Farm Update June 13, 2017

From Ammie Chickering, Peacework Farm

This week’s shares:

Full Shares: lettuce, spinach, choice of rainbow chard or kale, choice of leeks or garlic scallions (leeks for Newark shares), carrots, asparagus, bok choi

Partial Shares: lettuce, kale, leeks, asparagus, Hakurei salad turnips

Lettuces (two or three) will finally be in all the shares this week. It’s not at full size yet but if we wait for it to all size up, we’ll have 1,100 lettuces ready to go at the same time. Not a good idea! The spinach is from transplants we started in the greenhouse and set out in the muddy field last month. We were hoping to get two cuttings from it but with the recent heat, it’s beginning to bolt (get its flower heads) so we have to harvest it. We usually plan to have direct-seeded mustards and arugula ready to give out with the lettuces so you can make your own salad mix but the wet spring really messed up our timing for direct-seeded crops. You can set transplants out in muddy ground but you can’t push a seeder through it! You’ll have to scope out what Abundance has available to fill out your salads.

Hakureis and chard. Last week I explained Hakurei turnips to the Full shares. Partials have them this week. They are sweet, mild turnips best (in my opinion) eaten raw as a snack or in salads. The greens are not hairy like regular turnip greens. They can be eaten raw, like arugula, on sandwiches or in salads or used as a cooking green. The chard (for new members) is a beautiful variety called “Bright Lights” developed by Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Maine. The stems are delicious as well as colorful. When I cook with chard, I rib the leaves, chop the stems, and saute them with onions and garlic, then add the chopped greens.

Scrambling to catch up. Now that the weather has finally warmed up and dried out a bit, we’re running like crazy to get beds tilled and plants and seeds in the ground. Our crew’s been doing admirably; catching on fast to seeding and transplanting and harvesting (asparagus has to be cut twice daily when it gets hot). Sam and Sarah (pictured) are coming as often as they can. They will meet the CSA Core at our meeting this week and begin sharing their ideas for the farm’s future.

2nd installment payments due. For those of you paying for your share in four installments, the second payment was due June 1. If you just joined the CSA and aren’t able to double up on our first two payments, you can make them on the first of July, August, and September.