We are at the half-way point of CSA boxes! This week will be CSA week #11 out of 22 total weeks of delivery. Kind of crazy we are only half-way there, huh? But, it is also exciting to think about all that is still to come. Fall is a bountiful season when summer crops (like tomatoes, peppers and corn) meet-up with storage crops (like potatoes, winter squash and sweet potatoes) right about the time that fall crops (like lettuce, broccoli and cabbage) are maturing. We are looking forward to continuing to sharing the harvest with you during this abundant upcoming season.
Part of joining a CSA is understanding the risks associated with farming—vegetable production in our humid climate of Kentucky can be a tough environment—and sharing in those risks with the farmer because the rewards are worth it (a fresh, heirloom tomato!). We hope that both the quantity AND the quality of various crops will average themselves out over the course of the year to provide a unique and worthwhile experience.
We have struggled a bit to keep all our crops happy with already 38 inches of rain this year (the average yearly rainfall in the past six years has been 50 inches). Every year has its challenges, but the rain has caused some more intense disease and insect pressure along with some poor fruit set that has gotten the best of us in some cases. For example, we are expecting the tomatoes to be less plentiful, are still waiting on our peppers to ramp-up production, and are patiently sorting through our onions and garlic, both of which didn’t appreciate the rainy June/July.
I am both proud and relieved to be on schedule for our fall crops after a period of unusually wet ground in July. Apprentices and staff worked non-stop last weekend to plant broccoli, cabbage, beets, carrots, kale, lettuce and many other things that have been soaking up the sun. We harvested potatoes today and have a special surprise: GRAPES! (although not grown organically) that our friends from the Viticulture Unit are sharing with you this week. Many of the winter squashes are getting very close to being ready and the next round of green beans is starting to shape-up.
We continue to appreciate your support, welcome your comments for improvement, and are excited to keep learning. Here’s to more summer bounty and a smooth transition to fall!
And just for fun I’ll share my lunch with you today, Corn Smut: a fungus that grows and transforms corn ears into an edible ‘mushroom’. It is a Mexican cuisine delicacy also known as “Huitlacoche” that has a distinct corny flavor. While hoeing the corn field today, I found some and quickly reserved it after snatching a photo. I sautéed it with onions, zucchini, eggplant, squash and a bit of hot pepper, topped with tomatoes and cilantro and served with beans and cheese.