Weekly Members + Every-other-week "Melon Group" Members
The Weekly Weeder
Thursday August 1, 2019
Garlic harvest was wrapped up last Friday - the barn is full. Wow!
News From the Farm
The test results came back....it confirmed Black Rot on one of our broccoli plantings. Once we studied the photographs of the disease markings, we suddenly saw evidence on our brussels sprouts, fall cabbage, fall napa, kales, Romanesco and cauliflower. Our hearts sank, knowing we had a lot of work a head of us and some tough decisions.
The University of Wisconsin Madison/Extension has loads of useful information, but we utilize the Plant Disease Diagnostics Clinicmany times each season to verify diseases in question. They do great work and have a lot of useful information on their website - check it out!
According to PDDC, "Black rot is a potentially lethal bacterial disease that affects cruciferous vegetables." The warm temperatures and high humidity helped the disease to flourish.
The physical work began immediately Monday by removing diseased leaves on our small plants. This is no small task, as each leave has to be collected so we can properly dispose of them. If diseased residue is left in the field, it will help spread the spores. So we marched down the rows, slowly picking off the leaves from the juvenile plants, and placing them into garbage sacks. The upside, is these plants are very young so we're able to manage it.
The tough decision was tilling under the broccoli planting which housed the largest number of infected plants. Ideally, we would remove and bury or burn the plants but we have a small crew with a limited budget and a long long list of other things that must be done. But it was also close to harvest. It was the broccoli that would have been in your boxes starting next week. However, we also feel it was the right decision to till it in and prevent any other spores to spread.
The rest of the week we'll be working on removing leaves and plants from the brussels sprouts field, fall cabbages, Romanesco and cauliflower. The upside is, we have time to manage it because the garlic is harvested, onions aren't all ready yet, and we're waiting for the tomatoes to come pouring in from the fields.
While disease is never good, we feel relieved that it wasn't worse. We feel hopeful that our leaf picking, fertilization, and come organically approved copper fungicide, will save most of our plants.
In appreciation - Your farmers, Cate & Mat
A new variety of eggplant for us this season - a nice mini globe averaging 6-8" long.
* August 1 payments will be deposited on August 1!
I didn't capture any of the full wagon loads (it's hard to step away for photos!) - just the last of the bundles being unloaded. Six bundles per 2 lath, then carried up the stairway to the hay mow where it hangs to dry (called curing).
With only 4 helpers last Friday, we were very happy our boys could help out too. Now they are both strong enough to carry a lath all by themselves!
Week#8 CSA Box Contents:
Weekly Shares + Every-other-Week "Melon Group"
Beans, Purple or Green -
Sadly, the last of the beans. Watch to be sure the plastic bag isn't holding too much moisture as beans can mold if too wet. Simply snap off the stem/string and cook! The purple beans will turn green during the cooking process.
Cabbage is perfect to use at any size. Peel the first few layers away, then chop or shred for the perfect slaw! Try it by cooking lightly in butter, just until tender, topped with salt and pepper.
The first big loads of cucumbers were hauled in this week.
Eggplant, Oriental and Globe -
Store inside a bag to prevent rubbery eggplants.
Summer Savory -
Savory is similar to thyme, but a little more peppery in flavor. Excellent with fresh beans (purple or green!), fish, and certainly dried for assorted uses. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use or spread out the bunch for drying. It also makes a pretty bouquet on the table.
Basil - re-cut the stems and store in a vase as you would flowers.
Peppers - Sweet Red Bell and/or Sweet Yellow Italia (the horn shaped pepper)
They're sweet and easy to use in cooked dishes, cold salads, or sliced for topping pizza, sandwiches or tacos. We also love to dip them in hummus, sour cream/hot sauce mix, or refried beans. And when they start to get soft, simply cut them in half and toss into a freezer bag.
Sweet Onions -Walla Walla
These mild onions are perfect for eating raw or cooked too. We love them in our zucchini pancakes! You can leave them out on your counter as they're just beginning to dry down. The outside part will develop the papery skin.
Zucchini - Green and Gold
It's a great week for chunky marinara sauce with zucchini, onions, eggplant and any lingering fennel bulbs or garlic scapes in your refrigerator (we know you have one!).
COMING SOON...Cherry Tomatoes, Italian Parsley, Kale!
Bulk Purchase Opportunities - a great time to freeze and stock up:
Basil, 12 bunches $18 (last week or two now...)
Eggplant, Oriental OR Globe,10 pounds $22
(please specify type when ordering)
Jalapeno Peppers, 5 pounds $18
10 pounds $35
Send us an email by Monday 8 am if you'd like to order anything: email@example.com. Then send your check to "Ridgeland Harvest" E5538 Nelson Road, Viroqua WI 54665.
The plants are filled with fruit! To keep our plants healthy and vigorous, for a long season of tomato picking, we use an organically approved copper fungal spray to prevent blights, septoria, and a host of other tomato molds and bacterial diseases.