8-14-2012 Week 14
Tomatoes- The Garden Diva
Important note! We are trying to keep the tomato plants healthy and happy despite the rain and late summer blight. We have sprayed a copper solution that is used in organic methods. While it is approved for organic farms, you should make sure to wash your tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. It is not meant to be eaten. (Always wash produce!)
We work hard to bring you tomatoes! This year, we built 2 tunnel covers (hoophouses) to keep our tomatoes out of the rain and the blight (fungus) away from the tomatoes. This means that we use less organic spray on the tomatoes and reduce the labor that is required to grow tomatoes. You get more tomatoes in your box, since the tomatoes are out of the rain and won’t swell and crack as much. The tomatoes also taste better because they aren’t watery (think less flavorful) from too much rain.
Non-organic, commercial tomatoes use huge amounts of pesticides and fertilizer. It doesn’t stop there. Fungicide is sprayed every 10 days or after every rain. Each time it rains the fungicide washes away and more is applied. Immense quantities of sprays are used on several crops like tomatoes, leafy greens, squash, potatoes, and bell peppers!
If you see bright green and perky commercial field tomatoes growing this time of year, you know that they are heavily sprayed with fungicide. The soil around the field and the water that drains from the field carries residues from the sprays. (We see non-organic tomato fields down Hwy 64, up Hwy 80 in Marion, and past Asheville around Leceister.)
This week’s box:
Tomatoes- See the following note. Please wash produce. We are trying to keep the tomato plants healthy and happy despite the rain and late summer blight. We have sprayed a copper solution that is used in organic methods. While it is approved for organic farms, you should make sure to wash your tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. (Always wash produce!)
Cherry Tomatoes-See the note above. Please wash produce. Some of the most flavorful tomatoes are the little ones. Try them sliced in half with basil and chopped cucumbers.
Red Peppers- They’re here! Red and sweet and delicious. Did you know that it takes an extra 2 weeks for a pepper to go from full size green to ripe and red? During that time, the darling pepper must hang on the plant and avoid being scorched and softened by the August sun.
Cucumbers-We have a young succession of plants that have started producing cucumbers. We are lucky to have them. Usually this time of year it is too hot and humid for the plants and they die of disease. Enjoy the bounty this year!
Squash/zucchini-These plants are getting chomped by vine borers, the yucky grubs that hatch out and burrow into the stem of the squash and zucchini plants. This kills the plant. We’ll get fewer and fewer squash and zucchini fruits for the rest of the year. Very sad.
Basil-Oh the wonderful scent of basil. I love harvesting it for you all.
Garlic- More delicious heirloom garlic for you this week.
Eggplant- Small shares only. There is enough eggplant to add to tomato sauces!
Here’s a yummy late summer recipe for dinner. Make enough that you have extra for lunch.
Tunisian Vegetable Couscous
We'll have our pastured beef for sale tomorrow at the farm. Enjoy lean, flavorful ground beef. $5.75 lb
Beef steers on the hillside pasture at the other farm