What’s been going on!
The first day of summer, the longest day of the year, the stifling heat and humidity. The only bright note is that the days now begin to get shorter which leads, eventually, to cooler days, something to dream about. Life continues on the farm, morning work out in the field, regular irrigation and planting maintenance but it is at a measured pace with as little afternoon, in the sun, expenditure of energy as possible.
One thing we have no control over when it is this hot is how the tomatoes and peppers will set fruit. When the day time temperatures are over 90 degrees and/or the night time above 70 degrees it makes the pollen less viable or sticky so that it won’t be able to fertilize the flower. Fortunately we have been relatively cool until this week so should have a good tomato fruit set until the last week of July or the first of August when this week’s heat will become apparent as it takes six to seven weeks from pollination (or not) to a ripe fruit.
The pollination problem is a bit less severe in peppers but it will reduce the number of fruit in July and early August which is one reason we have our biggest pepper supply in the fall. With climate change and the increasing frequency of heat waves it will affect when and for how long people will be able to grow tomatoes in this area. Another reason to savor them while they are at their best!
Picture of the Week
Shade cloth on the Big Tops to help keep the summer lettuce cool.
What’s going to be at the market?
The tomato supply is building this week with red Big Beefs, Cherokee Purples, yellow Orange Blossoms, Cherokee Greens, sweet Pink wonders, some Sun Golds and a few Blush. Plenty of Cucumbers and Basil.
Little Gem and Summer Crisp head lettuce and a few bags of the Salanova mix. Near the last of the Radicchio’s with the classic round red and the heavy white Sugarloaf, great for grilling. In cooking greens we still have beautiful dark Lacinato Kale (a.k.a. Dino Kale, Cavalo Nero, Black Kale) but the heat will eventually take it out. Our favorite summer green- Callaloo, the green amaranth that we call Jamaican Spinach and is a quick saute.
Fresh, sweet red Long Red of Tropea onions, great for grilling, salads or cooking, kind of like shallots. The first of our sweet Red Onions great in every dish. Green Onions. Carrots in orange and Purple. Crispy Red Radishes. Shishito peppers for appetizers. Fairy Tale Eggplants too.
Lots of Sunflowers in various colors. Fragrant Oriental Lilies. Bright Zinnias. Gloriosa Daisy with the black centers and yellow petals. Brilliant Dianthus in purple. A few of Betsy’s famous 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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