Thursday, July 16, 2009

CSA Night #4

Tonight was our 4th CSA night! Tonight's basket included:
a bag of peas (snow and sugarsnap--all edible podded)
a cabbage
2 green bell peppers
some baby pac choi
2 heads of broccoli
a bag of leaf lettuce
some jalapeno peppers
the first yellow cherry tomatoes (many more to come!)

I better jot down what was in the baskets from a week and 2 weeks ago, since I didn't do that yet!
July 9 basket contained:
bag of shell peas
odd cauliflower :-)
a green Carmen pepper
leaf lettuce
green onions
Easter Egg radishes

July 2 basket contained:
beet greens
green onions
Easter Egg radishes
sugarsnap peas
leaf lettuce

Each week the variety in the baskets is growing! You can see why in these pictures--the garden is growing beautifully! It's amazing to look back on pictures from just a few weeks ago and compare them with the plants now. In the first picture you can see the broccoli, with the cabbage and then leeks to the right. The tomatoes and peppers are behind. The second picture shows the pepper and tomato patches better. Be sure to click on the photos--they look much better in full size, plus they are much clearer.

Some things have not cooperated like they should--the cauliflower went a bit crazy and then immediately flowered (there will be a fall planting; hopefully that will work better), the chinese cabbage also flowered before reaching any usable size, and the okra is just not doing well. This week will be when many of the second crops and fall crops are planted--more green onions (some are already started), cauliflower, more beans (the first are flowering now--there should be green beans next week), cabbage, lettuce, rutabaga, kohlrabi... and the list goes on!

But for the few things that have not gone well, we have much more that is going GREAT! The cherry tomatoes are just starting, and with some warmer weather we can expect many many tomatoes of all sizes! The pepper plants are LOADED--I counted 9 bell peppers on one plant! The will start to turn red or yellow or orange with a little warmer weather. In the meantime we can start to enjoy the green ones! The eggplants are also proving to be abundant. Next week I believe we should have eggplant in the basket as well. The onions, leeks, celery, and melons are all well on their way to harvest! I've added a few pictures to make your tastebuds water--some nice bell peppers and a baby Ping Tung eggplant.

And finally, I need to share a couple photos of my fertilization program:

Meet Mr. T and Sir (as in T-Bone and Sirloin). These happy little fellows are currently residing in the first section of the garden, which is not planted. Each year 1/3 of the garden is seeded to a cover crop, which is then turned into the soil in the fall to build up the fertility. Section 1 was seeded to rye grass and clover, but as you can see, there is a lot of ragweed that has sprung up. (This may have something to do with the fact that my son didn't know I had seeded this area when he was disking up some space for me and used this area for turning the tractor around... not that I'm complaining or anything... I'm just saying.) The calves have clipped down all the grass and are now slowly working on the ragweed. As they clear (and fertilize) part of section 1, they will be moved into a fresh area of section 1 to continue their clearing and fertilizing. It is all very scientific. :-) Happy cows=better soil! They will be moved off section 1 later this summer, leaving us plenty of time for the manure to break down before tilling it into the soil.

In this last picture Elias is MOOOing. He seems rather at home in the pen with the calves, doesn't he?!


Judy said...

Loved the post! I was just reading it to my DH and explaining to him what a CSA is. I read off all of the veggies that you've been including in the weekly baskets. He was saying how cool the idea is!

Your garden is looking great. The calves are so cute~~~ we love ours too! They are great composters for us - eating grass and turning it into rich poo to add to our compost bins. Even the "pies" we don't get to scoop up help to enrich the soil in their field.

Thanks for sharing! I love reading your blog!

April said...

Thanks for the note, Judy! It's raining here today (MUCH needed). YAY!

We have a spot in section one that doesn't not grow very well--I'm hoping that having the calves in the area will help the situation. That and continual covercrops. Maybe in a year or two it will be a prosperous area. I think it is from when our house was built--there was a lot of dirt getting moved around and quite possibly the topsoil was completely removed from that area. In the meantime, the rest of the garden makes up for that area. This is the first year we have any veggies planted in section 3 (it was cover cropped in grass and hay mix the last two years, which was cut and baled off), and it is doing VERY well. That's where the tomatoes and peppers are. I'm fighting weeds there, but I like to think I'm winning. :-)