Abbe Hills Farm CSA

  (Mt. Vernon, Iowa)
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Send the rain our way. Raffle tickets for SE Linn Community Center

Greetings shareholders,
 
This week, we should have broccoli, cabbage, onions, dill, chard, kale and collards, summer squash, green beans, potatoes, and garlic.  We'll also try to get a few more beets out of the ground for you.   The first sweet corn has tassled so I supposed it will be ready to eat in about three weeks - later than everybody else and probably smaller ears - but amazingly yummy.
 
We need rain.  The harvests the last seven weeks have been over-the-top-abundant.  Perfect temperatures and plenty of rain will do that for you, if you can get the crops planted, which we were able to do quite well this spring.  But now the summer crops have used up most of the moisture that was stored in the upper layer of soil and they are ready for a big old drink.  I expect we will be yanked back to more realistic size harvests starting this week.  We are irrigating tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, melons, and cantaloupes, but most of the other crops are on their own.
 
It's so dry, I can't get the disk in the ground and I don't want any of my workers to run the tiller because it is dangerously dusty.  We won't be planting anything until we get at least a little rain to settle the dust and soften up the surface.  The poor hens have been stuck in the same pasture for the last two weeks - the ground is so hard we can't pull out the fenceposts to move them!  And we can't get the garlic out of the ground - keep bending the forks!  (Seems a little too much like last year.)  So, wash your car, hang out your laundry, don't mow your grass, whatever you have to do to get some rain moving in our direction.
 
Some/most of the summer squash this week will come from my friends at Local Harvest CSA near Solon.  They have too much so they are sharing with us.  Seems like all 100 billion cucumber beetles in the world came here and left everybody else alone.
 
I've got raffle tickets for Southeast Linn Community Center for sale.  Lots of great prizes, but the best part is that you get to help us support our community center, which provides food, coats, school supplies, and lots of other things to children, families, and seniors in the Mt. Vernon and Lisbon school districts.  Money from the raffle sales is used for the basic stuff - light bills, staff salaries (very puny, by the way), and building upkeep.  Raffle tickets are $1 each, but you should really just make yourself feel really good and buy them 20 at a time!
 
See you this week,
Laura

 
 

cooler week ahead. YEAH!!!

Greetings shareholders,
 
This week, we have new potatoes, lovely white onions, garlic, wonderful summer squash, cabbage. kale and collards, and the last lettuce until October.  We also might be able to get some combination of swiss chard, broccoli, and/or kohlrabi.  The last three suffered in the heat last week and aren't really the quality that I wish they were, but might be salvageable.
 
It's going to be such a relief to have cooler temperatures - for the farmer and the workers and the plants.  Lots of things can't set fruit when it is very hot, like cucumbers, beans, tomatoes.  The flowers are pollinated, but the fruits fall off within a few hours.  And everything suffers from moisture stress, even when it is well watered.  It got to the point by the end of the week that I didn't even go to the garden after lunch because I didn't want to see how it looked.  Thankfully, this week is going to be a different story, and a couple of weeks from now, we won't be able to turn off the harvest.
 
I'm sorry that there are no herbs.  Usually we would have them by now, but we've had such a hard time getting small seeded things to grow and/or survive.  Even big seeded crops like beans and squash have been challenging, and herbs have been one of the more serious causalities.  We'll try to plant some more this week so maybe we can have some for fall.  I know you need your cilantro and basil or it wouldn't be a real summer.
 
We did manage last week to plant (and keep alive, I think) a huge number of watermelon and cantaloupe transplants.  Won't that be great this fall!!!  Nothing is better than homegrown watermelon on a hot afternoon in September. 
 
Remember that Dan Specht will be delivering grass-fed beef this Thursday.  Contact him if you want to be included.  It's expensive, but very good.
 
I've got raffle tickets for the annual Southeast Linn Community Center fundraiser.  $1 each.  Great prizes.  And your support helps keep the lights on, the food pantry open, and the space available for everybody.  Our community center serves everyone in the Mt. Vernon and Lisbon school districts with emergency food, a clothing closet, senior dining, recreational opportunites for kids and seniors, transportation for people who need it, and much much more.  
 
Heritage Days this upcoming weekend.  See you there.
Laura
 
 
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