Upic Peas continue for another week, but they are waning in a serious way. Thanks for all of your hard picking; they have been a great crop for us this year. We will be planting fall peas in a couple weeks, so you’ll see them again come September. We’re going to give the flowers a bit more time to bloom so there will be enough for everyone – so if you can wait another week or so, we’ll let you know when you can pick some flowers.

Weeds are choking us! The weed population is getting the better of us in a few crops and we have started putting other things on the back burner to try and catch up. Its amazing, wet year or dry, the weeds know their niche and they keep coming back. What is the best tool we have to controlling big weeds is lots of people. We need you help. Wednesday and Saturday mornings we will be down in the fields starting at 9am and going until… It’s a great time to chat with the farmers and save your favorite vegetables from the jungle. Look for us in the fields and pull into the nearest driveway along Pleasant Hill Road.

Here’s what to look forward to in your shares:

Kale                                    Baby Bok Choi

Chard                        Lettuce

Tatsoi                        Mustard

Scallions                        Kohlrabi

Summer squash            Various chickories

A couple weeks ago I wrote about making hay as winter feed for our sheep. These dry square bales take two consecutive days of dry weather to make, which in most seasons is doable but in the past few we have really been struggling. With the new pattern of really wet Junes (we escaped this pattern this year) we found ourselves making hay in July or even August, after the quality of the grasses and clovers was past. This year we are trying something new to us, hay silage. When making silage, instead of drying the grasses and clovers in the sun to preserve them like bailed hay, we cut the grass green and preserve it anaerobically, like making sauerkraut. The green hay is cut and make into a pile, covered with plastic and the oxygen is sucked out, making an anaerobic cocoon that will preserve the forage until the winter when we feed it out to the sheep. Last fall we applied for a grant to research making hay silage using a technique popular in New Zealand. Many of you have seen the big round bales wrapped in white plastic on farms in Maine and beyond. These also are silage bales but the method of making them is very expensive to get in to (close to $50K, not including the tractor). The system we are researching costs less than $20K and the forage made is (hopefully) of better quality and uses a tenth of the plastic. We’ve already made several piles here at the farm and on two other local farms participating in the project. If we’ve done a good job we’ll open the piles in the winter and be able to feed the ewes the best winter forage they have ever had. For those of you who might want more detail on the project, our grant proposal is posted on the web: http://www.sare.org/MySare/ProjectReport.aspx?do=viewRept&pn=FNE10-690&y=2010&t=2

Cooking Demo. Tuesday July 20th at 3pm Wild Oats Bakery and Café Chef and longtime CSA member Becky Shepherd will share her insight on cooking with CSA produce here at the farm. Just show up at 3:00 by the distribution barn and learn ways to use this week’s harvest.

Chickens, Pigs, and Lambs The chickens are laying eggs but they are still small.  We’re hoping in a few weeks we’ll have some for sale at CSA pickups.  Say hello to the lambs & chickens by the CSA barn.  You can check out the pigs while you’re in the Upic field – on the south side of the field.
Enjoy the harvest this week!