Sunday, June 26, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No. 3–June 28, 2016

Super Dry Weather

 

News from the Fields & Farm:  We transplanted more hot peppers into the field at the farm where the lettuces were harvested last week. We also were able to transplant more heirloom tomatoes, basil and parsley into the round field. With the irrigation on the fields another bed of lettuce is looking good, especially because we lost a lot last week to bolting.

 

The beets, celery, zucchini, onions and cabbages are all getting close to harvesting over the next few weeks. The fava bean crop is almost ready for harvest and we hope that they will ready next week. We also added another row of zucchini.

 

The garlic is going to be an early crop this year and we should start the garlic harvest next week. We harvest then put them in the greenhouse on wire racks to start the curing process. This is when the unique flavors for each variety start to set in.

 

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Franklin Greenhouse Report: Tonight’s potatoes were harvested for the most part from the Franklin greenhouse and those beds were then seeded with three varieties of Oriental greens. The eggplants and peppers in the greenhouse are doing great. The eggplants are flowering and the fruits won’t be far behind. Of interest to many is how the greenhouse plants get pollinated. Many varieties that we grow are self-pollinating including tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, some of the cucumbers and squash as well. The flower structure includes both male and female parts in the same flower and this allows for the self-pollination.

clip_image002[4] Weather report: It continues to be very dry we little if any rain. We have been irrigating to keep the crops watered in each of the fields, but sooner or later we do need a nice soaking-in kind of rain. The peas are especially vulnerable as without sufficient water and the hot temperatures the plants will start shutting down. They actually stop flowering at this point and without the flowers they won’t produce anymore peas.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No 2–June 21, 2016

Summer Solstice – Strawberry Moon

News from the Fields & Farm:  This week we have had hot and dry weather. The irrigation system is all hooked up and we were running the water on the sugar snap and snow pea patches all week. John was able to till up the round field finally and we planted more tomatoes, zucchini, herbs and a row of winter squash there. Of the tomatoes planted, about 5 rows were Heirloom tomato varieties. Tonight’s delivery of lettuce will open up some of the beds to plant peppers and beets in our crop rotation plan.

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Planting the tomatoes in the round field

 

The back field the peas are doing well and the fava beans are starting to “bean” up. It looks like we will have a good crop of potatoes from the back field as the plants are getting close to full flower.

 

We were able to reseed the cucumber rows due to the failure of the transplants in the field during the first planting. We hope that these will respond and produce a good crop of cukes this summer.

 

Our fields are really looking good. The only unfortunate episode this past week was we lost 30-40 heads of lettuce in the main field due to the plants bolting (which is going to seed). Perhaps it just got too hot for them.

 

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John tilling up the field

 

Franklin Greenhouse Report: Potatoes from the greenhouse should be ready to harvest next week. We transplanted eggplant into the beds where the Texas Super Sweet Onions were harvested. The transplanted peppers are really doing well and we are patiently waiting for the tomatoes to ripen. Some of the lettuces in the greenhouse bolted as well but those beds are being readied for the next seeding.

 

Weather report: It has been very dry with just a sprinkle of rain during the week. The summer solstice this year also comes along with the strawberry moon. A Strawberry Moon falling on the same day as the solstice is a very rare event—the two last coincided in the Northern Hemisphere in 1967. Check out: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/this-years-summer-solstice-comes-with-a-rare-strawberry-moon for more info on this rare event.

 

The Texas Super Sweet Onions are a variety that bulbs up early when the days are longer and the later varieties of onions (Red Wing and Walla Walla) will be bulbing up as the days get shorter after the summer solstice. We have a good crop of garlic bulbing up right now. The garlic harvest should begin in about three weeks.

 

 

 

What’s Up & Growing: Here is an overview of what is up & growing on the Farm: (# of varieties in ( ) Newly up in red.

