Peregrine Farm News Vol. 8 #22, 8/25/11

What’s been going on?

Newsletter a day late again, this is one of those weeks where it is all running fast and the early week uncertainty of the hurricane Irene’s track just adds to the level of complexity. We are always aware and on alert for these late summer hurricanes because if we are really going to get significant wind and rain then we have to take action days in advance. The biggest potential job is uncovering all the greenhouses which is best done in calm winds and dry conditions if we want to reuse the plastic after the storm. Sure we could go out heroically and cut the plastic off and let it fly, while maybe exciting and will save the metal frame, it is not the most ideal scenario.

Our threshold is about 60 mph winds. Up to that and all of our structures can handle it, the Big Tops are the ones we worry about the most and it can take half a day just to uncover those. We have had to do it once before Charlie in 2004 and then ended up not getting any winds even though the forecast potential was for 60 -70 mph winds. In 2003, before the Big Tops, we uncovered the smaller sliding tunnels before Isabel when we did get slammed by 60 mph winds. The little tunnels were just fine but we did loose part of a shed roof. Of course all of this is colored by the memories of Fran but that was before we had any tunnel structures, thankfully!

With the move of Irene further to the east our concern now is whatever rain we might get so the focus has been to make sure we get critical things harvested before any potential downpours and flooding. The winter squash is in the bottom field and ready for harvest. Nice and dry now and easy to collect, not so after a big storm so the last two days have been partly occupied by bringing in the 2000 plus pounds. This afternoon and tomorrow will be the usual major pepper picking even if Saturday could be a rain out.

All of this in the middle of a ten day period which includes four tour groups including 40 Burmese refugees, teaching two classes, two dinners for various groups we are involved with, conference calls and a board meeting. Can’t wait for September to get here!

Picture of the Week

The Big Tops present quite a big sail in high winds

What’s going to be at the market?

Well the forecast, right now, is for 40 percent chance of showers and breezy so market should be just fine, bring your rain coat just in case.

The Crested Celosia festival continues with the bigger heads back this week from the new plantings. More great ornamental peppers. A good amount of the fall Lisianthus. A few late Zinnias. Plenty of fragrant Oriental Lilies in white and pink. Some nice Sunflowers

We are at the peak of Pepper season the next few weeks. In Sweet peppers we have large supply of Red bells, with small amounts of Yellow and Orange Bells. Smaller amounts of Purple Bells, lime green Cubanelles and Corno di Toros. In hot types there are plenty of Anaheim, Poblano, Serrano, Cayenne and Passilla. We are losing Jalapeno plants quickly so there is a small supply. Padrone and Shishito are slowing down, the Spanish and Japanese snacking peppers, just quickly coat them in a pan with some hot olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and eat the whole thing. The Peregrine Picante Pimientos are back with nice red, slightly hot, thick fleshed fruit. Yellow and Red Habaneros and Aji Dulce, the habanero flavor without the heat. We will be roasting for sure!

Tomato supply is very light. In Reds there is a small amount of Big Beefs. A few Cherokee Purples from the last planting. In cherry types there is a small supply of Sungolds. There is a smattering of other colors around too.

More of the awesome Italian heirloom Eggplant. Basil to go with tomatoes. Still plenty of Red Onions! The Cukes continue to amaze us with production but will only be around another week. Winter Squash start this week with Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti and our favorite Sweet Dumpling which is the sweetest of them all, no added sugar required!

As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

 

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