Tuesday, October 4, 2016

CSA Week 17 and Farm News

The night temperatures are dipping and things are changing around here, and probably are where you are too.
It rained as well and that was the biggest change of all.
The fall crops I put in popped up and I was able to harvest lots of arugula today from a reasonably small patch, with another patch due to catch up soon.
The mustard greens, chinese greens and radishes I seeded look good, as do the turnips. It is amazing what a bit of rain will do.

As I dug the soil to retrieve the jerusalem artichokes I was surprised though at how dry the soil was underneath. We've got a lot of catching up to do after such a dry spring/summer and lack of snow last winter.

I'm not complaining though, it has been a pretty good season and like most, there have been some things that have done very well, and some things that did not. I'll take a dry season over a wet one anytime.
One thing that has worried me in the garden this year is the appearance of stink bugs . This isn't the first year I have noted them in the garden, but it is the first year I saw them in such numbers and saw the damage they can do. They were tough on the tomatoes, and I lost lots of early fruit to them, as they inject an enzyme into the fruit which liquifies it enabling them to slurp it out. Tomatoes with stink bug damage have obvious mottling and are not saleable or edible. Good thing I planted lots of plants. Buggers. I'll be notifying the Ministry of my trials with them this year as they continue their deadly march northward into Canada, following on the trail of ticks.
From what I can understand they are difficult to stop. Be aware that they like to overwinter in homes, so you may spot them in your home. I know if I see them in here I will not be kind and I'll also be mulling over my strategy to deal with them next year in the garden.

This weeks baskets were pretty full. The lumpy bumpy jerusalem artichokes (sun chokes) made their first appearance for my Tuesday folks. Tomatillos, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, arugula, kale/broccoli shoots, curled parsley, leaf celery, garlic, a few dahlias to cheer you up and possibly something else I have forgotten I added.

Some of you asked for and received mangels and a whole whack of herbs for drying for the winter. The herbs are pleased with the weather right now and doing well.
What to do with the jerusalem artichokes which, incidentally are neither from Jerusalem or in the artichoke family? I tell people to use them as they would potatoes. Roast them, mash them, saute them or of course make a delicious soup with them.
A wonderful recipe for Sunchoke and Garlic soup can be found here.
If you read the preamble to the recipe, you will be made aware that jerusalem artichokes can cause gas, so be aware of that as you begin your adventure with them. Eating them prior to a first date with someone is not advisable.

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