September 6 – From the Farmer……..
Wow! – as I sit down to write – the second round of salsa pints just went in the water bath canner. After harvesting melons and potatoes, peppers and tomatoes, and squash earlier today, Gigi and I decided that we really should put up some salsa. Last week I preserved 21 quarts of Orange Blossom tomatoes and 23 quarts of Pink Beauty tomatoes as well as half a dozen pints each of red pepper jelly, sweet onion and red pepper relish and green enchilada sauce. So today, with two of us working at it, we made what I think is the best Salsa we’ve ever made – 24 pints of hot red zesty salsa and 16 pints of luscious yellow medium hot salsa. Bring on the chips.
Last Friday and Saturday, I was delighted that several shareholders responded to the invitation and came up to the farm bearing buckets and boxes and bags to fill with ripe tomatoes and peppers. Due to the excessively hot weather, the tomatoes had been ripening faster than we can keep them harvested and it seemed a waste if there were folks who might be interested in putting some ‘summer in a jar’ up for winter. Thanks all of you who took me up on the offer. The tomatoes seem to have slowed down now that the weather is cooler.
Though I have been running the drip irrigation on the tomato, pepper, eggplant and melon field twice a week for 6 hours each time, it just is not enough. With the combination of our sandy soil (though much of it is covered by thick hay mulch) and the above normal temperatures the vegetable fields have had it. You will notice that some of your peppers and shriveled this week. They are simply dehydrating. All of the peppers I used in my canning looked like this. There is nothing wrong with them – just not the crisp and crunchy peppers you want to munch on. They are however extremely sweet and wonderful to cook with.
I picked all the meager squash crop today. We will lay the squash on racks in our hoop houses to cure and over the next couple of weeks, you will find squash in your boxes. More and more, the fields are drying down, emptying, and getting ready for fall. On Monday, I hooked the disk up to the Ford 3000 tractor and ran it over the sweet corn field, knocking it flat. As soon as we finish harvesting the fall broccoli, we will put of fence panels so that the pigs can move into that field. They will find the dried ears of sweet corn, the last of the diakon radishes and broccoli plants, and old bean plants - and think they are in pig heaven – as they also root up and cultivate the field for us.
In between harvesting and putting food by, I’ve been repainting all of our farm buildings. The new color scheme is Brick Fleck red for all the buildings that are for people (like the su casa and seed house and Quonsets) and Pine Forest Green for all the buildings that are for animals (like the chicken house, turkey hoop, dog house etc.) It is looking really nice with the fresh coat of paint. I do still need to replace some trim and fix some of the window trim on the su casa, and we need to change out the summer canvas Quonset coverings for the winter poly tarp coverings. Much to do before snow flies.
Until then, all is well at the farm…. until next week….. Robin
What’s In Your Share this week:
Watermelon Sunshine (yellow inside), Starlight (red), New
Orchid (orange), Mickey Lee (pink)
Cantaloupe or Honeydew Classic (heavy netting), Sarah’s Choice (smooth
netting), Diplomat (yellowish, smooth netting)
Carrots Forto and Dragon?
Sweet Pepper Gypsy, Whitney (yellow or orange or red), Carmen (long red or green Italian frying), Islander (purple), Sweet Chocolate (brown),
Hot Pepper El Jefe Jalapeno, Serrano Del Sol, Pizza (very mild look a little like Jalapeno but bigger)
Onions Sierra Blanca (white), Red Zeppelin (red)
Tomatoes Taxi (yellow), Orange Blossom (orange), Pink
Beauty (pink), Paragon (red),
Brocolli Bay Meadows, Blue Wind
Diakon Radish Summer Cross