Week of August 30, 2010
It is hard to believe that we have reached the end of August. As we enter the downhill side of the summer produce, I am reminded of the challenge we have had all summer. I tried to balance out the positive with the negative and I think that has happened for the most part. Farming is an interesting occupation and one must remember that Mother Nature is always in control.
More sad news, Liza has left us. We knew that would happen at the end of the summer just as Gwen left a couple of weeks ago. It is hard to have our help leave as we become attached to them as our extended family. Good news – Anna Sander, originally from Carroll, recently from Omaha – will be helping us out until the end of the season. Please give her a warm welcome.
Vegetables like summer squash, cucumbers and green beans are starting to wind down. There are still a few left but they will soon be done. There will be more green beans in a couple of weeks as they begin to bloom and put on beans. Produce coming in the next few weeks will be winter squash – acorn, butternut and Kabocha, an orange wonderfully tasting squash. I will be getting some more grapes from the Armstrong Farm. The radishes and green onions and lettuce should be a welcome treat.
This week we have some melons for you but I must tell you that I am extremely disappointed in the crop. Last week as I was harvesting, I was throwing out as many as I was picking – the bottom side was rotten. Some of the melons are a little green yet. Please let them turn a tan color. It’s kind of a gamble whether or not you get a good tasting one or not. Some taste sweet and some are just blah. I apologize if you get one that is not great. Many of them had sun scald on them like the raspberries. That week or more of hot, humid, intense sun was hard on everything.
You will be getting more Yukon Gold potatoes this week. Some are big, some are small some have green on them. When you see patches of green in your potatoes as you peel them, cut out the green parts entirely and discard them. What is the green? Actually it’s chlorophyll. Not bad for you at all. But the chlorophyll indicates that the potato has been exposed to sunlight. And where the potato has been exposed to light is where a natural toxin in the potato (solanine) becomes concentrated at harmful levels. So, never store your potatoes on the counter. Always keep them in a cool, completely dark place. Solanine is a natural defense mechanism of the potato to ward off fungus and pests. It will also be triggered when a potato is bruised, so if your potato is at all damaged or bruised, discard it.
This week will see the last of the carrots. Even though they have been disappointing, many of our members have been putting them in pot roasts or in other cooked vegetables. I made a great tasting carrot cake last week for Larry’s birthday. These are not the kind of carrots that taste good raw.
This week’s produce:
Yukon Gold potatoes
Melons – Superstar or Ambrosia