It has been so warm lately, but we’re not complaining. The lingering end of the warm temperatures is allowing our summer crops to keep producing.
We gambled with some late season slicer tomatoes and it looks like the fates will allow us to harvest some tasty large tomatoes. The vines are loaded with green ones that are just starting to turn, so we’ll happily take the hot weather as long as it lasts.
The warm temperatures are also hastening the ripening of the butternut squash. We have three beds that were planted a week or two apart. The butternuts from the earliest planting are almost ready to pick; the skin is turning from green to tan and is hardening. In the latest bed, the squash are still medium-sized and green. If we don’t get a frost for another month, we will have a much larger harvest of the butternut.
The sweet potatoes that we harvested last week are curing in the pumphouse in high humidity and relatively high temperatures. We had a heater going in the pumphouse most of last night and will run the heater all night tonight. We have some very tasty sweet potatoes on the way!
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.
As you can see from the images, some of our summer crops are finally starting to come in. And it’s about time !! We got a bit behind in the late spring planting due to a shortage of help on the farm – familiar theme.
We are still looking for help on harvest days (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday) or other days, if you are interested. If you know anyone who might want to work with us, please send them to see us at the markets or pass along my email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone who helps us out will go home with a share of delicious, fresh, organic produce. Thank you in advance for passing along this request for assistance.
We survived the heatwave and so did the crops. It has been mostly cloudy for days out here, which makes for pleasant working conditions. The monsoon is trying to start up, teasing us with virga and sprinkles as it does for weeks every summer before the full monsoon kicks in to gear.
We are excited to be hosting a farm visit from most of the chefs, servers and other staff of The Coronet and Agustín Kitchen this upcoming Monday morning. It looks like we will have a group of 20 or so people checking out the source of some of their ingredients. Should be a fun morning !
Agustín Kitchen will be hosting a special event in early August featuring SouthWinds Farm produce. As the planning for this dinner proceeds, we will provide more details.
As a reminder, we will be taking a short Independence Day break and we will not be delivering CSA shares, nor will we be attending the markets on July 3 (Rillito) and July 6 (Green Valley).
Yesterday we finished putting the bird netting and shade cloth over and around the blackberry bushes. We finished this task just in time because the first berries ripened this week. Of course we have eaten all of the very few ripe ones that we have seen. It looks like we should have enough for the CSA shares and maybe even for the markets within a few weeks.
We partly completed trellising the tomato plants this week. Most of the plants have many small tomatoes and more blossoms are opening every day, so it looks like we will have an abundant tomato harvest. Now we just have to wait for them to ripen; it always seems like the first ones take forever to be ready to pick. We will keep you up to date on their progress.
We started harvesting at 5a this morning and quit a little after noon. It is 102 degrees out in the field right now. I just put some additional shade over some seedlings we planted last evening. They were looking pretty wilted, but will perk up as soon as the sun gets low and the temperature moderates. Tomorrow will be even hotter !!
We harvested the entire French red shallot crop on Tuesday. Wow! I didn’t weigh it yet, but I think the weight is somewhere between 200 and 400 pounds. We have shallots drying on many makeshift horizontal surfaces, as you can see in the images. And that is only about half of them; the loft of the Tiny House is also full of shallots as is two more temporary surfaces above what will be the living room. In 4 or 5 weeks the shallots will be cured and we will be able to reclaim those spaces and move the shallots into cold storage.
Our small hoophouse is now full of seedlings waiting to be transplanted into beds in the field. The images show some tomatoes, chiles and peppers.
This week we will continue the sign-up for the late spring/summer CSA. It will consist of 16 weeks of deliveries to the markets starting the third week. of May and continuing into September. The cost will be $250. We will have the signup forms at our farm stands and available online. Please let us know if you’d like to reserve a spot.