What’s in the Box Week #11

Since early June I’ve been reporting on how dry it’s been here on the farm (the driest in our 25-year farming history) and now it’s catching up with us in a lackluster few weeks of harvest.  Back in June and July we missed planting some of our August crops like cabbage and swiss chard (that failed terribly in the greenhouse), due in large part to being so busy irrigating our crops to keep them alive. Irrigating takes a tremendous amount of time and coordination – watering acres of crops with custom set-ups to suit each crop’s unique needs.  Boom cannons for the corn, a 130-foot boom wheel for the potatoes, sweet potatoes and leeks, drip irrigation buried underneath plastic groundcover for all the tomatoes, peppers and fruiting crops, and miles of aluminum piping running from our diesel engine pumps out to the fields.  Farmer Matt calculated that we use over 1 million gallons of water to irrigate our farm in a typical dry week.  And that’s just enough to keep the crops alive.  Within a day or two after watering, the soil is as dry as dust again, thanks to our sandy Long Island soils.

Storm Isaias brought us no rain and spared us major damage last week, but many of our crops were whipped by the wind and have suffered because of it.  The wind snapped off the top of all the cherry tomato plants, which is so sad, because they were gorgeous!  (See picture above taken before the storm.) But they’re growing back!  Plants are resilient and so are we!

As is the story with CSA, your membership entitles you to a share of the harvest, and when the weather puts a strain on us, we all feel the effects in the weekly bounty.  This is what’s happening right now.  On a positive note, our crops that are coming along are beautiful.  We’re starting to distribute more tomatoes to members this week as they ripen.  Eggplants, peppers, fennel, the next planting of green beans, cucumbers and zucchini…all on the way!  And let’s not forget this stellar year of watermelons!  This week we have my favorite…orange watermelon!  Enjoy, friends!

– Maggie, Farmer Matt, Kelly & The Crew

 Notes from the fieldsSee above!  It’s still DRY, HOT and Farmer Matt is starting to prep land to get our fall crops seeded and planted.  He’s hoping to get the carrots seeded in the next few days, plus arugula and lots more!This week’s harvestOrange Watermelon
This is the year of the Watermelon!  Our crop is doing brilliantly in this hot weather! Please KEEP IN THE FRIDGE!
Storage: In the fridge.
Uses: Raw
When to use: Within 5 days

What I’m making: Sliced for a snack

New Potatoes
Storage: In the fridge is best OR in a cool, dark spot. Keep out of the light.
Uses: Cooked
When to use: Within 5 days

What I’m making: Oven Roasted Garlic Potatoes

Storage: In a cool spot on the counter.
Uses: Raw/Cooked
When to use: Within 5 days

What I’m making: Garlic Roasted Potatoes

As our crops start to produce, we will be distributing the following items to members on different days of the week.  We are keeping careful records of who gets what to ensure that all members receive the same variety and quantity by the end of the season. 

Storage: In an airtight container in the fridge.
Uses: Cooked
When to use: Within 5 days

What I’m making: Roasted Slices on the grill

Red Tomatoes
Storage: On the counter (NOT IN THE FRIDGE)
Uses: Raw or Cooked
When to use: Within 3 days

What I’m making: Tomato Salad

Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
Storage: On the counter (NOT IN THE FRIDGE)
Uses: Raw or Cooked
When to use: Within 3 days

What I’m making: I’ll eat them like candy!

BRIERMERE FARM FRUIT SHARE – White & Yellow PeachesRecipes!Garlic Roasted Potatoes
31 Watermelon Recipes from Epicurious
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Golden Earthworm Organic FarmPO Box 871Jamesport, NY 11947-0871