Radicchio – Brente Precoce, Lusia, or Chioggia
Peppers – Sweet, Seyrek, or Cubanelle
Beet – Chioggia or Red Ace
Cauliflower or Broccoli
Lacinato Kale or Frisee
A short little farm update; the storm brought us between 6-8” of rain in a six hour period with extremely high winds. We lost two very large trees by our front gate along with others in our woods; but overall the poultry houses and all our buildings went unscathed. We were without power for 5 days followed by another 24 hours without our phone and internet service. No electricity means no water which is beyond inconvenient for a farm, so much of the week was spent shuffling around buckets of water and making sure basics needs were met for the crops, animals, and ourselves. Overall the crops look ok; although it always takes two-three weeks to see the long term damage. We were surprised by how little water was visible the day after the storm, perhaps because the ground was already so saturated and it came down with such force, it ran off very quickly. Run off is never a positive word when it comes to water on soil, as it always takes the top soil along for the ride; but we did implement a few last minute tactics to minimize the damage. Using straw bales to block run off in areas with slope and covering other areas with black plastic, combined with the trenches already in place from Florence, seemed to help from too much run off. Many of the leafy crops look beaten down, especially the more tender ones; but we are slowly cleaning them up and trying to give the younger crops what they need to bounce out of the stress from the extreme conditions. So we wait to see how they fare. The next phase is the quickly cooling conditions; which is yet another big swing to hit these crops, especially the many temperate ones. The cooling days are welcome by us though, as it is beautiful with the beginning of leaf change and wide open blue skies. Our job now is to observe the crops and give them some extra care.
This week’s share includes the first of our radicchio harvests; which is always an exciting time for us. It is one of our favorite crops of the year both for growing and eating. These varieties are great for eating raw. They will have some bitterness; but are extremely thin tender leaves with a nice crunch. The beets, dill, onions, and greens can all be paired for wonderful hot or cold dishes. Due to the cold conditions, this might be the last time the shares get dill. Our broccoli and cauliflower have been hard hit by the storms and extreme heat and humidity, so these will be small portions, delicious nonetheless. This has been a wonderful pepper year for us; both for yield and quality. This may be your last share with the sweet varieties, so savor them while you got them. Enjoy the share…..Autumn and Brian