The Weekly Menu
Please note: this CSA summary is written ahead of time, and before we even harvest on Tuesday. We do some guesswork: some things may be in your CSA that aren't listed and some things may not be included. Although we're the farmers, we're still at the whim of Mother Nature.
This week: Lettuce 1-2 heads, Herbs- one bunch, Kale, Chard, Baby Beet Greens, New! Garlic and possibly cabbage. Maybe we will surprise you with New Potatoes too!
Did Della have her calf yet?
No.. but so far, she's only 2 days overdue. Maybe I calculated the date wrong. Tonight is the full Buck Moon (according to the Farmer's Almanac) when the Buck's antlers are in full growth mode). Anyhow, midwives often say that babies tend to be born under the pull of a full moon. So we'll see tomorrow!
Here's Della, looking quite round with a very full udder (meaning her milk has come in). Brisket is in the background. She's forgotten she's had a calf a couple of times already!
What's happening in the fields?
Just spent the morning out on the G cultivating and seeding. The zucchinis are just now starting to form and the plants are looking good. If you're a gardener, then you know how difficult growing squash and cucumbers can be. Although prolific, they are attractive to so many pests: the spotted cucumber beetle, the striped cucumber beetle, the squash bug, and the squash vine borer, to name a few. They are also susceptible to cucumber mosaic virus, powdery mildew, stem rot and general fizzling out.
Because of this, we try to plant more than two successions of cucurbits each season. While the first succession succumbs to the onslaught of mother nature, the second one is just picking up speed. .
On a small scale, backyard gardeners can oftentimes pick off those pests on a daily basis and squish the squash bug eggs too. (Metallic maroon eggs laid in geometric patterns)
We plant about 800 feet at a time... Hand scouting those rows isn't realistic. When the pest pressure tends to get the best of us, we pull out the big guns.
It's not something we like to do, but on occasion we spray a National Organic Program compliant insecticide called Pyganic. It's a pyrethrum that's derived from the chrysanthemum flower. Not something that we take lightly or do often (and we are, in a way, regulated by our certifying agency) but it's one of those things that kind of works. We rararly feel justified in using it and only use it on a very moderate basis, and only when the bees aren't out.
Instead of getting hooked on the "spray em dead" cycle, we are endeavoring to boost the immune system of our crops and soil. When our nutrient levels are optimum with plenty of available minerals in the soil, our crops won't suffer insect and disease issues as easily.
So when pest pressure gets too high, instead of cracking open a fresh can of spray, we look to the soil test results and see what we need to tweak.
Healthy soil= health plants= healthy you.