Week 12, Summer CSA

P1070701

  • Summer Squash
  • Beets- bunched red, chioggia and golden beets
  • Carrots
  • Yellow Wax Beans
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Green Bell Peppers
  • Parsley
  • Cucumbers
  • Head Lettuce
  • Tomatoes-TBD We’re having a bit of trouble with our tomatoes this season. If we don’t have enough tomatoes for everyone this week we will start doing tomatoes on rotation (half of the CSA gets them this week, the other half next week). Working hard to resolve the issue soon; thank you for your patience. Read more about this year’s tomato crop in this week’s newsletter.

Farm Happenings:

Tomatoes are the talk of the town here in the valley this year.  With the drastically cooler weather that we have enjoyed so far this year compared to the last two (which were the two warmest summers ever recorded), all of the heat-loving summer fruiting plants have underwhelmed our high expectations.

Our own tomato patch, which is about a third of an acre,  has been beset by other—more complicated though avoidable—issues.  From seed to transplant, even up until now, the tomatoes have looked absolutely perfect.  We did everything right.  We planted them on time, fertilized them, kept them weed free, pruned them, trellised them and watered them.  At every step of the way, the tomatoes have looked like they were going to be a prolific crop.  If you looked at the planting at the end of July, when the first fruits began ripening, you would see a field of disease-free tomato plants absolutely loaded with big, beautiful, green fruit.

But then a week later: still green fruit.  And a week later, still green fruit.  Seeing this, and knowing the likely cause, we consulted the soil tests we had done last fall.  Sure enough, it was obvious that the cause was soil borne.

We had a serious nutrient deficiency on our hands.  We knew that our calcium was low going into the season, and  had limed to correct it, but what we didn’t pay close enough attention to was the level of potassium.  Normally not a limiting factor among the plants that we grow,  with tomatoes, potassium is the most important player.  It’s largely responsible for fruit ripening (and also flavor).

So we’ve been pumping an organic approved potassium fertilizer (sulfate of potash) through the irrigation system for the last two weeks trying to correct the imbalance, and the results are starting to show.  This week we finally have  enough tomatoes for a full item (Sorry for the wait!).  If the weather cooperates, there will be many, many more tomatoes to come.

 

Week 1 Newsletter - Winter 2014

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