Down on the farm: This is coming to you early this
weekend, since I will be out of town. Yes, theoretically I can send it
from there, but, frankly, I would rather spend time with my family than
with technology. And many of you would rather receive this newsletter earlier,
Yes, lettuce is finally ready! (Donna looked it up and found that we are only a
week behind last season.) We don't have much of it so I'm sorry
that it won't be available for extras yet. This is one of the few weeks
that we have what I call the big 4 salad veggies: lettuce, tomatoes, peppers,
and cucumbers. For those of us of a "certain age", those were the
standard salad when we were growing up. While we are still glad to have
them, aren't we glad that salads have progressed way past just those
choices! I often have trouble producing cucumbers and lettuce at the same
time, but most of us have much more variation in our salads anyway.
The rain was not good for our crops. I'm especially
concerned about this pretty new crop of tomatoes-unless the weather quickly
dries up and cools off, there will be problems- more spots and crack on the
fruit and more diseases on the plants. Other crops may also have disease
Thank goodness for the new fungicides we have. There have been many fungicides
used in agriculture over at least the past two centuries: arsenic, lime and
copper, sulfur. While the first of those is not in use anymore (at least I
don't know of anyone using it!), the lime, copper, and sulfur are still used,
and some forms are allowed by some organic certifying agencies.
One class of the newer fungicides that has saved many of our crops is the
strobilurins. These were from a chemical discovered in nature, that is produced
by some fungi to keep other fungi away from them. Supposedly, a scientist was
walking in the woods and noticed wild mushrooms which had the areas around them
clear of other fungi. The chemical compound was identified and was synthesized
in the laboratory. (However, these chemicals are not allowed under organic rules,
since they are not in their natural forml.) They are so effective and safe to
use on so many diseases that they are probably overused on many different food
and ornamental crops. So, there is that very real possibility that some fungal
pathogens may develop resistance to them.
Just as many of our crops begin to produce well, we hit
these shortest days of the year and crops go into S-L-O-W motion-something that
doesn't happen to farmers who farm during the summer. We who farm here know
that we can plant something in the middle of December and plant another
planting of the same crop 3 weeks later, and, by late February, when they are
actively growing again, it can be difficult to tell the difference. So, why
plant anything now? Basically, I don't plant as much as we do during the rest
of the season. It does give us a chance to catch up on some plantings where we
are behind (onions, for instance, and some of the other root crops and greens).
Sorry, we ran short of broccoli last week so Friday boxes
got turnips. Don't turnip your nose at them. (I couldn't resist that one!)
These 'Hakurei' turnips are not your grandmother's turnip. They are crispy like
a water chestnut and usually sweet (although growing conditions can affect
that). They can be sliced raw in a salad, eaten with a dip, or sautéed
with anything else that you sauté. I have not had as much luck roasting them,
compared with an old fashioned purple top turnip, though. These sort of shrivel
up. I think that's because the moisture content is higher than the older
storage types-and there are also probably different amounts and forms of sugars
As I write this, these haven't arrived yet, but we are
supposed to be getting the late harvest of avocados from Erickson Farms. So, as
soon as they ripen, you'll have another good addition to your salads!
What's in your box:
'Salanova' lettuce mix!!
'Napa' cabbage (large boxes only)
may be broccoli or turnips
Enjoying your veggies: In my everlasting quest to find greens crops that
will grow in the heat (and that most people will actually eat), one that we
have tried is Napa cabbage. Of course, it prefers cooler weather, but will take
more heat than lettuce-and gives us a milder flavored change from kale and
arugula. However, I think this will be the last time we'll plant it. Because of
its shape and the fact that it takes a long time to mature (compared to most
greens), it is very subject to fungal and bacterial diseases in warm humid
weather. Sometimes I have thought we had a good crop but, when we cut the
heads, some had browning-or even rotted areas-inside. Or, we have sometimes
found aphids hiding inside those large wrapper leaves.
