What’s been going on!
Thanks to everyone for the many congratulations on Betsy’s steadfast dedication to producing beautiful cut flowers for Weaver Street Market all these years, they have been a great partner to work with and have helped Peregrine Farm become what it is today. The champagne was savored!
Monday I was speaking at the Southern Cover Crop conference in Mount Olive. Farmers and researchers from all 16 states and territories in the Southern region were there, nearly 500 folks. Lots of incredible expertise on what we feel is one of the most important parts of a sustainable farming system, especially in the humid south.
Cover crops or green manure crops grown primarily to increase the vitally important organic matter in soils that the soil life feeds on and in turn feeds plants growing in that soil. Their use is on the rise across the country especially on large conventional farms that have converted to no-till farming and who realized they needed to do a better job of fostering their soils.
We have always believed that cover crops are integral to a well designed agro-ecosystem for many more reasons than just organic matter. They are important as beneficial insect habitat, in reducing soil erosion and water infiltration, they help with weed suppression and many other services.
Sadly one of the trends in small farms is to move away from the use cover crops to maximize production and income during the growing season that might otherwise be occupied by nonrevenue generating cover crops. These farms are importing all of their organic matter either in the form of manure or compost which we think is short sighted, expensive and a potential source of problems brought in with those imports. They might have a higher gross income but in the long run it may well cost them in other ways.
Picture of the Week
A lush summer cover crop of sorghum-sudan grass and cowpeas in front of peppers raised on free cover crop nitrogen
What’s going to be at the market?
Did you donate to RAFI? Let’s talk this week. If you have RAFI thanks you!
Definitely past the peak of tomatoes this week, still lots of red Big Beefs. A fair amount of Cherokee Purples too. Fewer Orange Blossom and Kellogg’s Breakfast in yellows, yellow and red Striped Germans, Cherokee Greens, pink German Johnsons. Good supply this week of Sungolds, Mixed Cherries and Blush too. Some Romas for sauce.
Callaloo the summer cooking green to replace Kale, actually an amaranth, also known as the Jamaican spinach, great for a fast sauté. More of the cured sweet Red Onions. Lots of Cucumbers.
Peppers are starting slowly with some more Cubanelle peppers. Shishito and Padron appetizer peppers. Serrano and Jalapeno peppers and the first of the Anaheim (New Mexican) and Poblano chiles. More Spaghetti Squash and Eggplant too.
The flower department is into summer mode. Fragrant Oriental Lilies. Zinnias and Sunflowers. The Crested Celosia wave begins. Beautiful green, ready for drying, Annabelle Hydrangeas and fresh Limelight Hydrangeas. As always, amazing 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. Just so you know, sometimes not everything listed will be at the Wednesday market.
Hope to see you all at the market!
Alex, Betsy and Jennie
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