Hello Veggie Lovers!!
Coming in the Veggie Lovers Club farm share bags on August 9 (Brandon) and 10 (Rivers):
Holy hell it was hot digging potatoes on Monday! Luckily Aunty Jayne came to help for the day and made a huge impact on our day. We typically don’t finish preparing items for the shares until Tuesday morning*, but we managed to wrap up by just after 5 pm, even despite there being more items than average in the shares this week. A helping hand makes such a difference! The potatoes were the hardest part, they always are. Our soil is very heavy and we do all the digging by hand. We dig them Mondays and Wednesdays when they go in the shares, so I hope we can get at it earlier in the day on Wednesday. Definitely NOT complaining, we need as much heat as we can get if you ever want some tomatoes to go with that basil plant!
*That made it sound like we work through the night, we do not! Haha!
The basil plant was a suggestion on last year’s members survey. We’ve given them in the past in our Spring Shoots CSA program, and the member who remembered that said that she loved having basil for the entire summer, growing in her kitchen. I always laugh that we’re “sending basil plants home to die in your kitchen”: so if that becomes the fate of yours, know that it’s pretty normal! This was supposed to come with your first tomatoes, but those are a ways off yet, so we are sending it now because it’s ready for it’s first haircut.
It’s a mix of green and red (purple) basil that I seeded a few weeks back and Jon has been taking care of since then.
Here’s a photo of where to pinch off the stem so that new leaves can quickly regrow! Make sure it has regular water, but allow it to dry out a bit between waterings (that’s a good tip for most things, if it’s constantly soggy it won’t be happy and you’ll have rot problems). Basil loves warmth and sun: A nice sunny spot in your kitchen is great. If it’s going to live outside, it should be potted up into a larger pot, as the one it comes in will dry out quickly in direct sun and heat.
If you don’t want the plant and all the obligation of keeping it alive, I’m giving you permission right now to snip the works off and throw the rest away and move on with your life! (I will bring some bags with me in case you want to part ways with the pot & soil at the pickup spot!)
Kale!! Try Buffy’s No Measure Marinated Kale Summer Salad or try our household favourite (which I have yet to make this year, and now I can’t stop thinking about):
If your name is Jenny and you just hate Kale and you’re done trying to make friends, then please know that I am also bringing a tub of Chard with me and you can sub it out if you like! I’m not bringing enough for everyone to choose this, but probably everyone reading this part of the newsletter who wants to! (And next week you’re getting chard, and we may do the opposite, bring some Kale for those who want to sub out). This option brought to you by: things I always think about doing that I now have a little extra space for and can execute! Yaaass!!
Our Kale this year is a mix of Green Curly, Lacinato (black/dino/tuscan) and Red Russian. We did a variety of different combos in the bunches. We didn’t grow a red kale this year because it looks nice but tastes like eating tree bark. (Red Russian is tender flat-ish green leaves with red stems. If you get a bunch of that you’re lucky, as there’s only one plant of that variety, and it survived 2 cutworm massacres earlier this season!).
The onions are a disappointment this season! They are very small and I believe the window for them to size up has really passed already. Some of our storage onions will be a decent size, but folks, we’ve got a lot of small onions to eat our way through this season! Fortunately there are lots of them. Lots and lots. I really hoped they’d turn out really nice this year, but we just didn’t get warm enough most of the summer, and they were delayed going in because of the wet spring. Onions are my favourite crop to grow, and we did a great job weeding them this season. They still taste great, and that’s what matters most anyway!
Cucumbers!!! Finally, some of the summer crops are hitting your bags. We’re mostly growing mini English (Katrina) cucumbers this season because they’re our favourite, but we also have some slicers growing, and some cool breeze (pickling type) coming too. If you’re interested in cucumbers for pickling, get your name on Mom’s list here.
Our crops are looking good right now: Coming up soon you’ll see beans, eggplant, peppers, celery, and zucchini in your bags!
I hope you have a great week, see you at the pickup spot!