Notes from the Farm – 7/9/18:
This week we have our first carrots of the season. Carrots are my favorite vegetable. They are my favorite because in addition to the satisfying feeling you get when you pull them out of the soil, there are countless ways to enjoy carrots. You can eat them as is right out of the ground, chop them lengthwise or in coins, include them in all kinds of salads, pickle them a number of ways, use them in pasta sauces, soups, stews, curries, stir fries, roasts, or make carrot cake, bread, tart, juice and more, plus they can store for months with the greens removed. Carrots have a long journey to you before they find their way in to any one of these culinary delights. We start them as seeds sown directly in the soil, but the seeds are slow to germinate, which allows weeds the opportunity to easily outcompete them. We fend off the weeds using two techniques: stale-bed cultivation and flame weeding. Stale-bed cultivation is the practice of preparing your bed for planting, irrigating to encourage weeds to germinate prior to planting or sowing your crop, so that you can then cultivate and the soil and uproot the newly germinated weeds. Having taken care of this first wave of weeds to germinate, your crop has a better chance of success. We seed the carrots directly in to the soil after stale-bedding. A few days after the carrots have been sown we do our first of two or three passes with the flame weeder. Our flame weeder is a set of five torches connected to a propane tank, on a cart with two wheels that straddle our bed of carrots. We light the torches and push the cart along with the torches just above the soil, so that the flames will wither away the weeds without disturbing the soil or bothering our carrots which have not yet emerged from the ground. Depending on the variety and time of year, carrots can take 50-90 days from the day of sowing before they are ready to harvest. The carrots we bring you this week were sown in early April in one of our high tunnels, which protected them from the heavy rains this spring and allowed them to size up nicely for us. There are so many ways to use carrots, please let us know what you like to do with them so we can include it in our recipe section.
The fruit option from High Hill Orchard begins this week with blueberries! Didn’t sign up yet? No problem, you can still get in on the 15 weeks of fruit from High Hill Orchard in Meriden when you pick up your vegetables. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up, or sign up when you come to the farm.
Farmer Steve and our Farmers: Alyssa, Dan, Kayla, Chloe, Jenn, Becca, Michaela
In This Week’s Distribution
Our Harvest: Carrots, Baby Beets, Zucchini and Summer Squash, Cucumber, Lettuce, Kale, Dandelion Greens
U-Pick: Green Beans, Dill, Cilantro
Fruit Option: Blueberries