Our recent hot weather has been hard on us but good for most crops, as long as we keep up with irrigation. Highs in the mid-upper 90s and heat indices well over 100 make it hard to get as much done as we’d like, but are completely seasonable and unsuprising. For context, the record highs in Columbia for the past week range from 105-113. These conditions have us worn out, though, and we’re thankful for air conditioning at night. I can’t really comprehend the conditions farmers of a few generations dealt with. Next week looks even harsher.
We’re still on the cusp of most summer produce, and will have another week or two of smaller stands as everything hits its stride. We’ve been harvesting and eating the first tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatillos, and more. Tomatoes especially are loaded with green fruit and look fantastic.
NEW THIS WEEK
Diverse culinary cured garlic is back. We’ll have six varieties this week, with the others following by the end of July. Available now:
– Georgian Crystal: all-purpose hardneck; one of Joanna’s favorites. We didn’t have enough to sell last year.
– German Extra Hardy: hardneck good for roasting (if you have AC…).
– Tochliavri & Chet’s Italian Red: softnecks great for raw use like pesto, garlic butter, etc.
– Lorz Italian & Inchelium Red: interchangeable softnecks with numerous cloves and good flavor; both are recognized as Slow Food Ark of Taste varieties.
Cherry tomatoes: Just a few pints as the fruits start to mature; our signature diverse mix with lots of colors, shapes, and flavors.
Basil: We’ll have some Genovese basil. The insects strongly approve of its flavor this year and have been putting numerous holes in the leaves, so the quantity will be limited this week to whatever we can scrounge up that will pass the market appearance test. (We have some lime basil planted, but it’s not quite ready for harvest.)
Summer squash: Mix of varieties, picked small for best texture & flavor. Great for grilling, sauteing, topping pizzas, etc.
Fin de Bagnol filet beans: Young, tender green beans for light cooking. These sell out fast each week, but are such a pain to pick that we can’t bring ourselves to grow more than we do.
Herbs: Parsley, sage, thyme, garlic chives, mint, and possibly more depending on what looks good at harvest time.
COMING SOON (or not coming)
Edamame should be ready next week; they’re taking a bit longer than anticipated. Some of the first okra pods are forming, and this is okra weather, so we anticipate having at least a small offering of okra by next weekend. Tomatillos and slicing tomatoes are both just beginning to mature, so we may have a few next week with larger quantities to come.
Don’t expect to see much in the way of cucumbers from us for now. Our first planting has largely failed due to some form of wilt, most likely a disease transmitted by cucumber beetles. We’ve just noticed that some of the surviving plants of heirloom varieties that usually have wonderful flavor are producing bitter cucumbers (probably a defense mechanism by the plants against cucumber beetles). We have a late planting going in a different location and are hoping for better succes with those.
Last year cukes succeeded; this year they’re failing. Last year onions failed; this year they look great (though we only put in a smallish planting). We’ll be harvesting the first of our storage onions tomorrow & curing them for sale later in the year.