Tomatoes, they are a coming!
Surely you have noticed the red orbs adorning the tables of some of the others farmers at the farmers market when you come to pick up your share. Our tomatoes are not late – theirs are just early. Some of the tomatoes at the market are being grown in high tunnels or hoophouses, or were planted out early under plastic low tunnels. If there are any tomatoes at the market that are field grown without some season extension help then it sounds like the dark arts to me and perhaps you had better stay away from those tomatoes anyway.
Our tomatoes are on the way. We have been working hard to keep the fruit worms and early blight at bay so that when our 550 tomato plants do start bearing fruit it will be well worth the wait. More summer goodness is one the way. The Mystique sweet corn has started to tassle this week and there are Sugar Baby watermelons ranging from golf ball to soft ball sizes on the vine.
On Monday of this week we awoke early to thunder, lightening, and a good soaking rain. Our fields really needed a good watering, and they got it! Thankfully, it was without hail. Hail can be extremely damaging in the summertime because it can bruise and ruin fruits that take a long time to ripen in the field like tomatoes and melons.
With all the rain and the sunshine, the farm has been exploding with growth this week. We harvested all the garlic and got quite a nice crop. Fifty heads of garlic have been set aside for planting in the fall, and the rest is hanging in the wash/pack shed to cure. We also finished bringing in the onions and the potatoes this week, including some real whopper sweet onions! While we only ended up with about 1/3 of what we planted due to early spring cutworm feasting, it turned out to be a pretty good crop. The potatoes also did well. We grew about seven pounds of potatoes for every pound we planted, which I think is pretty good.
This week you will find Inchelium Red garlic in your CSA. This variety is part of the Slow Food Ark of Taste. It is one of over 200 foods including fruits and vegetables, heritage animal breads, prepared foods and beverages that have historical and culinary significance in the United States yet have become rare. We are doing our part to ensure that they continue to be produced and enjoyed. For more information, go to slowfoodusa.org.