Week Seven: July 25th Update
Beets or Peas
This week we're shy of enough beets to give everyone a sensible share. For the handful of CSA members who don't get beets, we'll be including a share of peas instead.
We've also started to sense a higher than average interest in beets and are working to increase our fall production beyond our original plan. Beets are great to grow because there are no insect pests, it's hardy, and it stores well. This makes beets a great food bank crop too. Our only problem is the deer seem to enjoy the greens. We've seen the hoofprints of a doe and her fawn and catch them watching us from afar now and then.
We also tried a new harvesting process with the beets this week. Instead of washing the beets with the greens attached before packaging them, we cut the greens from the beet roots before washing them. This is largely in service to those who make use of their beet greens. Firstly, washing the beet root with the greens attached means the greens tend to get some water on them and even if dried, they tend to lose some of their firmness when in cold storage. Secondly, if we don't have to worry about trying to keep the greens dried, we can give the beet roots a more thorough wash.
Another Okra Suggestion: Gumbo
Okra has been included in the last few shares. At first we suggested simply frying or roasting it, a simple approach to preparing your okra. If you're feeling more ambitious, you can always try making gumbo!
There are many gumbo recipes, it's more like a category rather than a particular dish. The website All Recipes has over 60 recipes and we've even had CSA member's recommend some from their own sources.
Okra can also be pickled and stored in mason jars.
In Progress: Tomatoes, Melons, Winter Squash
There are a number of crops that have been a part of our daily life since April, but have yet to make it into our shares.
Our tomato plants are tall, strong, and flowering and fruiting all over. It seems like they are taking longer to ripen than expected, possibly due to the bouts of high heat we've had.
We've also had some sort of mid-night visitor sample a few tomatoes. By next week I hope to have photographic evidence of the perpetrator.
We've also got melons (above) forming on the vines, boldly encroaching on their neighbouring plants. And our winter squash seem to be coming along nicely, below is a butternut that's just started to show a hint of beige.
This Week's Share
Green Bunching Onion
Summer Squash (a.k.a. Zucchini)
Beets or Peas*
Pea Shoot Microgreens