This week we planted the sweet pepper seedlings in the high tunnel – corno di toro and lunchbox peppers. Today we will plant cucumber seedlings and some of the chile plants – jalapeños and Aleppo peppers.
This upcoming week we will finally put our sweet potato slips into the ground. We are a bit late planting these, but they should be ready to dig in late September while it is still warm.
As a reminder, we will take next weekend off – Memorial Day Weekend. We will not be distributing CSA shares, nor will we be selling at the Rillito market.
We’ll see you this Sunday at the market and Monday at our Green Valley/Sahuarita CSA drop off.
This week at the farm, we finally got our tomato seedling in the ground, after putting up a 9-foot (!) trellis inside the high tunnel. We also planted the second round of summer squash seeds (zucchini and 3 kinds of patty pan) in the high tunnel. We are going to experiment with growing the summer squash on trellis to minimize the space needed to grow squash. Should be interesting to see how it works.
Today we are digging garlic. The curing process will take place in our pumphouse on top of the water tank on a drying rack and on just about any other shaded horizontal space we can find on the farm. Last year the entire loft of the Tiny House was filled with garlic, but that space is already full of household items now as the ground floor construction occurs.
We will have plenty of fresh garlic for sale this week and for months to come.
We finally put the cover on the high-tunnel!! Thank you to all our volunteers that helped with all the construction phases. Without your assistance, we would not have been able to get it constructed. I am so relieved to have the greenhouse film on the frame and attached. We will finish a few remaining tasks for the construction by the end of the day.
The next steps will involve preparing the soil under the high-tunnel for planting, putting in the trellises, and then planting the tomato, chile, sweet pepper and cucumber seedlings. After that we will procure a large piece of shade cloth and put it over the plastic to create some excellent growing conditions for those summer crops.
Another crop we will be planting very soon is potatoes; we are going to try a Kennebec variety this round. With some luck we will be harvesting some tasty spuds in about 90 days from now.
This week we finally removed the shade cloth and the bird netting from the blackberry bed. We will be doing a final weeding and mulching of the bed in preparation for the winter. Our blackberry harvest last summer was a bit disappointing, mostly due to the unseasonable and extremely hot 3 days right at the peak of the bloom. Next year we will use a heavier shadecloth maybe 40% or 50% and will also install an overhead watering line to help lower the temperature and increase the humidity around the blackberry bushes. That should help to substantially increase the yield.
We are also preparing two beds for planting garlic. Our plan is to triple the amount of garlic we plant because it was so popular last summer with our CSA shareholders and in the markets. We will likely plant the cloves next week. This is about as late as we can plant it, but the unseasonably warm temperatures in the long-term forecast should allow the plants to be established before it gets too cold.
If you signed up for a fall/winter CSA share, you will receive an email this weekend with the revised starting dates (starting 13Nov at Rillito and 16Nov at Green Valley) and other pertinent information.
We are still signing up CSA shareholders. If you would like to sign up for the next season, we will continue taking payments/reservations for our 16-week fall/winter CSA share program, deliveries for which will begin the middle of November and run through the middle of March 2017. Shares will cost $250 for 16 weekly deliveries.
We will have the forms at the markets this weekend, and they are also available on our website, here.
We are pretty excited to announce that we are now supplying produce to AgustÌn Kitchen www.agustinkitchen.com; we made the first delivery this week ! So if you would like to taste some of our ingredients in a prepared form you can now sample them there in addition to Proper and The Coronet.
We will grow Colorado Rose potatoes again this season. They worked very well for us last year and we are looking forward to some delicious spuds in a couple months or so. We are preparing two beds for planting potatoes ñ twice as much bed space as last year.
The blackberry bushes are greening up ! This year we should have a fairly large harvest – last year’s harvest was 38 pounds and we are hoping for about 100 pounds this year. That’s enough for a lot of cobbler !
Our late spring/summer CSA deliveries will begin in mid-May and run through mid-September. We will start signing up shareholders in about 2 weeks. Additional CSA information will be forthcoming in the newsletter.