2015 Pekarek’s Produce CSA – Week 6

Hey Folks!

Well, even though it feels like fall this week, it’s definitely summer.  We’ve finished picking peas, spinach and radishes for the summer.  These crops really like to have cooler weather or else they get bitter or spicy.  Luckily we have started into the green bean harvest and have been able to grow some delicious lettuce at the same time.

green beans

The greenhouse is currently full of plants for the fall!! There’s almost not enough room to walk through for everything that’s growing.  There’s broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.  We hope to get these into the field by Friday, depending on how the weather goes.  Much of our fall crop will make its way to Super Saver and Russ’s Markets.

20110310 Cabbage

We raked hay last week, which of course means that it rained on it.  Not good for hay, but good for the potatoes – and the rest of the veggies!  So far we have been able to keep putting off irrigation.  But Ryan’s got that weird twinkle (or twitch) in his eye, so it looks like it’s gonna get hot next week and we are once again getting ready to irrigate.

Peppers and tomatoes are being staked this week.  Think about when you grow a tomato or pepper plant at home.  You have to put a cage around it so it doesn’t fall over.  In the greenhouse, we tie the tomato plants to a trellis.  In the field we do something called the stake and weave.  We basically put a stake between every other plant and then weave tomato string from stake to stake to make the plants stand up.  When we don’t get it done on time, picking becomes a full nightmare!

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Sweet corn is tasseling – hopefully there will be limited sweet corn next week.  Kohlrabi looks great!  Beets are looking beautiful and growing like gangbusters.  If you’ve ever wanted to pickle beets, now is the time.  Beets are available for pickling – just give Ryan a call!

Your Farmers,

Ryan, Katie, and Crew

Do you have any sweet corn?

So if you’ve ever sold vegetables at a farmer’s market, you know that one of the first questions that gets asked in May is “When is the sweet corn going to be ready?”  This is not a bad questions – just a little uninformed.  And if you don’t ask, you may never learn.  So, this is what our sweet corn looks like today, June 11:

In most years, we are aiming to have our first sweet corn harvest sometime in the middle of July.  If you look at the photo, you can see that we are growing on bare ground with drip irrigation.

To get an earlier harvest and speed the plant growth, it is more ideal to grow on black plastic.  But remember, this year is not “most years.”  We have had many unseasonably warm days this spring and as a result have moved many of our planting dates up AND shortened the growing days for many crops.  This year, we hope to harvest sweet corn by the 4th of July!!

We plant a couple varieties of sweet corn whose estimated maturity time ranges from 74-84 days.  Different varieties of sweet corn need to be isolated from each other to avoid cross pollination.  This can be done in a couple of ways; one is to plant the different varieties at least 14 days apart because then they will not be tasseling (pollination occurs when the corn is tasseling) at the same time which is when the pollination occurs. Another option is to plant the sweet corn in different physical locations.