If one discounts the 19 inches of rain we got in the last two weeks of May and the nearly four inches we got last weekend, the harvest season has been great! In other words, 2018 has been a difficult year for WNC Farmers. Then again, farmers are always complaining about the weather. It goes with the territory when one works 100% in Mother Nature!
The last week in August I moved around the CSA Box deliveries so that I was able to make a trip with our grandson, son, and daughter-in-law to visit my parents at my “family farm of origin.” Robert stayed behind to harvest, weed, and monitor the gardens. He preferred this to a 1200 mile road trip with a five-year old! It was an EPIC TRIP with most all of the family able to be present. Still, there is nothing like Home Sweet Home.
It takes a couple of weeks to see what an excessive rain will do to the plants. Some are starting to die off due to downy mildew, but we trust enough will survive to keep us in business! The cantaloupe and honey dew melons are getting larger, but really need some sunshine if they are to ripen to the desired sweetness. When you find them in your CSA Box, use your own judgement as to when they are ready to eat–thump them, sniff them, press your thumb into the rind–whatever is your method of choice to determine ripeness. Here on the farm we have another tried and true test. We call it the VARMINT TASTE TEST–when the varmints start tasting, it is close to harvest time!
CSA Boxes will continue to have potatoes (red this week), a few garden beets, small cabbages (the size “stressed plants” produce), some zucchini, patty pan squash, and whatever cucumbers are available (these plants were hard hit with the latest rains so I am using the ugly cukes, too). We are taking a few green peppers and see an eggplant ready to harvest here and there, so there will be changes in the August Menu. And then surprises along the way are also a possibility!
I just had to snap a photo of the ONE gladiola flower which the rabbits DID NOT eat.
I shall put this gladiola photo in the album with the ONE strawberry the chipmunks DID NOT eat.
Wildlife critters. . . gotta love ’em!