CSA Week 12-2012
Spent all morning harvesting in the rain. Didn't mind it one bit. Felt good getting soaked by what has become a rare occurrence this summer. We try to harvest as much as we can on Friday so that everything is as fresh as possible. This means that we have to work no matter what the weather. We do suspend operations if we have lightning. Of course there are some vegetables that have to be harvested daily or at least two or three times a week. We wouldn't be able to do this without refrigeration as we have two walk-in coolers that run 24/7. They are set to different temperatures since vegetables have different cooling requirements.
One of the things we have to harvest a couple times per week are tomatoes. It is very easy for them to get over-ripe so we often pick them when they still have green shoulders. Within a few days they have ripened up perfectly. When you pick out the three large heirlooms you will get this week, if you see any green on the shoulders, don't be afraid. Just let them sit on your kitchen counter for a few days and they will ripen up for you just like they do for us. By the way, don't put tomatoes in the refrigerator. They should not be stored below 55 degrees and we keep ours at 60 degrees just to be on the safe side.
The large heirlooms and the small cherry tomatoes are doing really well so far. The medium sized ones are coming on much slower and we don't yet have enough to share with the CSA. The few we do have (Garden Peach, Green Zebra and Illini Gold) will be available for sale at the market. If you ever want to buy anything that's on the market table remember that we will give you a 20% discount. This also includes Beth's flower arrangements.
It won't be long before the Okra will be ready. Beth was able to get enough today for one pint! Once it starts though, look out because it is very prolific. People usually love or hate Okra. So, I am giving you a heads up. Just a warning 'cause it will be here in a couple of weeks and we need turn that hate to love.
For the third week in a row I read something in the Courier-Jounal (this was in the business section) that was relevant to what we are doing. It was a short article on how the drought is effecting vegetable producers. Most of the press has been about the commodity crops corn and soybeans. This article was about a CSA farmer in Wisconsin. So far this year he has only been able to give about 20% of what he had promised. He hopes he can make it up later in the season but is worried about his CSA partners becoming discouraged. I can guarantee you that their discouragement is nothing like the stress and discouragement that this farmer is feeling. I hope that his CSA will step up and realize that the commitment they made includes risks.
Beth and I are very thankful for the good year we are having so far. We also thankful for our CSA partners and your commitment to us. Many of you have been with us for several years. You have experienced the ups and downs. Many are new this year and are benefitting from a first year of bountiful harvest. It is important to our local food economy to continue to support our small local farms. Without them your only choice will be industrial agriculture. It is also important to support local organic food. As you know, there are very few of us in this area. In fact, we are the only certified organic farm in our area that grows a variety of produce. Without your support, there would be no local organic produce available in Louisville or the surrounding counties. We need more organic farms. I am in my third year as president of the Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK) and we have grown from fifty members to over two hundred in those three years. However, we have a long way to go.
Thank you for keeping us going.