What abundance in the gardens right now! We’ve had plenty of rain each week and, since so far we’ve avoided damaging storms and plant disease, the gardens are bountiful. The garlic has all been harvested and it won’t be long and very soon it will be on to the onion harvest. We’re about to plant the last round of fall crops; a batch of beets and kale, maybe kohlrabi. Fall radishes get planted about now too along with some greens. Cover crops will be an important piece too as some gardens make the shift from vegetable production to cover crops.
Speaking of cover crops, we’ve begun preparations for our monarch butterfly habitat planting. You may remember that we are part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Program. The program is about ensuring that monarchs (and other pollinators) have the habitat they need as they migrate from Mexico to Canada and back again. Ten states have been targeted from Texas to Minnesota and Wisconsin. This year, we planted buckwheat to be followed by another dense cover crop planting that will winter kill smothering weeds and holding the soil in place. Then, NEXT spring we’ll be planting a little over an acre with milkweed and other nectar rich plants for monarchs. We could have done that planting this year but we’re hopeful that we’ll get a better stand of the plants monarchs love by doing it this way. We’re also putting in a planting for the honeybees very near their hives. Right now that planting is buckwheat which we will let flower for the bees and eventually that patch will be planted to a honeybee pollinator mix.
In Your Bag
Once again, these are new red potatoes. The skins are ever to tender which makes them delicious but not keepers. The spicy salad mix is a mixture of red mustard, mizuna, tatsoi, kale, and arugula. Try it with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard vinaigrette. It’s delicious! The tomatoes are just beginning. We tried a colorful mix this year of yellow and chocolate pear tomatoes and green tigers. They’re a beautiful addition to a cucumber salad.
Looking Ahead to Next Week
The cabbage I mentioned last week will come in next week’s bag! We’ll likely have carrots again, more tomatoes and peppers, and probably either beets or fennel. We’ll keep those fresh onions and garlic coming.
Next Week’s Harvesters
Tuesday, August 6 – Sandra Haff, Erin & Taylor Carik, Louise Hotka & Jill Meyer, Nicole Gallagher & Shelly Johnson, Michelle Steffen
Friday, August 9 – Laurie Reed, Sara & Blake Christiansen, Adele & Tom Reichel, Christi & Tim Anderson, Jenny Hokanson