I remember looking at the calendar on my grandma’s wall when I was growing up. It was a cloth one she had printed up every year, with some standard picture above the dates – a blue jay, a plant, or some other pleasant scene. I remember marking July 15 as the middle of summer. Summer, at least, to a kid, whose life ebbed and flowed with the school clock. Now, it’s nearly July 15 and it feels like summer has barely begun.
Tomato plants have that smell to them. I’ve been sensing it all year, but it especially hit me tonight – I could smell them from a few rows away. They’re getting huge, and we’ve fallen behind in trellising them. Instead of using cages this year, we are trellising most of our tomatoes using rebar posts and twine, supporting them as they grow up. It’s cheaper than buying or making tomato cages, and it’s easier to store in the winter. But it takes a lot of time keeping up with the plant growth. We put about 300 tomato plants in the fields this year. Even by our standards, that’s a lotta tomaters.
Tonight, we planted some black radishes (“Great with beer and dip!” according to the seed packet) I found them on a trip to the nursery with my in-laws up in Pequot Lakes, MN, and thought they looked fun. We’ll see. They’re a “winter” radish, which, along with daikons, do best after a mild frost. Plus – they’re black radishes! Also planted another round of cilantro, mustard greens, Swiss chard, and purple top white globe turnips. Part of growing for a CSA is that we have to keep planting new rounds of veggies to keep the boxes fresh. Someone last weekend said that growing for a CSA is one of the most challenging methods of market-growing. I don’t know what I think about that. I guess if we’re starting out this way, it’s probably easier than transitioning to this system.
A few items of note:
WEEK FIVE NEWSLETTER Smokin’ hot off the press!
Also, I wanted to plug Minnesota Garlic Festival , happening Saturday, August 14, at the Mcleod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson. It’s a celebration of all local food and farmers, and GARLIC of course! Nick and Amelia are part of the Crow River Sustainable Farming Association, which hosts the event. It’s a family-friendly event, and it’s a great place to learn all about the people growing your food around here. We will have 2-for-1 tickets available at the farm on your pickup days.
Hope you’re eating well!
Nick & Amelia