Abbe Hills Farm CSA

  (Mt. Vernon, Iowa)
[ Member listing ]

Good fall harvest this week. Brussels need more cold nights.

Greetings shareholders,
 
Tomorrow, we'll have potatoes, onions, garlic, kale and collards, chard, turnips, radishes, winter squash, leaf lettuce, cabbage, the last of the sweet and hot peppers, cilantro and parsley, arugula, a few braising greens, and brussels sprouts (but only if they taste good).  Bring a lot of bags!
 
In addition to bags, bring your mud shoes.  They are predicting some big weather.  I hope we are able to get an inch of rain - we really, really need it for the fall crops.  (We had .2" on Tuesday night, enough to wash things off, which was great, but not enough to give them a good drink.) We don't need hail, high winds, or tornadoes, which all seem to be possibilities.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON'T COME TO GET YOUR VEGGIES IF IT IS STORMING!  I've got nowhere to put you and it's not safe in the shed if we have lots of lightening and/or wind.  I won't be in the shed either if it gets real bad.  If you get here and it is raining hard, please stay in your car until it passes.  If we need to stay open later to get everybody through, we will.  Check the farm's home page for last minute details.  www.abbehills.com , look at "news from Abbe Hills" on the right side.  And check the Channel 9 radar to see where the storms are.
 
There are still a few people who need to make one more payment on their share.  The price for the whole season is $420, and $250 for half season.  Please look at your checks to see if your payments add up the full amount.  I'll have my files with me so we can compare notes on Saturday if you are in doubt.
 
We have more squash this week, some of which may be unfamiliar to you.  There are many resources to help you figure out what to do with winter squash, like this and this and this.  Also, HyVee has a very nice brochure right now called "Seasons" that has a big section on winter squash and some nice looking seasonal recipes.  You can pick it up at the store.  You can start eating the acorns and spaghettis that we had last week, or you can let them cure more.  The longer squash cure, often the better they are.  Unless they have a blemish, then you need to eat them before they start to spoil.
 
Brussels sprouts are a strange crop.  They take a very long time to reach maturity, and then they don't taste very good until they've stood through several cold nights.  We've got brussels for you, not fancy and pathetically small, unexpected since they've been in the ground since June 10.  Once again, heat and drought are to blame.  We plan to cut them this afternoon, but we're going to taste them first and if they haven't sweetened up enough, we'll save them for next week.  Don't want to give anybody an excuse to say they don't like brussels sprouts.
 
I was reading one of my vegetable publications this week, "Potato Grower", and noticed something amazing.  It's the "2013 Industry Handbook" issue, and there is a section listing sources for chemical and fertilizer products for potatoes.  Here are the categories they have under this heading:  adjuvants, bactericides ("-cide" means "killer"), biocides, biological insecticides, desiccants, fertilizers, foliar nutrients, fertilizer enhancement, frost protection, fumigation, fungicides, growth promoters, herbicides, insecticides, micronutrients, miticides, polymers, post harvest, seed treatment, soil conditioners, and sprout control inhibitors.  Whew!  Who knew you needed so many things to grow potatoes?!?!?  Makes me glad that you and I are eating home grown.  Our inputs are cover crops, composted chicken manure, a fungus called Spinosad that eats Colorado potato beetle, and a cultivating tractor.  No "-cides".  Ours may not be as fancy as what the big boys grow, but they sure are easier to understand.
 
The Indian Creek Nature Center is hosting a "permeable paving blocks" workshop for homeowners, Saturday, Oct 12, 9:00 until noon. This free event will teach you how to use manufactured pavers to craft decorative backyard walkways and patios.  Permeable pavers make a solid, dry surface that decreases runoff by allowing rain to soak into the soil below, and are one of our newest tools to help us decrease runoff and improve water quality.   For more information of if you would like to attend, call the Indian Creek Nature Center at 362-0664.
Once again, I am up for reelection as a Linn Soil and Water Conservation District commissioner.  You'll see my name on the ballot.  Hope all you early birds will vote for me.
 
See you tomorrow,
Laura
 
 
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