:: Vegetables and Greens ::

Snow Peas – The snow peas are hitting their stride. There will probalby be more this week than there was last week.

Dock – A wild green. Large broad leaves are excellent steamed or sauted.

Milk Thistle – A wild green. It’s tender and mild enough to eat raw, but because of the soft prickles on the leaf edges, it’s really better steamed.

Lady’s Thumb – Also known as Smart Weed, this wild green is well suited to steaming and braising. Mild in flavor.

Young Radish Greens – I’ll be harvesting these in their trays prior to setting out for pod and braising greens production. These will be a part of the default share. They’re really best lightly steamed or used in stir fry or soup.

Arugula – FINALLY! This is the arugula that I’ve been waiting on for so long (I think it’s been a month now). The flea beetles have been in it and there are some holes in the leaves, but it’s still nice and tasty. Limited supply, on request only and 1 tray limit per share.

Lambsquarters – This leafy wild green is my favorite on the farm. I had thought that there wouldn’t be enough to share, which is why it wasn’t included in the original list. Lambsquarters has a buttery flavor reminiscent (to me at any rate) of butter lettuce and young spinach. You can eat it cooked but that would be a waste when it’s such a fine green in salads. I eat it straight out of the gardens when I’m out working. Both the leaves and the stem are tender enough to eat raw.

Amaranth – Use like spinach, can be eaten raw as a salad green or cooked (steamed, saute, or stirfry) Both the leaves and stems are good. The stems are better cooked.

Cilantro – There is a mix of young and mature leaves. The mature leaves are fernlike, and look similar to fennel or dill. They still taste like cilantro but there are subtle differences in the flavor as the plant matures.

Fennel Fronds and Stalks – The fennel is bolting and because the planting is too dense it isn’t forming bulbs, so what we have are stalks and fronds. I will be cleaning out this bed in preperation for a new planting (not sure what yet). So this will be the last week for fennel for a couple months.

Beet greens – limited supply and there may be some baby beets as well, depends on how many I see sticking up out of the ground.

Everyone will get snow peas and fennel, but the default share will have my selection of the various greens. There aren’t enough of any one type of greens for everyone to have everything, so if you have a preference or if there’s something that you don’t want, let me know.

A special note on volume in your shares – For the past several months you’ve been getting your shares in these carryout bags. In July, when the heavy crops start coming in, I’ll be switching over to blue totes. These totes are somewhat expensive and I’ll be buying 50 or 60 of them. Once I start using the totes, I’ll need you to provide your own box or bags to bring your produce home. That way you can leave the totes at KTF and I can pick them up the next week when I deliver. Some of you have already given me reusable grocery bags, and those will be returned to you. The leafy greens and some other produce will still be in bags, but they’ll be in the clear produce bags which will be in the totes.

Seed ordering – I’ll be placing my mid year seed order the first or second week of July. Some of the things that I wanted to grow for you but didn’t have seed (spinach is one) and others that I’ve run out of seed for (mizuna and red giant mustards for instance) will be back or available for the first time soon. If there are any leafy greens or other vegetables that you’d like over the next few months and on through winter, let me know. The deadline for requests is the 10th of July. I try to order seed just twice per year instead of many times per year, as it cuts down on the shipping expenses.

Please accept my apologies for not filling the flower orders and not having as much in the way of vegetable plants as I’d intended. Things have been a bit cramped around here, especially with the way the weather’s been behaving. Things will be better when the new greenhouses are up and operational.

Construction on the new greenhouse will begin the first weekend of July. One will be straight production, the other will be used for aquaponics. I’m leaning towards trout and catfish for the aquaponics system. Let me know your opinions. What kind of fish do you like? I’ll also be using the aquaponics system to grow lettuce and other leafy greens. I know we haven’t have lettuce to speak of. What are your preferences for lettuce? Head lettuce, leaf lettuce, romain? Lettuce is one of the first crops that an aquaponics system can grow as it doesn’t need as heavy a nutrient supply as, say, tomatoes and peppers.

 :: New Crop Plantings – Summer Crops ::

As I noted in an earlier email regarding the corn, I’m seeding not only for share contents but for putting up. Some of you have already let me know how much corn you’d like for putting up. But those of you who haven’t, I need to know by the second week of July if you want any extra for putting up. I will be planting a lot of corn and I’m going to be doing succession planting every other week, so there will be 3 succession plantings for the sweet corn. If you want extra, now’s the time to let me know as this will guide my planting/seeding volumes. If you don’t let me know how much you think you’ll want, there may or may not be enough for you. The default for corn in your share will be 10 ears. If you’ve already let me know that you want more in your share or extra for putting up, thank you and you’ve been put on the list for volume, etc. I have over 300 row feet going in this week. The seed is sprouted, all I have to do is place the plants.

Beans – I’m seeding for beans right now. I’ve got over 400 row feet of bean seeded and it’ll be placed as soon as it’s up. What I’ve got right now is Blue Lake, Romano (both pole and bush), Rattlesnake, Yellow Wax (two varieties), Scarlett Runner and Yard Long (Dow Gauk, aka apsaragus bean), Sweet Sensei edamame (edible soy bean). The production beans will be the Blue Lake, Romano and Rattlesnake. I also have a Blue Lake/Rattlesnake cross I’ll be growing for production. What I need to know is if you want any for putting up and if so how much. The default for beans in your share will be 1-2 lbs per week. Some of the beans are already up and will be placed in this week.

