Dear CSA Members,
Here we are in the sixth week since we started and the fourth delivery in May.
I have been busy turning some of the beds from Spring to Summer e.g. leaves to fruits such as eggplant, peppers and more tomatoes, but I still have the hardier greens that will endure the coming heat. More Alliums this week with the mature but thin variety of leek. With less spice than the green garlic the leak is versatile in cooking as either an herb or vegetable and goes nicely with the new potatoes offered in this week’s CSA bag.
Here’s what’s cookin’ for this week:
Lettuce mix, enjoy it while you can!
Kale (Siberian variety)
“Better than Farm Fresh!”
Good Things Grow Here
by Farmer’s Wife Jennifer
CSA shares are available. Begins mid-April (nature permitting). Pick up location Wed evening 5-6:30 at Greenville Unitarian Fellowship at 1135 State Park Road Greenville, SC , or Thursdays 3-6 at the Flat Rock Tailgate Market, Flat Rock, NC (behind “rainbow row” downtown shops). To Learn more see our site which explains what CSA Community Supported Agriculture is all about.
If you’re growing Basil in early Spring you may be experiencing curling on the new succulent leaf growth. Regardless of in-door potted plants, greenhouse or in your yard or field. These young plants are susceptible to white flies. Whiteflies are tiny, sap-sucking insects that are frequently abundant in vegetable and ornamental plantings. They excrete sticky honeydew and cause yellowing or death of leaves. Outbreaks often occur when the natural biological control is disrupted. Management is difficult (UC IPM on line).
If you are looking for a solution without going the biological approach (General predators include lacewings, bigeyed bugs, and minute pirate bugs, lady beetles) then I would make the following recommendations: dilute insecticidal soaps, neem oil is good for direct use and spray the plant thoroughly. Secondly, Pyrethroids are effective but will also disrupt any natural predators(including bees). The flies will build up quickly. A good way to check if you don’t see the white cluster under the leaf (adaxial side) is flick the leaf and notice a dandruff like flaking. It is a good idea to isolate the plant if it is practical while you treat it to avoid contamination to other neighboring plants.
hessdesignworks.com. Illustration by Mark Hess..
I am pleased to see the trend of Non-GMO slow foods here in our local communities propagated by talented small scale local farmers. We are empowered against what our fore fathers and mothers who brought open pollinated seed to this country could not imagine; a future dominated by a few corporate food systems. I believe Orwell was misguided when he portrayed our government as “big brother” but what has become “the corporation” as the govenor’s of our future which can dictate taste and food supply. The new labeling law suit against Monsanto is just the beginning of our community’s effort to protect the anthropology and authenticity of foods and the lifestyles of the farmers who grow them. Furthermore it will help protect the consumer and promote awareness of what is being offered to us – biased science and dangerous foods motivated by short term profits.
Support local foods,local farms and local families! Join a Community Support Agriculture (CSA subscription) and shop at your local Farmers Market. Ask questions,talk about how your food is grown. Get to know your farmer and take an active stance against genetically modified foods.
This free range, grass fed all natural beef producer is sponsoring a farm day on May 1st, 2010 at its 250 acre ranch in Flat Rock, NC. All are welcome. See their web site at www.threearrowscattleco.com
, or contact Wells Shealy: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the “sustainable” agriculture movement stewardship of land resources is paramount. In small scale farming, where space is a consideration in urban, suburban or rural areas working with the land “as is” can be a challenge and beneficial.
Land that has experience erosion or building scars from construction can be potential growing plots for the guerrilla gardener.
Before my family and I moved to our current homestead someone used a few front-end loader’s full of soil at the back end of our property for top soil for a double-wide construction next to us. This violation left a gaping chasm of approximately six feet by fifteen feet and about four feet deep which for the past five years have been annually used to dump leaves and other organic yard waste.
I have been interested in container production of potatoes but felt five gallon buckets are limited by volume and volume is what I require to support my various markets. So I decided to fuse the container concept with my yard blemish. Late February I planted 90 Yukon Gold potato seed pieces, some well chitted some still dormant. I made short borders out of compostable cardboard which I stood vertically in four rows across the ditch bottom. This would give the row beds more container space and demarcation. I placed each seed piece with its sprouting eye(s) facing up, but did not dig a hole as prescribed by potato seedsmen. They sat on the bottom surface. Next, I covered the rows with old hay from our goat barn floor. This amendment added the needed nutrient value associated with manure which was saturated within the bedding. So far I have a soil-less straw media as in container production supporting the immature spud growth. Lastly, I covered the hole over with a 6mil plastic tarp to trap solar heat in the late of winter.
As March passed I pulled back the tarp so that the beds would receive rain water and I replaced it after a good soaking. Today we received a nice thunderstorm. No ground or municipal water has been used. It is now April and 30 of my seed pieces have sprouted. The shoots are a deep lime green and appear healthy and erect. Tending this sunken potato bed will now require more goat bedding as the shoots grow taller. This imitates the necessary culture of growing potatoes and the hilling which I do in the field to promote tuber growth and support the shoot of the plant.
To follow up, I hilled the tall potato sprouts with goat bedding from the barn. I planted another 20 red pontiac and a dozen Swedish Peanut fingerlings. I needed to raise the plastic slightly as to make room for the growing apical shoots. I used flexible pvc pipe to create two arcs which tented the ditch bed nicely. This will continue to provide adequate heat as we pass through the flux of temperature in the early Spring.