A little housekeeping: If you have lost the schedule you received at the
beginning of the season, here is what happens this month. Unlike past years, we
are NOT taking off the whole week of Christmas. If your box is on Monday or
Tuesday, you can ignore this, because you will have no changes this holiday
season (unless you let Donna know that you need to skip or change a box.)
Both the Christmas and New Year's weeks' Thursday boxes will
be moved to Wednesday , and the Friday boxes to Thursday, as we will be taking
off those 2 Fridays. Got that? If not, call or email Donna.
Weekly extras: For most extras, please order by
2 PM the day before your box. If you are ordering later than that, please
call 561-638-2755 and leave the message on the machine, since we don't always
have time to check email in the mornings. (Those ordering for Monday boxes need
to call and leave a message, since you don't receive this list in time to order
by email.) Flowers and sprouts require earlier orders since we have to
order them from other farms. For more information, please check the
"Weekly Extras" section on the subscriber pages of our website. The
best way to order extras is to email Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Locally grown Flowers (for Tuesday boxes, order by noon on
the Friday before your box; for Thursday and Friday, order by noon on
Wednesday). For information about these flower growers and some pictures of
their flowers, check the Subscriber Business Links on our Subscriber section
Seed to Bloom, Loxahatchee: colorful mixed bouquets-whatever is in
season $10.00 each (Sorry-not available for Monday boxes.)
TEMPORARILY OUT: Namwah bananas
(short and plump) from Yagnapurush Farm in Loxahatchee.
1 lb. $1.50
3 lbs. $4
McCoy's Honey-raw, unfiltered, locally
produced Good supply now!http://www.mccoysfloridahoney.com/ 1 lb. glass jar $5.00
palmetto, or orange blossom)
3 lb. plastic jug $14.00 each (wildflower,
palmetto, or orange blossom)
1 lb. glass jar Orange blossom honey with comb included $6.50
Honeybee pollen 8 oz. $12
LeDuc "Flavor Pict" Honey This honey is coming from the hives he keeps in Loxahatchee. 3 lb.
plastic jugs $16
Herbs (some are from our farm, some from Pontano Farms)
basil-may have problems from the rain
mint (This generic mint is actually spearmint.)
specialty mints (apple, pineapple, peppermint) not yet available: oregano
Baby Greens Microgreens $2.50 sandwich bag (mix may contain radishes,
arugula, kale, and/or purple kohlrabi leaves)
Baby arugula $2.50/8 oz.
Baby kale $2.50/8 oz. Baby mustard greens. $2.50/8 oz.
Larger greens $3/bag (large bunch)
Young beet greens
Swiss chard (white stemmed only)
Tuscan (lacinato) kale -small, but bigger than baby
Other Veggies and fruit from our farm NEW! baby white Hakurei
turnips $3/bunch tomatoes (round red) $1.50/lb.
green tomatoes $1.50/lb.
Bell peppers, green or 'suntan' $2.00/lb. (3-4 per pound) Eggplants-several colors available $2/lb
Papayas $1.50/lb. (most weigh 2-3 lbs.) choose green or ripening
Hot peppers: mix or match; sandwich bag of 4-5 peppers $3
Jalapenos-green or red, hot
Cherry bomb peppers-round, red, hotter!
Red habaneros- hottest! (at least for this
Sprouts from Universal Living Sprouts in Royal Palm Beach (www.ulsprouts.com):
These delicious sprouts are too perishable and expensive for us to keep them in
stock, so please be sure to pre-order them if you would like to buy
some. You will need to order them a week before the day of your box-or
you may place a "standing order".
The first 4 are more like microgreens-they are growing in
flats and then cut off. The beans are more like sprouts-with the tiny roots. Sprouted greens 8 oz. $7.00
Buckwheat Sprouted beans 4 oz. $3.00 Adzuki
Pea beans-sprouted peas
Mixed (Adzuki, Lentil, Mung)