Thursday, May 17, 2012

People and Planet CSA - May 17, 2012

What's in the box

Favas, Early Cippolini Onions, very very early Polish Garlic & Garlic from the former Soviet Republic,  Eggs, last of the D'ancy Tangerines & Blood Oranges, Lettuce,  Nutribud Broccoli,  Snow & Snap Peas,  White Radishes, Beets, Paris Carrots, Mara des Bois Strawberries, and flowers.

This is probably the last week for favas, so enjoy them.  I need to leave many of them for seed for next year.

Early Onions & Garlic
Of course the early onions are small, and not storage onions so use them up.  Same goes for the garlic.  I'm not sure that we will have a good year for storage garlic. 

The garlic seed sent to us by a well known commercial company was infected with rust, our fields are devastated.  Our trial for true seed garlic is just about ruined.  We have two likely looking candidates from Joseph Lofthouse of Paradise, Utah.  Joseph has been breeding his own landrace vegetables for years.  He generously provided us with garlic this year.  However, due to the rust,  there's a whole section of the farm that we will never be able to use for garlic again, as the rust lingers in the soil, waiting for conditions to be just right.  These 2 garlic that you see with flower spikes are just what we are hoping for.  With true garlic seed, we can escape the cycle of disease.  Leo and I have banned all garlic from Oregon from the farm.  Luckily we do have beds of bulbils in the front garden that are not infected, so we have a source of garlic for next year.

Coming Soon - Leeks, cabbage, and potatoes.  There may even be fried mini chicken if these guys don't stay in their pen.  Just kidding,  Leo captured the young adventurers last evening and put them in the "Penitentiary".  We'll return young Jefferson here when he's too big to squeeze through the bars.  Until then, he and his 4 best friends are in lockdown.

Nutribud Broccoli
Early maturing variety developed by Alan Kapuler.  High in free glutamine, a building block of protein and an important  healing nutrient.  Alan Kapuler is my hero and probably one of the best breeders of the 21st Century, especially as he is breeding OP vegetables with more nutrition.  There are also some Calabrese Broccoli mixed in.  We are so happy with the Nutribud, that we plan to put more in next year.  Of course we will continue to plant the heirloom Italian Broccoli, diversity is a good thing.  We never know what the weather will do, so it's good to have a lot of selection.  We wouldn't want to put all our broccoli in one bowl.
There are both snow and snap peas in your bags this week.  I planted Sugaree, Caroby, Arbogast Sugar, Schweizer Riesen, Cascadia, Southland Snow (courtesy of a fellow farmer in New Zealand, thanks Cesar!) and Taichung 11 & 13.  Everyone got some of each.  Leo and I are going to do a tasting and try to select the very best to add to our farm grex of amazing peas.  In a few years, no one will remember their names, but we will remember how we got to this amazing group of peas.   Try to eat these soon, as they start loosing their sugar.  We had them stir fried last night with Very Yaki Terriyaki. 

White Radishes 
Try them peeled.  Turns out all the heat is in the skin of this variety, underneath they are sweet and yummy.
Barley ready to pick
We are picking the barley we planted this fall.  Alas, none of you will get to try it.  This year we have to grow out enough seeds for next year.  We've purchased a small grain thresher, which Leo must assemble.  These grains are all older grains, pre-genetic manipulation by splicing.  I hope by this time next year to be sending out Foothill Farm breakfast cereal.   No, it won't be barley o's!  I'm purchasing and trading for as much Emmer as I can get my hands on.  I have a friend in Italy who has promised to send me some when it's ready.  We trialed Emmer in a Pasta and sent it out to one lucky CSA customer.  She said that all her family could say is "More!"  So over the next few years, I hope to add these grains to our CSA.  We have also put in a small amount of upland rice once again to see if it will go.  The corn is in and more waiting in the wings.

Lots more to do
As I'm feeling better every week, I'm spending more like my normal hours in the field.  Still there's lot's to do.  Veges to plant, beds to hoe, corn to fertilize, tomatoes to cage.  There's lots more beans to plant, peppers, eggplant and herbs are all waiting in the wings for me to quit fooling around on the computer and get to work.

So far, I think we will go to the every week schedule in June.  Have a great week. 

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