City last week on a book tour and was a guest on "Talk of Iowa" on Thursday.
Sorry for the lateness of the newsletter.  We had family things early this morning.
See you this week,

melons and lopes this week, getting cold for a few days, neighbors have apples

Greetings shareholders,

This week, we have potatoes, onions, garlic, beans, sweet peppers, tomatoes, kale and collards, herbs, chili peppers, summer squash, watermelon, and cantaloupe.  I think I'll also be able to find some cucumbers, swiss chard, and the last of the edamame.  After today, we're expecting an uncharacteristically cold week, so I don't know what's going to happen with the garden between now and Thursday, but I think we'll still have most things.  The week after that, who knows? 

I am wishing for a good rain today.  We're now back in the rut in which we found ourselves in May - small crops, lots of them, sitting there, waiting for a rain.  The problem with waiting now is that they are going to run out of time.  So I suppose it is time to start irrigating again, although I don't want to.  Next week, I'm quite sure we can cut some lettuce, and pretty soon after we get just a little more heat and moisture, we should have turnips, kohlrabi, lots more lettuce, a new crop of beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, and all the wonderful fall greens.  We will harvest winter squash starting in October.

I haven't grown cantaloupe in several years, and now I remember why.  While they are absolutely the most sweet and wonderful lopes you've ever tasted, they almost all have a spot on the side that was sitting on the ground.  The problem with cantaloupe (that aren't sprayed multiple times with fungicides and insecticides) is that they ripen, and then two seconds later, they start to rot.  So, pick the best one you can find, keep in the frig, cut off the spot, and enjoy them soon.  We should have more next week. 

Big thanks to a team from Cornell that came on Saturday and helped us get the last of the potatoes dug.  YIPPEE.  I LOVE crossing things off my list!!!   The potato harvest was disappointing this year, about 40% of what we expected, but still enough to get us through the fall.  And the quality has been good.

I've got flyers out on the table for "Landfall", a world music festival in Cedar Rapids this week.  Lots of great music to enjoy, and much of it is free. 

My neighbors about 3 miles away, Kevin and Marie Lynch, have too many APPLES and want to sell some to you.  I've tasted the apples; they are gorgeous, big and crisp, and unsprayed.  U-pick at their place, $.75 per pound.  Kevin and Marie will be here this week handing out samples in case you need more convincing.  Make arrangements to pick when you get your veggies, or call Kevin at 721-8218.  Kevin's email is above.

The email for Charlotte, our bread lady, is also above.  If you want to know her weekly offerings in advance, zap her a note, and tell her which night you pick up so she can get you on the right list.

See you this week,


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