It’s Palindrome Week! and Fall Crops are Growing…plus CSA & Mkts for 8.18.18

Palindromes don’t have anything to do with vegetables, but it’s August, and we’re nerdy farmers, and it’s fun to have something different to think about amongst the heat and our four-hundredth tomato sandwich and the “We’re having stuffed peppers for dinner again??” comments and our tenth attempt to kill Harlequin bugs with organically-approved substances. (See below for more info on that last point.)

The numbers in the dates this week form palindromes: they read the same in reverse as they do forward. Today is 81618. Tomorrow is 81718. Sunday is the last day of the fun, being 81918.

In the mornings, the leaves of our vegetable plants look like they’ve been DEWED. The little drops of dew are so pretty. And the red tomatoes this week look REDDER. The tomato plants really enjoyed the break in the rain last week. It was like sunshine for 5 days in a row was a REVIVER for them.

Apparently, DEGGED means to have watered plants, so we can report that our plants have gotten plenty DEGGED this season, but most are still holding on. Lately, it has felt easier to do a PULLUP over and over and over than to kill the Harlequin bugs that are threatening to ravage our fall Brassica plants (Broccoli family). This year is the worst year we’ve seen for Harlequin bugs, which we are also hearing from a couple of other Certified Naturally Grown farmers in the Richmond area. Let’s zoom in on one of the plants in the photo above.

AHH! It can make us want to paddle away on a KAYAK, but we’ll keep pinching hundreds of these bugs and spraying soap on them and hope that the Broccoli and Kale and Cauliflower and Cabbage will prevail. One TENET of biological growing is that we work with nature to grow food, instead of against it, but it doesn’t feel like the Harlequin bugs got our memo about cooperation.

These little Salad plants look very humble, but they will likely grow strong and delicious for your fall Salads. We’ve also been working on a little fall surprise for CSA members:

We have DEIFIED organic growers in this region who can successfully grow winter squashes. Between the mildew and the bugs that love hot, humid weather and the many weeks it takes for them to reach maturity, it is tough. So we didn’t back away from the challenge to grow some this year. We considered it our CIVIC duty to give them a try again. (We last tried in 2013, with very sad results). Cross your fingers that they make it!

We can’t promise Palindromes, but join us next month in person to learn more about our farm and see some brief demonstrations of how we grow food and flowers with only biological and mineral inputs. We are happy to be hosting the September meet-up for RVA Makers. Wednesday, September 19th from 6-8 pm we will gather with interested folks, talk about how we farm, explain some of the techniques we use to farm without tractors on a small piece of land, and enjoy some snacks. This is open to everyone and family friendly, though please be sure to leave your pets at home. RSVP on the Facebook event page.   

Saturday’s Farm Share will likely include
Salad Greens, Garlic, Sweet Peppers, Tomatoes, Carrots, Okra if you’d like it, and Shishito Peppers

**If there’s anything that you don’t want from the share, you are welcome to leave it in one of the crates that hold tomatoes. 

Vegetable Notes & Recipe Suggestions…also cataloged on our Recipe Page and see our Pinterest Page  
Shishito Peppers – Pictured above. These are frying peppers and their flavor really comes out when you cook them whole – stem and all! – in a pan with your favorite oil (or broth if you don’t eat oil) and a touch of salt. Cook them this way until they blister, soften, and darken, and then enjoy their flavor. We hold the stem and bite up to the stem. They aren’t spicy – just wonderfully flavorful. See here for Blistered Shishito Peppers.
Carrots – These orange roots have eluded us over and over this season! Cross your fingers that these are as abundant under the soil as they seem. If you don’t just eat them raw in dip or on salads, you can enjoy Carrot Slaw, or cook them in a pan with butter and a touch of salt for our favorite “Buttered Carrots” dish.
Tomato & Sweet Peppers – Combine these beauties for Tomato & Sweet Pepper Relish. We make this and leave out the vinegar and cilantro when we want to simplify it.
Sweet Peppers – These sweet babies go so well in a multitude of summer salads. Combine with Chickpeas or Great Northern Beans plus a dressing of your choice and maybe also some cheese and herbs and seeds or nuts. Combine with a smaller sized pasta (like bowtie or penne) plus also the above mentioned additions. Delish! See this Garbanzo Bean and Sweet Pepper Salad.
Okra – We will keep pointing out that these lovely fruits are not slimy inside and do really well in any vegetable stir-fry, plus any curry dish: Cut and mix any and all vegetables together. Add a sauce that you make or buy, and serve with protein and a carb like rice.

Our harvest for Saturday’s farmers’ markets will include: 
Rainbow Chard, Cucumbers keep plugging along in small amounts, Italian Eggplant (Beatrice), Flower Bouquets, Garlic, Lettuce, Okra, Onions, Sweet Peppers (bullhorn shape and bell shape and snack size), Shishito Peppers, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, the last few Watermelon…and our Organic Hearth Baked Bread (Roasted Pepper & Onion, Whole Rye, Raisin, & Seed loaves for this weekend).
{Our farmstand is open Thurs & Friday with most of the above items…see here for updated inventory}

Anything remaining after CSA shares are distributed and our farm stand is shopped (plus the bread we bake Saturday morning)… we’ll bring on Saturday to the Brandermill Green Market or the Farmer’s Market @ St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in the West End of Richmond. Keep an eye on what we have available via the online farmers’ markets: FallLineFarms.com and Local Roots Food Coop.

~Market Share CSA member? You’re likely looking for this link here.

Enjoy ~
Janet, Dan, & the whole Broadfork crew

Want to follow along during the week, including Farm Stand updates? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram

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