Late Summer Crop Update

The crops at Old Plank Farm are rolling in with some ease right now. Of course, they don’t actually roll in, they are hand-picked by Angelica and myself day after day and week after week, along with the help of our lovely Monday morning crew! Here’s a brief overview of what’s going on in the field. As we start to hear geese flying by overhead, we also start to see a change in the fields under foot.

Summer crops like tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are ripening ripening ripening. We should have several more weeks of each of these. Eggplant is a bright spot right now, but I know it’s not a favorite so we’re trying not to force it on everyone. Still, give it a try in the next couple of weeks…grill it with a little oil, salt pepper and steak seasoning and you’ll be wishing summer could last forever!

Melons have good flavor, but there haven’t been enough yet to go around. We’re trying to get one to everyone, and looking at what’s still ripening in the field, that should be possible in the next week or two. There’s another late planting of melons that may yield something before frost as well. Yellow doll watermelon is just beginning to ripen; we have less than last year, as our first planting didn’t take too well in the cold June weather we had. But as of now we anticipate getting one to each member in September!

Potatoes are the brightest spot on the farm this year, and well on their way to earning the “vegetable of the year” award here. We’ve dug both varieties, a gold one and a red one, and both have been delicious and bountiful. We’re so thankful to have a little root-digging machine that our tractor pulls, because we’ve already dug 1800 lbs, and we are only about 30% done. That’d be a lot of shoveling for Angelica and I to do. We expect potatoes regularly for the remainder of the season. Hooray!

Basil and summer squash both mostly flopped this season. Basil is getting eaten by a bug I haven’t seen too much before. It suffered sitting in soggy spots in the field (there’s a poem in there somewhere…), and now it’s paying the price getting eaten by bugs. Still, we’ll put some in the choice boxes next week, so if you want to pick around the bad leaves and make some pesto, you should have the chance at least once this season.

Winter squash looks like it may be a close second for the “vegetable of the year” award, but without starting the harvest, we can’t say for sure. The deer have been devouring the spaghetti squash variety (it’s their favorite, they must be gluten-free deer), but we anticipated this to happen and planted an extra row for them. So far, it looks like we’ll have some for you as well as our friendly neighborhood deer (I have many more unfriendly choice words for those who damage my crops but I shouldn’t post such things here). Meanwhile, the acorn squash and the delicata squash are large and fruitful and untouched by deer. Both varieties enjoyed the regular rains and the hot July.

What else? So many crops, so little time to talk about them. A couple things to look forward to towards the end of the season include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes. I hope overall you as members have enjoyed the first half of our delivery season. We’ll do our best to make the fall harvest season as bountiful as the summer’s been.