August 8, 2013 Farm Newsletter 20-6

On Wednesday evening, a week ago after the last post, we had about 1.2 to 1.4 inches (32-34)  of rain but Thursday, our picking day, was perfect for working, just the right temperature and lots of sun with some cloud and a nice wind. Friday was a good day for weather then later we had about 4 to 5 mm of rain. Saturday was perfect and we got a lot of work done.  No rain on Wednesday, the 7th, as this is being written early in the evening.  We are getting very dry now and we will have to do a lot of irrigating very soon, though with Thursday being CSA pickup day we won’t get any done until Friday.

On Friday  Aerron worked the horses on the disc harrows turning in the broad beans and peas, then hooked to the single row cultivator and cleaned up a few rows then hooked to the potato digger and dug up two rows. The potatoes then lie on the surface and we have to go along and pick them up. That is why we only did two rows because we do not want too much out at once. We did another one and a half rows on Monday so that all the Yukon Gold potatoes, an early variety, are now out of the ground and so are the Norlands, which I think must also be an early potato. The overall yield was lower than we had expected. the quality though was very good with little insect or disease damage and size was about average.  Growing conditions, had been good; plants well weeded and there was no lack of moisture after the early brief dry spell.  It will be interesting to see how the other varieties compare in yield.

This weeks offering will be Potatoes, Norland (red skinned, yellow fleshed) and Yukon Gold ( yellow skinned, yellow fleshed); Onion, the tops are mostly drying down and the bulbs are reaching a good if small size so we don’t now have a lot of green there; Shallots are still available; lots of Summer Squash now, Zuchinnis, Patty Pans (Scallop). Italio Largo types., some large for stuffing but still pretty tender skinned; quite a few Cucumbers of the green variety, not many white ones (White Pearl is the variety name) so again not everyone can get one; there will be a large quantity of Green Kale available and enough Red Kale for every one to get at least one bunch; A small quantity of Green Beans (the flat variety, Hunter) and a large amount of Yellow Beans and maybe some of the round Green and Purple Beans which we had available earlier; a lot of Garlic heads available, these will be the Music variety, maybe one other, we have about 15 different varieties and once we get the tops trimmed back we will start making them all available so that everyone can get to compare them to see if there are any taste differences among them; and we will have other things as well.

There are lots of things to do with kale and one of the popular uses is as Kale chips and they are fairly easy to do.  the Kale leaves are torn or cut into small pieces, potato chip sized and in a bowl are mixed with a little vegetable oil and salt then spread on a cookie sheet and baked in the oven.  There are lots of opinion on times and temperatures,; high temps. allow short times and low temps much longer times, your choice.

This is a very good recipe for a Kale salad, KALESLAW:

  • 4   cups of finely chopped or diced kale, either red or green , though red does look nice.
  • 1   green or red pepper, diced
  • 1   large carrot, shredded
  • 1   onion, diced (sweet onions are better than yellow but use what you have)
  • 4  cloves of garlic, pressed is better, finely diced works too
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed this time instead of pressed

Combine the first five ingredients.  Combine the next 6 ingredients mixing thoroughly. mix together all eleven ingredients and if you can allow to marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Cabbage and broccoli on the left, cilantro down the centre and another row of broccoli to the right beside the potatoes.

Cabbage and broccoli on the left, cilantro down the centre and another row of broccoli to the right beside the potatoes.

The soon to be ready lettuces, peppers to the left and tomatoes on the right.

The soon to be ready lettuces, peppers to the left and tomatoes on the right.

The tater digger from above.

The tater digger from above.

The tater digger, front 3/4 view

The tater digger, front 3/4 view

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