The Potato Story: Surprise!

What’s in Upic?……

Flowers                Herbs   (more Beans next week)

I know we keep talking about how early this season has been but potatoes in July is just too much. Here is the story….  We plant seed potatoes in mid-May when the soil warms to about 45 degrees.  For those not in the know, potato plants are grown by planting small potatoes or pieces of large potatoes that then sprout and grow into plants that then produce more potatoes amongst their roots. Prior to planting we use a technique called green-sprouting to kick the tubers into high gear before they are put in the ground. This process usually entails putting our potato seed (all 1500 pound of it) into a small room in the barn and heating that room up to about 75 degrees for a week. Then we take the seed to the greenhouse and empty it in single layers into big vented trays that allow sunlight to hit the now sprouting tubers. The greenhouse is kept at about 60 degrees night and day while the seed is there. During this time the potato seeds begin to sprout from their eyes. If we’re lucky we can start planting after about 14 days in the greenhouse. This spring we received our potato seed in April and one variety, Carola, was already sprouting.  It must have been on a loading dock for a while or in a hot part of the warehouse.  By the time we went through the green-sprouting process with all of the other varieties of potatoes the Carolas were beyond sprouting; they were growing! The sprouts coming from the eyes were over half an inch long, deep green, and ready to hit the soil. After planting, the Carolas were the first up and looked strong. Being the first ones up they were also the first to be hit by the dreaded Colorado Potato Beetle. We watched closely and thought we were keeping ahead of the beetle but in in the course of a few days their population exploded and the Carolas went down.  This is a very sad thing to see as a farmer.  A strong beautiful plant skeletonized over the course of a few days.  Once the foliage is gone from the plants there’s no going back so we mowed off the stems and a week later here we are, sharing some small but tasty potatoes. Carolas are great roasters. Just toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper and put them on a cooking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. More potatoes to come, but hopefully not too soon.

Here’s what to look for in your share:

Chard                        Potatoes

Kale                                    Summer squash

Tatsoi                        Lettuce

Mustard                        Napa cabbage

Cucumbers                        Broccoli

Organic Blueberries will be delivered this week for those that have preordered. If you missed  out on this order don’t fret we will be taking orders again this week for delivery next week. We will also have some extra quarts for sale on both Tuesday and Friday if you want try them out…they make oatmeal sexy.

Our first group of pigs for August are sold out. If this is disappointment to you don’t fret. We will have another group available for order come early October. Watch the newsletter for more info.

Crystal Spring Farm Lamb now available at CSA pick-up. Look for our own loin chops, lamburger, legs and more. Talk to a farmer about what we have available.

Eggs are coming in…the girls are ramping up production so hopefully if you haven’t had a chance to try a dozen there will be one available at your next pick-up.