|19th Harvest Week||July 31st - Aug. 6th, 2006||
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“We are thankful for this meal
The work of many peopleAnd the sharing of other forms of life.”
What’s in the box this week: (content differences between Family and Small Shares are underlined/italicized; items with a “+” in Family Shares are more in quantity than in Small)
Extra Fruit Option:
Aug 25, 26, 27
Sat. Sept. 23
Sat. Oct 21
After surviving one of the most extreme heat waves in recorded history, the cool coastal fog has never been more welcome. Most of our recently germinated or transplanted seedlings got heat damaged, and an explosion of shiny black flea beetles devoured what was still struggling to survive. Flea beetles are not fleas turned vegetarian who suddenly decided to abandon their warm mammalian habitat to chow down on some bitter arugula leaf. They are true beetles, hard bodied, and due to their acrobatic ability of hopping like fleas have gotten their common name of "flea beetle." They are miniscule, hibernating in the soil, laying their eggs around the base of a plant, and when conditions are right (i.e. hot weather) they will appear overnight, peppering the leaves of anything in the mustard or nightshade family with so many holes that all that is left is the outlines of what used to be a leaf. Unable to use a row cover (which was not an option since it would have increased the temperature even more), we hoped to keep them in check with frequent watering. But in the end we just couldn't keep up. So... mustard greens, arugula and radishes will not make it into your shares anytime soon, as those were the crops we lost. It will probably be 3 to 4 weeks before the next sowing will be harvested.Our natural world is one of constant contrast, and we seem to be in a period where the experience of these contrasts is becoming more extreme. On the farm, every season is different. There isn't a season when we aren't going around saying, "Isn't this unusual weather we're having." There is always something unusual about the weather and we work with the elements and have to take our chances with them. Whether they're kind or not, they're doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing. The unpredictability of the weather adds excitement to every season, keeping us from settling into complacency. It's an act of faith when we plant a seed and expect that in a few short months it will produce an abundant harvest. Plants and animals have to withstand whatever nature dishes out, and as farmers we experience the elements together with them. I like that! - Tom
First, a quick logistical note, then on to one of my favorite subjects. Cucumbers and summer squash: for the next few weeks, we will be alternating cucumbers and summer squash between the Family and Small shares, as there is not enough to give an adequate amount of both to everybody each week.Potatoes. Every year I write about them, one of my favorite crops, so this year is no exception! (These are excerpts from past newsletters.) The sight of a lush, green, potato field dotted with white and purple flowers, to me, is one of the highlights of the season. Slipping your hand under the loose soil and pulling up the first new potatoes is like finding buried treasure. Do you know that the so-called "Irish" potato actually comes from the highlands of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, where it has been cultivated for over 5000 years? Potatoes were the staple of the Incas, who grew and ate hundreds of varieties. The Irish were the first to grow the potato extensively since it yielded 4 to 5 times more calories per acre than any of the traditionally grown cereal grains. By changing their diet, it allowed the Irish to survive without having to depend on the English grown grains. In war-torn Europe peasants planted potatoes as a kind of insurance since potatoes could be left in the ground through the winter and dug only as needed for daily consumption. This would allow peasants to survive the raids of soldiers during wartime: soldiers usually could not take the time to dig the field to get their food, and certainly they would not do so if grains were stored in neighboring barns. However in 1845-46, the year of the devastating Irish Potato Famine, late blight (Phytophtora Infestans), a common fungal disease that thrives under cool and wet conditions (i.e. Irish weather) wiped out most of the Irish potato crop. Hundreds of thousands died before public relief could be organized, and scores of thousands who survived emigrated to America. The harsh lesson of this famine was the importance of maintaining a diversified farming system, i.e. don't rely solely on one type of crop (monocropping). Although potatoes grow underground they are not really roots. They are the swollen ends of skinny underground stems called rhizomes. To stimulate their growth, about a quarter to a third of the plant has to be covered with soil, or ‘hilled up’ to stimulate the formation of ‘tubers.’ Today heirloom potatoes are making a comeback, with hundreds of varieties now available in unique shapes/colors, from purple, to knobby fingerlings, to round, red-skinned boilers, to oval, brown-skinned boilers.
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
1 qt. yogurt, drained for
25 min. [I used Strauss Organic Creamery whole fat yogurt and it was
already thick and wonderful, requiring no straining/draining – Debbie]
*Click Here* for a link to a comprehensive listing of recipes from Live Earth Farm's newsletters going back as far as our 1998 season! You can search for recipes by key ingredient. Recipe site is updated weekly during the season.