This week your share includes:
- Salad Mix
- Arugula, another big bag, the LAST harvest of the season
- Japanese Turnips, this is a 2 for 1 vegetable, remember the turnip greens are also edible (think stir fry, wilted greens, etc.)
First thing I need to tell you is THERE WILL NOT BE A CSA FOOD DELIVERY NEXT WEEK, MAY 26TH. The reason is both simple, and complex. Simply put, there is no food to give you next week. Shain is even doubtful about the following week but I will let you know as that date gets closer.
The more detailed explanation for this "off week" is that we are experiencing the effects of extreme temperature fluctuations.
The crops you've been enjoying the past few weeks are grown in the greenhouses. They are "cold weather" crops, meaning they can and will grow just fine during the colder weather, and the little extra warmth of the greenhouses and row covers helps pull them through the freezing nights. However, when the sun comes out like it has the past few days, the temperatures in the greenhouses are far too hot for cold weather crops. These plants react to the heat by wilting, bolting (growing rapidly with undesirable long stems), and going to seed (developing seed stalks and pods) instead of growing into a nice tasty vegetable.
Ideally we would transition immediately into harvesting from the crops growing out in the fields. (And let me assure you, there is SO much growing out in the fields.) But a smooth transition between weather seasons doesn't happen very often in Star Valley, WY. Thus interrupting the transition in our growing season.
As soon as the snow melts, it's a race to get the fields prepared and planted, taking into consideration the ideal growing conditions for the various plants we want to grow for you. We plant, we plant, we plant and then wait for the plants to grow. I guess you could say we are still waiting. ("Wait" is probably not be the verb I should use to describe our activity level over the past few months.)
I could give you even more reasons why the outside crops aren't ready yet, but I'm still trying to process the scientific explanation Shain gave me the other night. Frankly folks, let's leave him to take care of those details.
I know some of you are saying "The LAST of the Arugula?" Sadly, yes. Here's why:
Flea Beetles. Can you see the little black specks? They came out a few days ago when the heat turned on.
Notice the damage they are doing to the very tiny plants. THAT'S what they would do to any arugula we try to grow in the summer. The flea beetles would eat the tiny baby greens to a stub. The plants in these pictures are very young radish leaves, and since we don't eat the radish leaves we plant them despite the flea beetles.
I posted two new recipes to this website today. Two arugula recipes. Yummy.
edited: I just added another recipe sent by a CSA member. Arugula Pesto with Mint
If you have any recipes to share, please send them to me. Pictures not required.
But you know how I like pictures. I took these just yesterday as we were preparing your share of produce. Vegetables can be so beautiful.
A nice pile of radishes. The colors are amazing.
Japanese Turnips are a personal favorite. They are sweet, mild, and crunchy. I love them thinly sliced on a toasted bagel sandwich with creme cheese, turkey and lettuce.
You all know we have chickens and those "ugly" guineas. They are quite active now that they have free run of the yard, the compost piles, the pig pens, and the goat barn, etc. The chickens do an incredible job pecking around eating bugs everywhere. The birds here are truly "free range". Problem with that is finding the eggs. Those sneaky birds, always hiding their eggs. At our place we know the TRUE meaning of going on an egg hunt.
With the new hay shed, and Shain's nicely stacked pile of hay, there's a new place for the chickens to hide their eggs. And with the kids still in school, part of the egg collecting job falls to me. So while the kids may think it is great fun to climb to the top of the hay stack to check for eggs, I'm not so sure. That's 7 bales high here! As high as the top of the tractor.
But if I don't collect the eggs, some ill tempered chicken will likely come along and peck her "rivals" goods. (Is that what they mean by the phrase "hen pecked"? I think I'm understanding this.) So up I go, which isn't so bad. Coming down is another thing. I try to do it while no one is looking.
Our first yellow tomato blossoms (with companion basil plant). The plants look healthy, the blossoms are coming on fine, and I've seen no sign of rodent damage. Happy days out in greenhouse #4.
Have a good week and enjoy your veggies!