What’s been going on?
July is a tomatoey month. Sure there are other fruits and vegetables out there to eat but the real focus of the month is all things tomato. We have four tomato dinners and events on our schedule alone, plus our tomatoes are featured on the menus of at least five local restaurants. It is a lot of pressure to put on just one crop from the farm and I do have to give plenty of praise to Betsy’s lisianthus and celosias as they are a big part of our business this month too.
The first dinner is actually tomorrow at Foster’s Market in Chapel Hill. Foster’s Farm dinners are family style and the menu looks great, why not let someone else cook when it’s this damn hot? Betsy and I will be there to visit and talk tomatoes, we’ll see you there. Through out the month we will be carefully making sure we have enough fruit to cover all of these events and the restaurants. On top of all this we have to ship tomatoes to Alabama next week as part of a fundraising donation we did for the Southern Foodways Alliance! We have never tried to ship tomatoes before, somehow we need to make sure they don’t arrive as juice! Hopefully this continuing heat won’t cut production short.
It was turkey moving day yesterday and it seemed uneventful until this morning. We move the birds to new fields every two weeks or so depending on how big they are (how much manure they will drop) and when the next field they need to move to is ready. The past few weeks they have been down around one of Betsy’s recreational flower beds with shade under some ornamental trees. We moved them right next door to the field that had the onions and the first zinnia planting. The old zinnias provide them shade but not as much fun as hanging out in the trees.
This morning I could see from the office window that a couple of birds were outside of the fence. Not unusual in the morning as they first stretch their wings. Betsy comes in and says we have a mass escape, sure enough 26 birds decided to sleep in the trees last night instead of on the roosts in the shelter, should have shut them up last evening to make sure. Fortunately they were all happy to run through the woods and then be rounded up and herded back into the fence. I’ll make sure they stay in tonight!
Turkeys drifting through the woods, their white tarped shelter is in the background
What’s going to be at the market?
Yes it is going to be 100 degrees at Wednesday market but come on out any way!!!
More Lisianthus this week, it is one of the great cuts, lots of colors, and very long lasting. The Crested Celosia just gets bigger and better (crazy, felt like, “brain” flowers). Limited quantity of Zinnias and Sunflowers, but in firework type colors. Betsy’s beautiful bouquets. Plenty of fragrant Oriental Lilies in white and pink. As usual other interesting cuts that Betsy will conjure up.
Here is the tomato run down. In Reds there are plenty of early red- Ultrasweet and Big Beefs. A limited supply of Cherokee Purples and German Johnsons. In yellows and fair supply of Orange Blossom and some Kellogg’s Breakfast. Some very nice bi-colored, fruity Striped Germans. In green-when-ripe types the only one doing well is Green Cherokee. A fair amount of the Italian Oxheart sauce tomatoes and the first Roma’s. In cherry types there is a pretty good supply of Sungolds, with a few pints of Grape tomatoes and some new trial bi-colored Blush tiny roma shaped fruit.
Unfortunately the last of the Summer Crisp lettuce this week, that crispy sweet cross between Romaine and Leaf lettuce that is hot weather tolerant, in green dappled with Red. A few more Cucumbers but they are slowing down. Some more Basil too. A few more our red onions even though they are very small this year, more like shallots. A few more peppers- Jalapeno and Serrano. Padrone and Shishito. Purple Bells and lime green Cubanelles.
Hope to see you all at the market!
Alex and Betsy