What’s Available This Week
This week we have baby lettuce, baby bok choi, mesclun mix, arugula, spinach, pea shoots, rhubarb, parsley, cilantro, salad turnips, and starts for your garden! I know some of you keep a garden as well as get veggies from us, so plants will be available starting this week through the first week in June. Plants that will be available this week include: parsley, basil, cilantro, dill, zinnias, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers, habanero peppers, Italian sweet peppers, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, rainbow bell peppers, Italian eggplant, husk cherries, broccoli, kale, rainbow chard, brussels sprouts, head lettuce, and French filet green beans. We will have several tomato varieties in future weeks, I just want them to get a bit larger on our heated table! If salad turnips are new to you, we love them! You can eat them raw, fermented, roasted, sauteed, etc. They are most commonly shredded or sliced onto salads. They are sweet and crunchy with a slight bite unless you peel them. (We never peel them.) Some people eat them like an apple.
If you have an outstanding balance on your spring share, it is due this week, unless you have set up a payment plan. If you need a different payment schedule, just let me know.
You can pick up your share at the farm on Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. (Veggies will be displayed in the cooler to pick out.) Walk into the barn, check off your name on the right, and turn left to find all your veggies in the cooler. The available plants will be right inside the barn on your left. You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm. The Ludlow Farmers’ Market open this weekend, so you can pick up your share in Ludlow on the Okemo Mountain School Lawn between 4 pm and 7 pm. Please do not come before 4 pm: The market has challenging neighbors and the entire market’s permit will be revoked if products leave the market before 4 pm. Sorry for this inconvenience!
Tired about hearing about the weather yet? Unfortunately that has really dominated our conversations around here these days. Ryan prepped all the beds to transplant onions on Sunday before the predicted heavy rains on Monday. Sunday evening we had a burst of 1 inch of rain in less than a half hour. Then we got an additional inch and a half overnight, so unfortunately it was even too wet and muddy to plant on Monday. We are still in that holding pattern, we simply cannot do work in the fields right now because it’s too wet. Ryan’s words sum it up best. When his mom sent him a message asking about how the fields fared in the rain he explained:
“It wasn't the worst that's ever happened here but it hurt.… we got about 2 1/2 inches of rain, so we had a lot of soil wash away. We'll also need to wait a few days to even have a chance at being able to seed and transplant in the saturated soil. This much soil saturation can cause nutrient leeching that makes it more likely for many crops to be nitrogen deficient, so we'll need to think about where that might be a risk. It's the first time in mid May that I've ever had to think hard about what work we can actually do, because we can't set out all the transplants that are ready. But we're doing a good job planning how to make the best decisions going forward for this season, and also planning and making some decisions for how we can change systems in the long term to be more resilient to hard rains.”
Today the crew seeded winter squash in cells in hopes that we can transplant them later when we get more dried out. This time last year they were already direct seeded in the field. We prefer direct seeding winter squash, but we have transplanted them plenty of years before, so this isn’t bad, it’s just different.
Our site work isn’t done yet to put up the next high tunnel (because, that’s right, it’s too wet to get an excavator on the field), but the team is assembling all the bows to be ready to put it up when we are able to start doing that.
We peaked under the row cover where the peppers and zucchini were tucked in last week, and they all look great. That’s an awesome feeling. We will need to address their access to nutrients because of the wet, but it’s nice they handled transplant stress well, and seem to be doing lovely. All the high tunnel crops continue to look awesome.
As I type this, I am enjoying our resident hummingbirds feed from the feeder that my mom cleaned up and refilled. They kept buzzing around our porch the past several weeks looking for their feeder, so it’s nice to see them enjoying it.
This week’s thoughts on the climate crisis are in regards to topsoil. Geologists often describe the earth as a giant rock covered in a couple inches of life sustaining dirt. We owe our entire ability to sustain human civilization on topsoil. Topsoil is one of the fasted depleted natural resources in our life due to many factors including inappropriate agricultural practices, human development, extreme weather, and many, many other factors. Our line of work is always actively trying to build and maintain topsoil so we can proudly tell our next generation we did what we could to take care of the topsoil we were borrowing from them and future generations. Observing rainstorms like Sunday night are a bummer, and is the fuel we use to keep being better farmers.
Hope you have a lovely week!
-The ESF Team: Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Sam, Sam, Dan, and Cindy
1/2 cup packed pea shoots
1 bunch parsley
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tiny onion or single scallion
2 TBSP maple syrup
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP tahini
2 cups olive oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
Blend all these ingredients together to enjoy the salad dressing we are rocking at home right now. Put this on any salad.