 

Beans (2 varieties)

Beets

Broccoli

Cabbage (2)

Celery

Chard (3)

Chinese Cabbage

Collards-Purple

Cucumbers

Eggplant (4)

Escarole

Garlic

Green Onions

Herbs

Hot Peppers

Husk Cherries

Kale (2)

Lettuce (3)

Leeks

Onions (4)

Oriental Greens

Peas (2)

Peppers (10)

Potatoes (3)

Tomatoes (20+)

Winter Squash (6)

Zucchini (4)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Catalpa Ridge News–Volume 21 No 1–June 13, 2016

Lettuce Begin

Welcome to our 21st year delivering fresh veggies from the farm to our CSA members.

The crew is back – Dory, Michael, Lisa and we have a new employee Tiffany

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Thank you for supporting our farm. It is only through the continued support of our members that our farm continues to be sustainable and we continue the practice of farming. We like to grow many interesting veggies, some of which you may have never tried before. We encourage you to try-it, you’ll like it!! We always provide you with recipes and have our Harvest Identifier online as well. The CSA deliveries are seasonal, so during the spring the deliveries will consist mostly of greens with perhaps 5-7 different items. As the season progresses, more variety will be included and the deliveries will become heavier. Weekly news and recipes will be included on the blog with links within the newsletter sent out to everyone. If you have some recipes to share, please feel free to forward them so that others may try them! It is our pleasure to welcome back many of you who have been supporting the farm for many of our 20 years and welcome many new members this year.

Community supported farm members soon become connected to each other as the weeks go by. We welcome you all and look forward to working will all of you. We encourage you to speak about the CSA to friends, family, coworkers, etc as we are seeing a decrease in membership over the years at the same time that the deliveries are greatly improved over years past. We know there are other options, such as farmers’ markets and direct delivery and this impacting the CSA movement. In speaking with other farmers, the same is happening at their CSAs as well. We understand that things change but knowing exactly where your food is coming from we feel is so important. We can prorate the share price for any new members.

News from the Fields & Farm: Each spring seems to always bring a challenge for planning the planting schedules. The fields are actually in very good shape this year and we have a lot more lettuce than usual at this time of year. The broccoli and cauliflower are looking good. The peas (snow peas in tonight’s delivery and snap peas next week) are probably the best we have every had. The plants have lots of blossoms so they should be producing the peas over the next week or so. A hot spell will shut down the plants.

The zucchini will probably be early this year and we have planted plenty of winter squash. The cucumbers aren’t developing well right now and we will replant during the week.

We a great selection of herbs and tonight includes an early delivery of basil!

The onion crop is growing well, both red & white.

Our garlic crop seems ahead as we need to start harvesting the garlic scapes next week instead of in July.

The tomatoes in tonight’s delivery are greenhouse tomatoes so we can have them in the early deliveries. They aren’t like our heirlooms but do make a nice addition to the start of the season.

Franklin Greenhouse Report: The early lettuces are form the Franklin Greenhouse as well as the Texas Supper Sweet Onions. These beds will be replaced by Oriental greens & eggplant. We really like the eggplant growing in the greenhouse instead of being field planted as we have more control. The greenhouse has also been planted with over 250 pepper plants (mostly sweet peppers with a few hots). The pepper plants will be a stunning variety of color from white, yellow, red, purple, orange and maybe a green one now and then! These will surely make some nice dishes when they are ready to harvest.

Weather report: We have been receiving just enough rain over the last several weeks, which is a good thing. Our irrigation system is not quite up and running. We anticipate the system being ready by the weekend.

What’s Up & Growing: Here is an overview of what is up & growing on the Farm: (# of varieties in ( )

Beans (2 varieties) Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage (2)
Chard (3)
Chinese Cabbage
Collards-Purple

Cucumbers

Eggplant (4)
Garlic

Green Onions
Herbs

Hot Peppers
Husk Cherries

Kale (2)

Lettuce (3)

Onions (4)
Peas (2)
Peppers (10)
Potatoes (3)
Tomatoes (20+)
Winter Squash (6)
Zucchini (4)