Peas – I’m also seeding for the next crop of snow peas. These will be the same variety (mammoth melting sugar). You have been getting 6-10 oz. in your shares over the past couple of weeks. If you would like more than that and/or if you want some for putting up, please let me know. The default share quantity for the second harvest will be 1 lb. per week for each of you.

Squash Summer – I have over 100 summer squash plants going in the ground over the next 2 weeks. Your default will be 3-5 lbs per week. If you want more or less let me know, and if you want summer squash for putting up let me know. What’s going in the ground – Black zucchini, green zucchini, green striped zucchini, yellow zucchini, round zucchini, crook neck, white scalloped (patty pan).

Squash Winter – I have volunteer pumpkins (probably Sugar Pie) as well as Long Island Cheese pumpkin, Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti, Delicata, and Red Kuri for the winter squash. I’ll be seeding pots to those this week and they’ll go in the ground, probably in 10-12 days. The default will 1-4 squash (by the each not the pound) in your share of what ever you want. I have storage this year for the squash, so we should have plenty for the fall and winter months. If there’s a variety I haven’t named that you’d like to try, now’s the time to let me know. Seed ordering deadline is July 10th. Unless it’s something I can get at the garden store.

Cucumber – The default will be 3-5 lbs in your share each week (some will be pickling and some will be slicing). Many of you have already told me how many pounds of pickling cucumbers you’d like for putting up. If you haven’t yet please let me know. I have over 60 pickling cucumber plants going in the ground over the next 2 weeks. Cucumber varieties – Boston Pickling, Burpless slicing, Armenian, Lemon.

Tomatoes – The default will be 3-5 lbs of slicing tomatoes and small (cherry and/or currant) tomatoes per week in your share. I have A LOT of tomato plants still going in the ground. I also have plants that are container plants and will be going in the big production greenhouse when it’s up in the next month or so. The container plants will hopefully be producing into November, or at least through the bulk of October. Container plants are romas (I have 128 roma plants going in containers) and cherry and currant tomatoes, which are more cold hardy. I’ll also be growing the Black Krim slicers in dontainers as they are also cold hardy. We’ll see how well they do in the greenhouses. If they over winter I’ll be back to picking tomatoes in May I think, after a break during the winter. As with the cucumbers, many of you have already told me how many pounds of Roma tomatoes you’d like for putting up, but if you haven’t yet, please do. I’m pretty much maxed out on the tomato production (all told I have over 300 tomato plants now), but this is so I have an idea how many romas to put in the greenhouse for late season production.

Peppers – The default will be 4-5 bell peppers per week in your share or equivalent in specialty peppers, mix, etc. Note that this isn’t by the pound but by the fruit. If you’d like more, there should be plenty and I should have them late in the season (same time period as the tomatoes), as they will be going in the greenhouse as well. If you want peppers for canning, pickling or freezing let me know. I have 200+ bell peppers (purple, green and orange), plus the hot (habanero, jalapeno, etc.) and some specialty sweet peppers.

Leafy Greens – I’ll be growing the same range of leafy greens over the summer as I’ve been growing over the spring. I’ve had problems with low nutrient levels in the potting soils I’ve been using (they’re recycled from the garlic production). I’m back to using fresh potting soil from Phillips Soil Products in Canby, so the leafy greens production will be back to where it should be. The default will be the quantities of mustard greens, radish greens, etc. that you have been getting. I’ll be working to increase the quantities of things I’ve been getting requests for. In the fall I’ll be adding lettuce (both head and leaf) and it will probably be grown in the aquaponics greenhouse as these are well suited to production in a new system when the nutrient levels from the fish aren’t as high as those in an aged system.

Root vegetables – Radishes should be available all months but August and September, when the temps will probably be too hot. However there will still be radish greens and that’s the peak season for radish pods. I’ll also be seeding to carrots. I’m intercropping these two roots with the tomatoes. The first new radish crop is already up. Other roots being planted to are beets and turnips. In July, when I do the next big seed order I’ll be ordering a variety of salad turnip called Hukarei. I’ve never grown it, but I’ve heard lots of good things about it.

Fruit and Berries – I have a large gravenstein apple, a small Fuji, an Asian pear and loads of wild blackberries. All of them are loaded this year. I will be keeping most of the gravenstein apples for cider making, but I’ll have some available for the shares. All of the Fuji apples will go to the shares as will most of the wild blackberries. I may also have access to a neighbor’s fruit trees this year. I’ll keep everyone posted.

Poultry – I’ve had some trouble with the hatchery I’ve been working with (they’ve had some labor issues and have been over sold on the birds they’ve been producing) and I’m about 200 birds short between them and the losses from weather and predators. I’m working on getting more birds in, so please be patient. If you’ll only be with the CSA program for just this current term and don’t plan on renewing, you’ll still get your birds when I have them available and ready for slaughter. All people who signed up for their first share term in March will have priority in poultry – you’ll get your birds first. I’m hoping to bring in 200 birds sometime the first half of July.