What’s been going on!
Hope you all had and good July 4th and are managing the heat well. We spent the day with some early work before the heat set in (Betsy had to cut some flowers and I had to irrigate and attend to the turkeys) and then we hid out in the AC catching up on paperwork, reading and eating. It is the peak of our tomato season and so there are lots of not-good-enough-for-public-consumption fruits crowding our kitchen counter. Yesterday we made our first big batch of salsa for the season now that we also have serranos and red onions. Betsy is headed towards making tomato juice and for dinner we took a cue from Ben Barker and grilled some fish then laid it on top of slices of what may be the biggest Striped German bi-colored tomato of the season (slices at least 6” across) and then topped it with some salsa fresca. Do we have to go back to work today?
Speaking of tomatoes, if you haven’t already registered, our annual tomato class at A Southern Season is this Sunday. In tandem with Craig LeHoullier who is the heirloom tomato guru who introduced Cherokee Purple, Chocolate and Green to the world, amongst others. We talk tomatoes while Marilyn Markel cooks up a great three course meal using our tomatoes, wine included! Not a bad way to spend another 100 degree afternoon.
The turkeys are three weeks old and it was time to let them outside. The brooder building was designed for about 65 birds and having 83 in there, in this hot weather, makes it a bit tight. As usual we pulled one of their field shelters in front of the brooder and connected the two together with sections of chicken wire. To give them extra shade I also strung an old tarp across the gap. Down came the front opening/gang plank and they were more than happy to get out and stretch their legs and wings.
With them out in the open we finally got a chance to get a count how many guinea hens we were sent by mistake and the number is eleven. It turns out that the Barkers want a couple of them for pets and tick control over at their place. We told them that was fine but we first had to choose the right pair and give them appropriate names.
These are the Guinea Hens Confit and Fricasee next to one of the turkeys
What’s going to be at the market?
Probably the peak of our tomatoes! Everything is in full swing with good supply. In reds we have the good flavored but sweeter Ultrasweets and the full flavored Big Beefs. The flood of Cherokee Purples is here and it’s cousin the Cherokee Green and a few Cherokee Chocolates. Great supply of pink, low acid German Johnson and the fruity bi-color Striped Germans. In orange/yellows there are Orange Blossoms and the beautiful Kellogg’s Breakfast and the clear yellow and just a few acid Azoychkas (they took it hard in the heat). In cherry types we have a better supply of Sungolds and the mixed Sungold cousins Sun Lemon (orange), Sun Peach (pink) and Sun Chocula (I did not make these names up) and the bi-colored elongated Blush. The best supply we have ever had of the Italian Oxheart sauce tomatoes and beautiful Romas.
The peppers are starting with Shishitos and Padrons for appetizers and a few Serranos and Jalapenos. Sweet Red Onions and Basil to go with tomatoes! Flat Leaf Italian Parsley. Just a few of the aromatic, green fleshed Galia Melons. The first planting of sweet Cucumbers is winding down.
Betsy and the flower department are still producing an amazing amount of beautiful stems. Crested Celosia bunches to start before the big heads arrive. More long lasting Lisianthus, queen of cut flowers, mostly in purple with some pink and white. The second cutting of Delphinium has started. Lots of fragrant Oriental lilies in yellow, pink and white. Bunches of non-fragrant Asiatic Lilies. The Zinnia flood rolls on with the Sunflowers. The airy and elegant Trachelium. Beautiful Bouquets!
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
If you know folks who you think would be interested in news of the farm then please feel free to forward this to them and encourage them to sign up at the website.