Week 11

Week 11

Last night I was going to do some more things outside after the crew left at 5. I thought I’d feel more up to it if I showered first. Then Janna had supper ready, so I thought I’ll eat and then tackle those those weedy patches.

It was all good intentions. We sat on the deck instead. The air conditioning inside felt too cold. It was that warm, humid and close outside. It stormed somewhere. This morning it was cool, warm enough for a shirt but almost cool enough for a sweater.

We seeded some beds of carrots for fall a couple of weeks ago and didn’t time the flaming of the bed quite right. Didn’t get there on time and needed to skip flaming because the carrots were up; now the weeds are so thick, we are going to till them under and start over. It’s one of those tricky situations.

There are carrots in the share this week. There won’t be any for market for Wednesday but we hope to dig more for Saturday. The eggplant is coming; the first 36 were ready yesterday. Someone just asked about them this past weekend, and I knew they were close. I always enjoy picking eggplant until I stick my hand into a sharp prong near the stem! They should be available regularly in a week.

On Monday morning, we felt we found green gold. Finally, broccoli!! There is broccoli for everyone and some more for market. Zucchini, yellow summer squash, big sweet onions, garlic, cabbage, potatoes…..can you tell it’s summer time!

If anyone has one or more of our vegetable boxes at home, could you please bring them tomorrow!

Interesting Weather

Interesting Weather

I just stopped mowing and thought I would put the newsletter together Monday evening because I have a busy morning Tuesday. We harvested kohlrabi, garlic scapes, green onions, salad mix, red kale, green kale, head lettuce, a few cabbages, and we will begin Tuesday looking for cauliflower. The earliest planting of broccoli didn’t like the weather last week.

This week is beginning cooler at a high of 80 degrees today, but it was warm enough, and it appears to be the coolest day of the next 15 if the forecast is accurate. I know this: At the end of the day, which for the crew is generally about 4 pm, they are exhausted. We begin at 6 when it’s warm and light enough and take an hour for lunch. Several of the students read, or pretend to for a while. I know several get a 45-minute nap.

Many asked Saturday and Sunday about Friday night’s storm. It was an interesting one to watch. I posted elsewhere that I wished weather wasn’t so interesting in NW Iowa. A more boring, calm end to the day would make sleeping easier, especially for those that get up before 4. The night is short the way it is before all the shades of black and grey and lightening. Some of the plants look a little weather weary, but they will come out of it. There was no building or tree damage here.

We have sold almost all the chickens from our first group. The second group will be ready in several weeks. Please place an order by email or text message if you would like some chickens, raised outdoors in portable pens moved to fresh grass twice a day, fed organic feed. They are great tasting chickens.

Hot!

Hot!

The question at this point in the summer is now “how hot is it going to be?” and “how much is it going to rain?” We are definitely into summer now, and the pigs are trying to stay cool, along with the rest of us.

The broccoli went from not there to being too ripe, too loose, too bumpy-looking too fast. We are through all the lettuces, kales, and greens in the main high tunnel. We have a few beets left in what we call Tunnel 3. We took all the carrots out of the tunnel in one digging. The outside carrots are probably three weeks away from being ready to include in your shares.

I am glad we got some weeding, cultivating, flaming and hilling done last week. After last nights rain and the forecast rain for today we could use another 5 day window of sunshine and MODERATE heat to go through the remaining weeds.

Janna returned yesterday from spending time with Jessica and our new grandson. She should be in Sioux City Wednesday.

See you at the markets!

Catching up with some sun

Catching up with some sun

It is a beautiful morning again. We look forward to some warm weather and some catching up.

The big news I couldn’t really share with you last week, because it wasn’t mine to share at the time I composed my weekly email, is that Janna and I are grandparents. I’m sure many remember our daughter Jessica who got married last year. Andrew and Jessica had a boy last Monday; Joshua. So now you know why Janna has disappeared for a couple of weeks. She is in Lethbridge with Jessica.

We planted lettuce outside this week. We did a lot of weeding. We harvested what we could for this week’s share. Our outside crops are struggling a little. We will catch up. It’s a matter of sunshine and timing. There are flowers on the peas. Some beans are up and looking better. Cucumbers are established. Beets didn’t germinate well so we will do them over this week. Our early carrots in the tunnel should be in next week’s share; there could be some broccoli. The first outside carrots look nice after the weeding.

I did notice that the broccoli and cauliflower are about 3 weeks behind last year. This morning’s sunshine says we are going to catch up. One of our summer workers said yesterday this was as tanned as she has ever been. I told her we are just getting started. It’s going to be a tanning summer!

And yes Janna, I wore my hat yesterday all day. 🙂

See you at the markets!
–John Wesselius

Rain, rain, rain

Rain, rain, rain

Another 1/2 inch in the rain gauge at 5:30 this morning, and it’s still coming down at 8, so I told the crew, or most of the crew, no work this morning because it is too wet. The weeds are having a head start on most crops because we cannot get to them. It seems each time we get a start on one of the places with weeding it rains. We are saturated. We still have an acre and a half unplanted. That is the latest we have had so much open ground unplanted. This may be a problem in the mid season.

Our daughter Adrienne is home for a week between the end of the spring semester, the beginning of the summer semester, and her swimming lessons / coaching job in Grand Rapids, so she is filling in for Janna this week in Sioux City.

We continue to look forward to a stretch of warm sunny weather. The cucumbers are planted, the tomatoes are on up the strings in the high tunnels, the potatoes have been weeded twice (but they need hilling), and we continue to start new plants in the greenhouse, usually each Wednesday afternoon. We call that our Wednesday seeding.

The garlic is yellow, well, green turning yellow prematurely. I need to check if it’s yellow asters. That was a problem several years ago in Minnesota, and then we didn’t grow garlic for 2 years. I hope it’s just too much moisture and it clears up.

See you at the markets!

–John Wesselius

Greens!

Greens!

In this week’s shares we have: Spinach, Leaf Lettuce, Chives, Arugula, Salad Mix, Sweet Potatoes, and Basil.

We are thrilled to offer spinach with the weird weather we’ve been having.  We had two really nice beds of spinach that overwintered and is “frost sweetened.”  the leaves are rather large, but it tastes great! We had some for supper tonight. We also have newly seeded spinach coming, but with lots of rain, lack of sunshine and cooler temperatures, it hasn’t progressed very much.

Leaf lettuce is a thinner leafed lettuce in a variety of red and green types.  You may spice it up a bit by mixing in some arugula, which is the package of all light green leaves. It is also great wilted.

Salad mix is a variety of textures and flavors – great with a vinaigrette.

Many of you know that we included root crop storage in the construction of our home last summer, and as a result we are still able to offer you sweet potatoes that stored extremely well. Our favorite way to eat them right now is peeled, sliced or cut in wedges, tossed in your favorite oil/fat and oven roasted with some light seasoning of salt and maybe your favorite herb. Topped with sour cream and chives.

Basil – always a favorite herb in our house, but since it doesn’t like cool temperatures, we thought we’d get you started with a potted basil plant from our greenhouse.  You can begin using leaves right away and either pot it up into a larger pot later or plant it outside once the temperatures/weather stabilizes.

Have a great week!

Looking forward to next week which may include some of the following: pak choy, salad turnips, radishes, more great spring greens.

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