CSA Week 16

**Final share is November 6 or 8.  3 more weeks to go!**

In your share week 16:

Delicata Squash
Shallot
Leek
Radish
Kale
Salad Mix
Broccoli (Some sites only)

Full shares only:

Cilantro
Carrots
Zucchini

Okay, they really are getting smaller now, and will continue to diminish over the next 3 weeks.  Harvest is getting harder out there: there’s been an upsurge in aphids with these warm days, growth is slowing drastically in the shadier areas of the farm, and last week’s rains brought mold into crops like zucchini.  Charlene also got injured over the weekend and is limited in helping with harvest this week (fortunately she’s improving quickly!).

But in spite of all that, we’ve pulled together a nice, if lighter, share for you.  We had poor germination in the delicata squash, so these will be the only ones you get (pumpkins coming soon!), but they are lovely.  You can use them just like the acorns we gave you last week: the skins are extra tender and in our taste tests last year the two were undistinguishable.  These had over a week to cure in the greenhouse and they colored up nicely, they should be ready to eat but will also keep for months at room temperature if you don’t get to them right away.

 

Carrots are probably the saddest story of the fall.  The final 2 rotations  (over 500 feet of carrots) just aren’t doing so well.  We gave them a couple of extra weeks to size up and they just aren’t doing it.  I managed to get bunches for full shares today, and will probably just go ahead and harvest what’s there sometime in the next couple of weeks.  But don’t expect to see many of these in your final shares.  A big part of the problem is that our long time carrot variety, Nelson, was discontinued last year.  We did lots of trials and found one whose flavor is on par with Nelson, but we didn’t have the opportunity to test it at all different parts of the season.  We’ve continued to trial new varieties this year and also planted a couple rows of a popular storage variety, but those ended up in a shady section of the field and didn’t germinate well.

 

While it feels like I should have a better handle on the production areas in our new field, I’m really still getting to know it.  This is only our 3rd year in production over there, and it takes a long time to understand the nuances of the growing space.  I’m coming to the conclusion that there are a few sections of that field that are just too shady for growing vegetables, and I’m planning to cut the beds short and plant some shade tolerant perennials for cut flowers there next year.  But for this year, it’s cut into our carrot production as the last 50 or 70 feet of each bed and one full 270 foot bed (we plant about 1500 feet of carrots) were too shady to grow well.  The plants were okay, but stayed small and just couldn’t compete with the more shade tolerant weeds.

 

I have to go set up farm stand, recipes and more coming soon…

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