Week 13 box
Cherry Tomatoes: See idea in the garlic section
Sweet Peppers: We are harvesting all of the peppers at the green stage - they are not ripening into a nice red color right now.
Basil: See idea in the garlic section.
Garlic: The other day I enjoyed a homemade bread brushed with olive oil and minced garlic and topped with halved cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. Then I broiled it until the cheese was bubbly.
Do you have too much garlic right now? Don’t worry- it keeps a long time!
***Crop note*** We have some baby squash plants growing to replace the older squash and zucchini plants that stopped producing fruits. We hope to have zucchini and squash in the next few weeks. We also have some baby green bean plants in the field, but as you may have noticed, the plants don’t produce well in dry, hot weather.
Remember to wash your vegetables! We use organically approved sprays, but that doesn’t mean that they make good condiments.
This week William’s family was visiting for the first part of the week. We all enjoyed the clear breezy weather, but wished for a little rain to break the dry spell. It has been great to have the extra hands around. They jumped right into helping in the garden, harvesting, mowing, and trellising tomatoes. They even helped with butchering (although some of them preferred to help at a distance by preparing lunch)!
Baby vegetable delivery
This week our babies arrived. Jeff Mast of Banner Greenhouses (the large greenhouses you see around mile marker 90 on I-40) brought about 15 trays of swiss chard and 15 trays of various types of kale. Banner Greenhouses uses Integrative Pest Management to grow their plants without synthetic fungicides or pesticides. We look forward to planting the babies and to growing yummy fall greens. I could almost taste them when I walked out into the cool, dry air this morning.
We also have baby vegetables sprouting in our greenhouse. Lettuce has poked its tiny head above the soil, ready to grow, grow, grow. It is almost a challenge to make sure it doesn’t grow too fast for its own good and become stringy. Still hiding under the soil are some cilantro and dill to spice up our food this fall.
Our tomato crop is suffering from tomato early blight. This is the same disease that caused the Irish potato famine by destroying the potato crop there. . A blight spore most likely landed on our plants way back in June during one of the frequent rainstorms. The blight is extremely common in tomatoes in the southeast because of our hot and humid weather. In fact, it is almost always of question of when and how bad, not if, your tomatoes will get the fungus. It shows up as blackened leaves starting at the bottom of the plant and working upward. Black lesions also appear on the stem and fruit. There are very limited options in both conventional and organic systems to slow blight. It is not curable, but we can slow its spread with an organically approved copper fungicide spray. We alternate with an organic bacterial spray. We apply it roughly every week and hope to prolong our yummy tomato harvest for several weeks.
Enjoy the change in the weather, and hope for rain!
Marie and William