8/19/09 Vol. 6 #21

Betsy says that Colombia is not ready for tourism yet.  A beautiful place with beautiful, friendly people but it was hard to get around in.  She took every kind of transport around the country (they don’t have rental cars and she wouldn’t want to drive there anyway) short of a horse drawn cart even though there were plenty of them even in the big cities.  She declared that many of the roads were worse than any in Kenya, even when the Kenyans just took off and drove cross country, so travel was difficult.  Like her trip to Ecuador, the cut flower industry is a dichotomy between huge operations (like a 2200 acre mum farm) to small family places (like the two brothers who had 4 acres and grew many different crops) but all of it for export to the US and Europe.  She came back glad we grow and sell the way we do, with more pictures for our “carts of the world” collection and happy we don’t have to grow mums!
This must be a record fig year for everyone, even with minimal attention, our bushes have been loaded up with fruit.  We planted our ten bushes really just to have some for us and if there was an excess we would take them to market, which we do.  One of the reasons we got out of the blackberry business was they are the most perishable thing we could possibly grow, if they didn’t have a place to be sold when we picked them it was a loss.  At least with the blackberries we could hold them in the cooler for a day or two and they would be fine.  With the figs we have tried many ways to hold them and they just don’t like it.  So they may be the new “most perishable” champion.  Our current method is to pick them ripe, Wednesday morning just before market and Friday before the Saturday market.  Seems to be working but the soft, sugary fruit are noticeably different on Saturdays when they have been off the bush just three quarters of a day longer than Wednesdays figs.  Enjoy them while they are available.
Leeks for Thanksgiving went in the ground yesterday, another sign that fall really is coming.  Next week we will seed carrots, beets and more for Thanksgiving and later fall and over winter eating.  The first tomatoes in the little sliding tunnels were taken out this week, clearing the way for even later planted spinach, beets and carrots for early next spring.  We have rounded the corner and can see the end of the summer season, now we just need some more cool weather to show up.

Picture of the Week

My father told stories of sitting under the fig bushes and eating until you couldn’t, the perfect ripe figs
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