Week of June 13, Distribution #2

The News from Windflower Farm

What’s in your share?

  • Fordhook Swiss chard
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Purple Ruffles kale
  • Crunchy King radishes
  • Purple bunching onions
  • Garlic scapes
  • Red Rubin Basil in pots

We send basil in pots because there are some folks in our membership who garden and others who have a spot on a windowsill. If transplanted into good garden soil, and watered regularly, the plant can last all summer. Or at least until Downy Mildew comes along. If you keep clipping the topmost leaf clusters, keeping ahead of the blossoms, new shoots will continue to develop. If this doesn’t interest you, use your basil soon, just as you would a bunch of basil bought at the market. Your container is fully compostable. Water your pot and it will keep for a few days. This week’s basil variety is Red Rubin and it has a fairly traditional taste. Last week’s, by the way, was Thai basil, and you may have noted a hint of anise. Genovese is coming next week. Our squash and zucchini planting has an abundance of flowers and small fruits, and I think you’ll get something from it next week. Your fruit will be a quart of strawberries from Yonder Farm.

What’s new on the farm?

Francis Lam on the podcast The Splendid Table asked today, “What does your June look like?”  Ours, so far, has been relatively dry, cool and windy, but the warmer than normal month of May has us ahead in growing degree days according to a neighbor, a grape grower, who tracks such things. More than anything, our June looks green – every possible color of green. And it tastes of the fresh things that our gardens are beginning once again to provide – tender lettuces, spicy radishes and arugula. Sauteed kale and onions with our eggs in the morning.

I spent much of the day yesterday on a cultivating tractor weeding onions, winter squashes, lettuces, Swiss chard, rutabagas, celeriac, scallions and sweet corn, a variety of crops that took me to every corner of the farm. It rained a couple of days ago and the young plants had become well anchored to the earth. I could be aggressive in terms of how I addressed the weeds without worrying about harming crops. We overplant slightly in order to have a few plants to sacrifice to effective weed control. If I can be aggressive early in the life of a planting, then we as a team will face fewer hand-weeding chores later. It rained again last night, helping to set right those plants I did dislodge.

The tractor I used was the latest iteration of our electric tractor design, and it may be our best yet. It’s certainly our most versatile. Nate, who runs our Instagram page, and is the chief electrical engineer on the project, has been collecting some photos and will post them soon. He’s made a logo for the tractor consisting of a “W” for Windflower, of course, and a lightning bolt. Farm fun. The latest model has a 3-phase AC motor, a German controller and a very efficient Italian transaxle. It’s no Ferarri or Lamborghini, but on the more practical side it runs all day. Our previous model had, at best, a four-hour run time. Thankfully, the seat is comfortable and the motor is whisper quiet. The clunking of metal cultivating parts against the rocks in our soil is all that I hear, at times like a punk rocker with a new drum kit, but most often like wood chimes in a good breeze.

Have a great week, Ted

Author: Central Brooklyn CSA

The Central Brooklyn CSA (CBCSA) is dedicated to working with our partners the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Windflower Farm, and the Hebron French Speaking SDA Church to continue the work of building a Community Supported Agriculture model that increases access to fresh, local produce for all members of our communities, regardless of income level. Join us as we continue to bring fresh, organic, affordable and nutritious vegetables and fruit to the Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and surrounding communities.

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