Green Cay Produce from Farming Systems Research, Inc.
This is going to be a short and early newsletter-like many of you, we are spending some special time with family this week. If you're traveling and want to skip your box this week (or any week), please email Donna. (email@example.com)
And, mistakes at our pickup tent usually happen when subscribers are out of town and have asked someone else to pick up their box. So, if you have someone else picking up your box for you, please tell them: A. look for the correct name on the label B. read the instructions on the cooler so you get the greens you are supposed to take.
Down on the farm: The new tomato plants are loaded with enormous, but still green, tomato fruit. I'm just hoping we can start picking some good ones before we get a rain. Those tiny brown or rust colored spots/little cracks on the "shoulder" of the tomato fruits are called "rain check", since it happens after a rain! The cause is not really known, but some of these big varieties seem to be most susceptible. Also, if we were picking them early-as "green mature" fruit, rather than the vine ripe ones we do pick-we wouldn't have much of a problem. Some research indicates that additional boron and calcium may help to lessen the problem, so we are spraying with those nutrients as much as practical. While boron is an essential nutrient, the line between not enough and too much is very narrow, so I have to be more careful with it than the calcium. All the calcium does is sometimes leave dried white drops on the fruit, so some people think we are using some dangerous chemical.
Especially for you gardeners, a problem like that which is not caused by a pathogen or insects, is called a physiological problem. Though I've probably mentioned this before, The University of Florida has a very helpful publication about them-with pictures to help you identify the problem. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs200
So, not only are the tomatoes not ripening and the next broccoli isn't maturing, but the last of our "Big 3" subscriber favorites (corn) didn't even germinate well. These supersweet corns are notorious for being picky about the soil temperature for their germination. So, we'll try again when it warms up this week.
If people asked me about growing organically here, I used to say that we could usually grow most of the greens (lettuce and others) and crucifers (mustard/cabbage family) during the winter using only organically allowed pesticides. That's because we generally had only a few loopers (caterpillars) and armyworms and maybe some aphids once in a while. But I won't say that anymore. With the constant pressure from diamond back moth larvae and the black rot bacterial disease this season, it has been difficult to produce as much of those as we usually do. I'm not sure if we will make any cabbage: those DBM worms seem to like it, collards, and kales the best.
Lemongrass is a rather unique herb-not many of them are grasses. In most of the country, it is not winter-hardy (is killed back during the winter). But we in south Florida can grow it all year. It gets so big, though, that it doesn't fit into most landscapes and gardens. Although we have grown lemongrass for years, we have never included it in the boxes. Of course, I always thought there were many people who wouldn't use it. But, Donna convinced me that it would be a good idea-that many of you are rather adventurous. So, if you don't want to use it for other dishes, make some good tea.
What's in your box this week: Salanova lettuce mix, probably with nasturtium flowers green onions tomatoes?? cherry tomatoes carrots or beets green beans lemongrass eggplants or summer squashes beets (large boxes only) arugula (large boxes only)
EXTRAS: The best way to order extras is to email Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org 2 PM the day before you get 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 should call and leave a message, since you don't receive this list in time to order by email.)
Cut flowers require earlier orders since we don't keep a supply of them here. We order just the number of bouquets that we need from the other farms.
Locally grown Flowers (for Monday and 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. $9.50 plus tax
Caribbean Exotics, Delray Beach: long- stemmed Heliconia-large, impressive "ginger" flowers $20 plus tax (most stems are about 3' tall)
McCoy's Honey-raw, unfiltered, locally produced http://www.mccoysfloridahoney.com/ 1 lb. glass jar $5.00 each palmetto only (When these are gone, we will no longer be carrying 1 lb. jars.) 3 lb. plastic jug $14.00 each (orange blossom or wildflower only) 1 gal. $53 (orange blossom or palmetto) 8 oz. bee pollen $12
LeDuc "Flavor Pict" Honey (most from his Loxahatchee hives, although some are on our farm) Honey 1 qt. glass jars $17 (new crop) Honey with comb 1 pt. glass jars $17
Herbs (some are from our farm, some from Pontano Farms) $3/bunch basil?? chives cilantro??? dill lemon balm (It's like a lemon mint) mint (This generic mint is actually spearmint.) specialty mints: chocolate mint, apple mint, peppermint, orange mint oregano parsley rosemary sage tarragon (True French tarragon is almost impossible to grow here. This is Mexican mint marigold, which is used for tarragon in the south and west. All winter it also has small, yellow, edible flowers.) thyme
Lemongrass $3 for 1/2 lb. (about 5 stalks)
'Baby' Greens $3.00/bag (8 oz. bag) Baby kale: 'Red Russian' Arugula 'Elegance' mustard greens mix-slightly spicy mixed mustards with some broccoli raab leaves Microgreens, sandwich bag (mix may contain radishes, arugula, red kale, and/or mustard greens) Salanova salad mix
Larger greens $3/bag (large bunch or head) (Escarole and frissee are approaching the end of the crops, but will probably make it through this week due to cooler temperatures) Escarole, large head (last week or two) Endive (frissee), large head (last week or two) Swiss chard- red, white, or mixed Curly kale- green, red, or mixed Collard greens MAY HAVE A LITTLE: Tuscan kale (also called Lacinato or alligator kale)
From Yagnapurush Farm, Loxahatchee: (may not be available) 'Namwah' bananas -$1.60/lb. or 3 lbs for $4 short and slightly chubby (May not have them some days.)
Squashes Seminole pumpkins (new crop) $1.50/lb. and/or a few small butternut squashes Yellow squash or zucchini $2/lb.
Tomatoes Green tomatoes $2/lb.
Other Vegetables and fruits from our farm Beets (No greens) $3/lb. Brussels sprouts (on the stalk) $1/lb. Watermelon radishes $3.00/lb. -large radishes, pink inside . Green beans $3/lb. Fennel $3/lb. Nasturtiums box of 10 flowers and 10 leaves $3 mixed color flowers, slightly spicy flavor; flowers and leaves can be tossed into fresh salads, and there are recipes for stuffing the flowers Pansies box of 10 bright colored flowers, $3 (They look pretty, but the flavor is not great. That's why they're usually covered with a sugar glaze and served with deserts.) Hot peppers: 4peppers for $2 Only yellow 'Datil' peppers right now Papayas $1/lb. (green or turning yellow)