Week 14 CSA from Valley Flora

  • Bunch Carrots - hooray, they're back!
  • Cucumbers
  • Curly Parsley
  • Head Lettuce
  • Red Onion
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes (yes, plural - it appears our request effigies are working!)
  • Sweet Corn 

On Rotation:

  • Eggplant

Field Notes, Food Notes

The sweet corn is starting to come in heavy as we shift into our main plantings of "Allure," a big-eared bicolor that reliably sets two fat ears per plant. We use a special vinyl harvest backpack for picking corn: imagine a giant, semi-rigid, square bag with backpack straps, me snapping ripe ears of corn from the rows right and left, then tossing them over my shoulder into the open maw of the backpack. I can fit about 60 ears of Allure into the bag before gravity threatens to pin me and my 80 pound cargo to the ground, at which point I trek the load out of the field to the flatbed, count twenty ears into each bin, and dive back into the cornfield for the next load. Ladybugs are omnipresent during this process, feasting happily on the aphids that like to congregate on the outer husks of the corn. I try to shake the mariquitas off and leave them in the field where they can continue their good work as beneficial predators, but some always find their way into the totes. If that's the case with your corn this week, release your ladybugs into some outdoor greenery so they can find their next meal.

The return of our orange Nantes carrots brightened up the CSA share this week, and it also made the day for Juno, Millie, Peach and Gracie. This is testament to the power of a dog's nose: all of them were up at the house, a couple hundred yards away and out of sight from the barn. Roberto started washing carrots - the first big batch of sweet orange Nantes he's washed since June - and within five minutes all of the farm dogs were lurking about the wash table, begging. They spent the rest of their afternoon at the barn eating culls. Turns out the canines missed them as much as we have.

Enjoy your orange candy carrots this week and the rainbow eating of late summer! Happy Labor Day!