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Sunday, July 15, 2012 at 10:08PM
This week, we'll have new potatoes, white onions, garlic, summer squash, broccoli, cabbage, collards and kale. We'll also have the first cucumbers, small amount of swiss chard, and a few beets.
The cucumbers are uggggly. I picked them for the first time last night. Some are too big, most are too weird, and all are too awful looking to be marketable, but I'm giving them to you anyway. I ate the biggest, baddest one I could find and it tasted great. You might want to peel them. These cukes look absolutely nothing like their picture in the seed catalog. So, either they lied, or I picked the wrong variety for our conditions, or I need to spray more for bugs (which I don't like to do because honey bees love cucumber flowers and I don't want to risk hurting any bees, even with organic products), or there is a plant disease, or they had irregular watering, or something else. Since I seem to know nothing about farming any more, I'm going to guess that it's the heat. From now on, whenever anybody asks me the reason for anything odd, I'm going to say "heat". Seems like it might be possibly true.
We planted miles of chard and beets this spring so we'd have plenty to give you this year. Didn't work out. (Must be the heat.) They just won't grow. (Must be the heat.) So, we're going to cut the chard and pull the beets this week to get the bed opened up so I can plant it again. If we work fast, perhaps we can accomplish the plan for fall. You'll get a handful of chard and some very small, but very sweet and tasty beets. I would saute the chard and roast the beets (unless it's too hot to turn on the oven). We have at least three kinds of beets: red ones, red and white stripes, and golden. It will be fun to try all three.
This probably isn't a problem for you, but I'll give you a heads-up anyway. We're digging the potatoes with a machine, and it's sometimes hard on them. They bounce around a lot, and the skins are so tender right now, they may get damaged. We're finding that the damaged area can sometimes start to rot if the potatoes sit around too long. Don't let that happen. Eat them right away. If you must store them, keep them in the open with plenty of air around them, cool and dark. As the season progresses, potatoes will continue to cure in the soil, so the skins should become tougher. And maybe I'll get better at setting up the digger so it treats them more gently.
Some of my friends had some wonderful rain over the weekend, around an inch south of town. We weren't that lucky. Combined, the two little rain events on Friday and Saturday gave us just about enough water to cover the bottom of a bucket. I'm calling it .1". Still needing a little more!
Charlotte has bread shares available again. Five weeks for $25. Or, you can take your chances and buy a loaf each week. $5 each. Her email is above if you'd like to contact her.
Please buy a few raffle tickets to support our Southeast Linn Community Center. Only $1 each, and you might win the gas grill. For sure, your donation will help pay the bills to keep our center open and serving the families, children, and seniors of our area. Andrea, Arlene, or I will have the tickets with us this week.
We're looking forward to hosting a class of Latin American agriculture students from Kirkwood here one day this week. I think they are mostly farm boys, and their English teacher says they are longing to visit a small farm like what they know from home. I think they'll have fun here. Maybe I can get them to pull some weeds.
See you this week,