Melons are in!
Also, if you subscribe to any monthly shares, (fresh chicken, handmade soap or coffee): this is the week! The next monthly distribution is September 11/12/13.
**We're looking for farmhands again!** Most of our intrepid crew has returned to school or, for some, found jobs more closely related to their education.
So, if you know anyone who would like a little experience on a small/medium-sized farm, even intermittently, from now until December, please send them our way! We're hoping to secure 2-3 folks before tomato season kicks in...
Around the Farm
The Menu Storage Help: Melons Around the Farm It still doesn't really feel like summer around here, as the tomatoes haven't truly begun to ripen regularly. The cherry tomatoes are finally starting to kick into high-gear but, the regular-red tomatoes are taking their sweet time (even in the hoophouse- ugh!).
Mostly, I feel we've suffered a setback in our yields due to water stress. If you have garden tomatoes or, peppers and have ever seen a fruit become black and inedible on the bottom, often before it reaches its full potential, you've experienced "blossom-end rot."
Blossom end rot is a water and heat-related condition that is due to a lack of calcium availability. That darn molecule just doesn't want to cooperate when it's hot or dry!
So, as a result, we've lost a lot of the first round of fruit for the bell peppers, larger eggplant, and tomatoes.
Still, things are bouncing back with incredible vigor! The fall squash and cabbage have finally started to show signs of growth and the onions and melons sized-up nicely with these well-timed rains.
Now- off to mow down some weeds that have suddenly sprung back to life!
What's to come? -Tomatoes (cherry first then regular, paste and heirloom) -More melons (for at least 1 more week)
On the way out? -Summer squash/zucchini -Cucumbers
Please Choose 7
Scarlet/Green Curly Kale
it's back in full force!
Summer Squash/Zucchini/Golden Zucchini/Patti Pans
the squash is starting to wane.
these guys are also on the way out.
these should be dried enough to set on the counter top.
Sweet, red-fleshed with seeds.
Icebox refers to their size, making them easy to store in the refrigerator.
Muskmelons aka cantaloupe!
Sweet and orange-fleshed with the distinct flavor associated with late-summer.
still not in their full glory but, the amount is building. Jalapeños, serranos, Hungarian hot wax and more!
Sweet Peppers and/or Shishito
some sites will see a few of the ever-growing sweet bell and bull's horn peppers, while others will see shishito peppers.
Shishito is mostly sweet but, can occasionally be hot. They are often cooked whole and served as an appetizer.
Mini or Japanese Eggplant
Storage Help: Melons
You'll see both watermelons and muskmelons at CSA this week! Each has their own little quirks:
Muskmelons aka Cantaloupe
It may be an old-fashioned term but, I argue it is still the most horticulturally correct way to ID these melons.
Muskmelons are sweet, orange-fleshed and well, musky in the intense aroma they produce.
How to tell a good muskmelon?
SMELL! At the market, we have signs that read "Good Smellin' Means Good Melon"
Roll the melon around (it should be heavy for its size) and find the stem end, (the part where the fruit attached to the plant), now, sniff. If the aroma is intense, it's ready. If it smells sour: too ripe. If it doesn't really smell yet: leave it on the counter for a few days, it will ripen "off the vine."
If the melon is ripe and you don't want to eat it within 1-2 days, stick it in the fridge. If you think you'll get to it within a couple days, leave it on the counter... the flavors will stay more intense.
Ours are mostly red, with the occasional yellow-fleshed but, with seeds.
How to Choose a Watermelon?
Sadly, this one is mostly on our (the farmers) end.
There is a 3-step verification for watermelon ripeness around here:
1. Count the days to maturity of the variety planted.
2. Check to make sure the spot on the ground is yellow or peachy colored, not green.
3. Check if the first tendril (a stringy twirly thing) is dead.
From your end: it should be heavy for its size and free of major bruising or defects. That's it.
Unfortunately, unlike muskmelons, watermelons do not ripen after they've been harvested. You have to time it juuuust right and trust that whoever harvested it, knew what they were doing.
Storage: best long-term storage for watermelons is cool but, not cold. If you plan to use it within a week though, stick it in the fridge.