Heat is a vital ingredient in growing all of the vegetables we are craving this time of year. Zuchini, cucumbers, and scallions in the past couple weeks have been robust because of the constant warmth. Tomatoes, peppers, melons, eggplant and summer onions are all producing fruit right now that will come to ripen soon and we hope their flavor and sugars will be concentrated from the heat and dry air. Benefits to the heat loving crops aside, growing vegetables in this weather is challenging if for no other reason that it is unusual. I’m from the midwest originally where everyone is used to temps of 90 – 105 most days in the summer and life is adjusted accordingly. Every house has ceiling fans or a/c and productivity crashes in the summer months. Growing up we ate California lettuce in the summer for the same reason Mainers eat California lettuce in the winter -it won’t grow in Missouri from June through August. Farming here for the past thirteen years I have gotten used to (attached to, really) the cool summer evenings and July days that are foggy until noontime. The varieties I choose to grow are adapted to the usual mild qualities of a coastal Maine summer, not the blast furnace heat of the past weeks. The extended heat wave has affected us and the crops in a few ways. First, we have thin northern blood and the heat has us wilting a bit by noontime. Second, many varieties that are mainstays for us like arugula, baby bok choi, and tatsoi have succumbed to the heat, bolting before we can harvest them. Third, heat-loving crops are growing faster than we can harvest them. The best example of this is zuchini. Usually we harvest zuchini every other day. Fruit that is 3 inches develops into a perfect 8 inch zuchini in two days. In the heat this week two days pushes that 3 inch zuchinni into a 16 inch little league bat that’s a tough as leather. Like all farmers, we adapt where we can and capitalize on the benefits and diminish the drawbacks.
Check out the Crystal Spring Farm CSA “tips and tricks” facebook group for recipes to fit your share each week.
Bookmark this link to the facebook group created by superstar CSA member Joanna Patterson. There are great new recipes each week using the exact produce in your share. What could be better!
Crystal Spring Farm Tote Bags are Here! Show your CSF pride and get your this week at the farm. Only $6
Order Pork for your freezer starting this week.
Winter in warmer with a farm-raised bacon, ham and chops in the freezer. For more info download our pork order form. Reserve you whole or half hog by sending in a completed form with $50 deposit.
Basil is in your share this week -get ready!
Sweet Summer Onions
Look for sweet summer onions in your share for the next few weeks. Unlike the pungent storage onions you are used to in the grocery store (or in your share come fall) these onions are sweet and wonderful. Use them with everything.
Zucchini Has Landed
Zucchini and summer squash are here to stay for a while. Check out these new recipe ideas… summer squash
What’s in Upic this Week?
Peas (Snow and Snap) -Last week until fall!
What to expect in your share…