Mendocino Organics Vegetable CSA – Tuesday, August 27
In Your Share This Week
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Mixed Summer Squash
- Eggplant (depends on your pick-up site)
- Swiss Chard (depends on your pick-up site)
The summer squash and cucumbers are still pumping out lots of fruits. We should have green beans starting next week, and unfortunately, the sweet corn never germinated well. We’re not sure why; it may be the particular spot in the field.
So, while we don’t have much sweet corn, we have a lot of heirloom Indian corn which we are growing at a different property in Potter Valley. We’ll start harvesting some for this Saturday’s Tamale Making Party. We hope everyone got the Eventbrite invitation last week. It’s this Saturday, August 31 from 1-4pm at the home ranch, Heart Arrow Ranch, near Redwood Valley. For tamales de elote, we harvest the corn at just the right stage of maturity, where it isn’t drying out and getting hard yet. Here’s a fun instructional video to inspire you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so0K7KB5SVI We made plain tamales over the weekend, without sugar, and they were quite delicious.
We found this yummy-sounding recipe on FOOD52 (link below), which was inspired by the author’s CSA share. Of course, we need to share it and try it ourselves this week. It uses beets, summer squash, and cucumber, as well as figs. In the next couple weeks, we may have enough figs from the home ranch to harvest for the CSA. We have one very large and generous Black Mission fig tree here.
Notes from the Field
This past Sunday, the Trials Manager from High Mowing Organic Seeds in Vermont came by for a field visit. In the spring, she sent us various melon seeds, mostly from Vitalis Organic Seeds (owned by Enza Zaden) to try. The seeds were free, so, of course we were happy to try them! For their trials, we are growing 1 canary, 2 cantaloupe, 2 Charantais, and 3 Galia melon varieties. We are also growing a couple melon varieties we have grown before, as well as watermelons. The melons will start ripen and be ready for eating in a couple weeks, and we look forward to feedback on the different varieties! The seed industry is interesting being so global and happening at various scales.
We are still following and participating in stakeholder meetings as the county develops its Approved Source Program. If you don’t remember, this is the program to institute food safety regulations for produce farmers who sell to processors (restaurants, institutions, etc.) and retail stores. Water testing and standards are one of the issues being sorted out. This is also addressed in the Food Safety Modernization Act at the federal level. While everyone wants food to be safe, things like water tests and filtration or treatment systems for irrigation and/or washing can be expensive, potentially driving the cost of farming and food up. In case you are wondering, we do use a UV filter on the wash water for our vegetables, so all potential coliform bacteria and E. coli in the spring or well water are killed. A UV filter system is not locally available, but you can purchase one online for about $500.
We are still feeling the stress from lack of staff/workers on harvest days, but we are doing our best, aiming to get the freshest produce to you on time for distribution. The fall seedlings sprouted very well on the coast, and we have them back at the farm, ready to go into the ground once we have the vegetable beds prepared. Now that we are able to make meat deliveries to San Francisco again, our drives to Eureka or Petaluma or Occidental for beef/pork/lamb processing are very regular again. To continue supplying Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op, caterers and other local customers with cut-and-wrapped meat, we usually have to go to Redwood Meat Co. in Eureka as the processor in Santa Rosa is booked. As you can imagine, all this driving is taking away time or labor on the farm each week. So, we continue to try to find the right balance.
We are designing a couple small insectaries in the vineyard for Golden Vineyards at Heart Arrow Ranch, and the new livestock barn is really taking shape now. If you make it to the Tamale Making Party this Saturday, we’ll give you a quick tour. If we don’t see you this weekend, have a great Labor Day Weekend!
Adam & Paula