This week you can choose from yellow potatoes, carrots, beets, spinach, mesclun mix, baby lettuce mix, baby arugula, pea shoots, baby bok choi, red radishes, french breakfast radishes, salad turnips, rhubarb, scallions, green garlic, and plant starts for your garden. The available starts are (in 4-packs) parsley, dill, brussels sprouts, rainbow chard, lacinato kale, green curly kale, broccoli, green beans, cosmos, sunflowers, marigolds, zinnias, cilantro, basil, (in 2-inch pots) slicing cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, sweet Italian red peppers, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, cayenne peppers, green zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, and cantaloupe. The tomatoes all come in large 4-inch pots, and the varieties available are: beefsteak, pineapple, black krim, kakao, sungold, red cherry, black cherry, yellow cherry, juliet plum, san marzano, and speckled roman paste.
You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market opens on Fridays from 4pm to 7pm right on Route 103 in front of the Okemo Mountain School. You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. You can pick up your share from the outdoor Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm.
If you have not finished paying for your spring share, now is a good time to do that, as there are only two weeks left before the summer share starts. It's a lot easier for me if I can have all the payments for one season done before the next one starts. As always, if you need a different payment schedule, let me know.
This is also a good time to sign up for the summer share if you are planning to do that. The summer share starts on June 14th, which will creep up on us faster than we realize!
Last week began the chaos of the summer season, of adding a second market. I love doing the Ludlow market and seeing all the familiar CSA and non-CSA faces. But managing two back to back markets is a bit of a logistical challenge in terms of getting our harvest quantities down. Last year Ryan created this super slick harvest spreadsheet to help us streamline the harvest process. Since we harvest for several outlets (2 markets, multiple CSA days, several wholesale accounts), sometimes we used to be packing up the van for the Ludlow market, and realize we literally had no amount of a certain vegetable or two because what we harvested was all packed for wholesale orders! Ryan's harvest sheet allows for those wholesale numbers to deduct automatically from the amounts we have available for market and CSA, and ever since we started using that sheet we haven't made egregious harvest errors like that. It has also helped us stop work a bit earlier on Fridays. We used to have the full team work late, usually until about 8pm on a Friday, reharvesting items we sell out of at the Ludlow market to have some for Rutland. But this new sheet let's us start the Rutland market harvest much earlier in the day. This is not only a welcomed shift for our crew, but it's become somewhat essential for us as we have a toddler who isn't too pumped when we both need to work late.
This week I happily noticed how great our eggplant transplants are doing. Usually they suffer pretty hard from potato beetle damage. Potato beetles usually cause more damage to our eggplant than potatoes. In the past we have relied on manually picking the bugs off and killing them a couple times while the plants are young so the plants can get a jump on the bugs. But that has usually meant we have lost a certain amount of plants, and the rest are a bit stressed. This year we got row cover on them as soon as they were planted, which makes a HUGE difference to just be able to exclude them. So hopefully we will have a robust harvest of eggplants this year.
We appreciated the bit of rain that came over the weekend, but it could have been a little more. The soil is still pretty dry, but we think it got wet enough to provide good enough germination conditions for two large fields of cover crops Ryan just seeded last week. Two of our fields are a bit strangled by quack grass, and Ryan has taken some big steps to tackle that challenge and hopefully clean up the fields. We grow our vegetables within permanent sod pathways to protect our sloping fields from erosion. But after consulting with many farmers, Ryan plowed up the entire field to turn the rhizomes under to tackle this challenge. Now the areas are densely seeded to a mixture of species. This cover crop mix will out compete the quack grass, and then we will re-establish permanent sod paths within the full cover crop field. We are pretty optimistic for this method, as Ryan has learned lot about field prep, cover crop management, and weed pressures over the years. I am continually impressed at seeing actual improvements in our soil when he tackles a challenge like this. We were able to take this much area out of production (maybe a little over 2 acres), because some of his other strategies for soil management and weed control have made other areas of our fields much more productive and manageable. We probably would not have been able to do this in previous years.
The rest of this week we hope to finish transplanting our leeks, get our next big transplanting of beets out, catch up on mowing some pathways, trellis our peas, weed the earliest carrot bed as well as a few other plantings, thin garlic doubles, finish transitioning some beds in the tunnel from winter greens to summer crops, and organize a few spaces around the farm.
We have about another month of increasing sunlight before the summer solstice at the end of June. This is a vegetative marker for crops like garlic and onions. Apparently they put on the bulk of their green top growth before the summer solstice, and then use that energy from their green tops to starting bulbing out under ground. That's one of the reasons farmers hustle to get all their onions out on time. We want the biggest greens possible in the next 3 weeks, so we can get some of the best underground growth for the rest of the summer. We will try to give all our alliums a foliar feed of fish emulsion in the next couple of weeks to help them boost that growth before the solstice.
Have a great week!
-Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Sam, Mikayla, Peter, and Morgan
2 bunches of radishes, thinly sliced
2-3 scallions, finely chopped
2 TBSP lime juice
1 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
salt and pepper
Mix all these ingredients together and let them sit for at least 20 minutes so the flavors get into the radishes. Serve as a side dish, on tacos, over a green salad, in sandwiches, etc, for an awesome, fresh, crunch!