It's week 18 and once again it is ungodly hot and humid.
I was out harvesting raspberries last night around dark because I hoped it would be a bit cooler. It was not, it was 90F at 9pm and my shirt was drenched with sweat doing a non strenuous job. This heat is really putting a wrench in our farming works as the crops don't like it above 90 for more than a couple of days. The farmers don't like working in these conditions. My plan until it gets cooler is to get up early and get out at dawn and work a few hours until it gets too hot (around 10 am) than get inside where it is cooler and do inside work the remainder of the day. Eugene can tolerate heat better than me and thus can do more outside work. But even he will get out of it by noon. Fall cannot get here soon enough.
The yard sale was a spectacular success. We doubled our attendance rates over last year with 20,000 (yes, thousand) people stopping by to shop this year. We had people from 33 states and 3 Canadian provinces. We had a great group of vendors and it looks like most will return next year as almost everyone did as well as they imagined in their wildest dreams. We even got on Channel 2 news (well, the sale, not Eugene and I personally). And we got really lucky with the weather. Rain the night before (which we needed very badly) and than less hot and humid during the sale.
The yard sale does make it hard to farm but we managed to get in 4 beds of fall carrots and a bed of rutabagas after we closed down Friday evening. managing a big sale and going through the process of planting seeds are very different things mentally and physically. Dealing with thousands of people is very tiring mentally but not so much physically. Dealing with the farm is tiring physically and not so much mentally and I found it to be a wonderful break to help Eugene with the planting after the people had gone away for the day. When we plant several things must happen. First the beds has to be cleared of weeds (usually by tilling and than hand removal of big clumps), than a seed bed created by raking the soil so it is smooth and even more weed free. Than it can be planted using the Earthway Seeder (a simple contraption that makes planting seed fast and easy with no bending). Finally the seeds are covered with row cover that is secured with rocks. Eugene generally does the raking and seeding (I had a bad horse riding accident at a combined training event when I was 17 that tore up my right rotator cuff and it has never been fixed so I cannot do things like rake for very long without re-injuring it) and I carry rocks and lay out the covers.
Eugene also managed to get most of the onions harvested I (maybe all of them as he was down to the dregs of the onions) and a lot of beds tilled for fall lettuce and other greens, plus radishes. I was able to get 1.5 bushels of 2 kinds of garlic all cleaned up and ready to be segregated into stuff to sell and stuff to keep for planting in October. Just have another 3 0r 4 bushels yet to clean.
Crops coming in right now include the afore mentioned raspberries, about every kind of melon we grow, tomatoes, green peppers (though I'll bet there are a few ripening to red, orange or yellow), hot peppers and eggplant. The cukes are about over as are the zucchini, we have some of each but between the hot humid weather and the bugs they are not long for this world. The good news is we do have young plants of both growing for September/October harvest. We should have French beans by next week for your shares. After months of struggling with beans we have a couple of very nice looking beds and the plants are loaded with tiny beans that should be eating size by next week
As usual, your shares will be ready to pick up after 4 pm and will be near the cooler (but not in the fridge as none of the food in the shares this week depends on staying cold to stay fresh and the basil and maters would be best never refrigerated).
Oh and thanks to everyone who sent me past newsletters because I somehow dumped all mine. You guys are the best!
3 to 4 large tomatoes (a couple of pounds) dice fairly fine-I like a variety of colors
a medium sweet onion diced the same way
1 to 4 jalapenos diced
1 or 2 cloves of garlic either finely grated or pressed
the juice of one lime (incredibly important)
a handful of cilantro, chopped (I am sorry we don't have any of this growing right now-cilantro is hard to grow during tomato season as it hates hot humid dry conditions-nature's cruel joke on us salsa lovers. If we are lucky, we will get some to grow before the maters end for the season)
1 TBL sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss everything together and let sit for at least an hour so the flavors can marry. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve with chips, as a side for burritos/tacos or whatever. Stores about 3 to 5 days in the fridge so best to use ASAP. Berries and cantaloups would also go well in the salsa if you want to talk a walk on the wild side
What's in the share
Cantaloupe- a nice big 'loup, I am not sure what kind you will get.
Watermelon-a fridge sized melon, either yellow or red. All of our watermelons have seeds. If you have kids (or are a kid at heart) have a water melon seed fight
Raspberries-the fall raspberries are coming in about 3 weeks early and I think they are better than the spring (summer actually) berries. These are an heirloom variety called Heritage
Blackberries-some nice domestic blackberries (the ones you have gotten previously were wild)
Big Tomatoes-you will get several pounds this week as we gear up to the part of the season where everyone gets too many maters. The salsa recipe is a great way to use lots of tomatoes quickly. I don't know what kinds you will get today but there will be at least 4 different colors in your share.
Cherry tomatoes over a pound of the sweet and tasty gems
Green peppers-2 or 3 peppers per share
Basil-another big bag of basil this week. Some will have flowers, the flowers are quite edible and tasty
Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions-a pound or so of these wonderful onions
Jalapeno peppers-at least 5, hopefully more
Garlic-2 corms of Persian Star this week
Scallions-a nice bunch of scallions
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm