We’re pinching back the basil plants in the cold frame to encourage them to bush out more, and provide more leaves for harvest down the road. We’ll be bringing it the leaves that we’ve pinched off and have them available for sale at both the Old Strathcona and Onoway Farmers’ markets this weekend.
For those of you who like it hot, it looks like we’ll have more of our hot peppers, like the yellow Hungarian wax peppers, available as well.
Some of the Saskatoon berries are ready for picking, but we may wait until next week to bring any in. Right now, only a small
percentage in any cluster is ripe and ready, which makes picking much more time consuming. We’ll see how our market prep goes tomorrow, though, and if time allows, we may sneak behind the fence and pick a few baskets to bring in as an early treat.
We’ll be able to bring in a handful of Yellow and Green zucchini in to Edmonton this week, and possibly some of the Patty-Pan and Magda squash as well. It takes a while for the summer squash to produce in large numbers, but once they start, they go crazy. Looking at the many flowers out on the plants right now, we should be able to bring in our packages of delicious baby squash by next weekend, so for those of you who’ve been asking, your long wait is almost over!
We’re done thinning the beets, and have some beautiful bunches to bring in this week. The ruby-red roots are not only delicious, but highly nutritious, and the beet tops are still in great shape. To learn more about this delicious offering, please check out the link HERE
The onions are getting quite big, and many of the larger onions out in the field will stay there for a while longer, so that the skin can toughen up, making them much better storage onions down the road. We also did a second planting of the onions, however, and we’ll be bringing some of those in with us, for those of you who are most interested in the green of the onion.
It’s been getting increasingly difficult to fill the ‘Going In’ section of the Field notes, as the planting stage of our outdoor season comes to an end. The section will disappear soon, but I think I can manage it for at least one more week, if I just think a little sideways. Let’s see….
With all of the heat we’ve had over the last several weeks, it’s been getting harder to ‘go into’ the cold frame, with all of the tomatoes, peppers, basil and beans. Luckily, Gerald doesn’t seem to mind being in there, and the crops in there sure are loving it, soaking up the heat and sunshine and looking fantastic!
Dawn and I will be ‘going in’ to the city quite a bit over the next few weeks. The Edmonton Folk Music Festival is in a little over three weeks, and we are on what’s called ‘Site Crew’, so we’ve committed to working 40 hours each before festival in order to help with setup. It adds a lot of driving, and more physical work, but the camaraderie and the festival itself, which runs August 7-10, are well worth the extra time and effort.
And, wrapping up the grand finale of the ‘Going In’ section, we’re all going inside as much as possible this week, as the wildfires burning around the province are causing poor air quality. As an asthma sufferer, I’ve been finding it difficult to be outside, and we’re even seeing some ash fall. All the smoke isn’t good for our health, and it can’t be good for the plants growing out there, either, so we’re doing a bit of a rain dance out.
The Waiting Room
Many of our summer crops are looking to be a week or two away from the start of harvest.
We have both Sugar Snap Peas and Shelling Peas out by the fence that are producing, but the new system we tried isn’t working as well as we’d hoped, so we won’t have as many peas this year as what we’d hoped for. In the fall, we built beds under the fence, adding compost to empty cardboard boxes, and we were hoping to use the structure of the fence as our trellis. What we’ve found is that the cardboard is wicking away the moisture, so the peas have not come in as thickly as we had hoped. With the dry summer we’ve had, the peas needed as much moisture as possible. We are going to try this again next year, improving on the method. More compost will be added, and we have plans to build raised beds along the fence, using either 2×4’s or 2×6 pieces of lumber, which will hopefully work a little bit better.
We don’t sell the larger, slicing cucumbers; the ones we grow are the smaller, pickling variety, and if all goes well, we should be able to start picking some in the next couple of weeks. Like the summer squash, they take a while to get going, but once we start picking them, they produce vigorously.
We’re looking at a huge crop of cherry tomatoes later in the season. Every time we poke our heads in there, it seems like hundreds of new flowers have opened up, and each of those flowers is going to turn into a little tomato. Think it’s time to start brainstorming some cherry tomato recipes.
While spaghetti squash is a winter crop, grown mainly for harvest in the fall and to store through the early part of winter, we like to pick some for market when they’re still green (not yellow, like you’re used to seeing them). When picked early, they can be used the same ways you would use a ripe fruit, with the only difference you’ll notice being a higher water content and a paler yellow flesh. We have several grapefruit-sized spaghetti squash out there already, so we should be able to start bringing some into market in a few weeks.
Have a great week!