The News from Windflower Farm
What’s in your share?
- Genovese basil
- Assorted tomatoes
- Red leaf lettuce
- Swiss chard
- Yellow onions
- Sweet peppers
- Sweet corn
Your fruit share will be blueberries.
Rain on both Monday and Thursday of last week was very helpful, and water levels in both irrigation ponds rose appreciably. Nevertheless, after next week, we’ll be entering a lean stretch at least where greens are concerned. It is a legacy of the extremely dry June and July but bolting because of the heat and flea beetles have also taken their toll. Next week, you’ll get arugula and possibly red leaf lettuce. After that there will be a period of a couple of weeks without any greens save for cabbage. Plantings of spinach, kale, Swiss chard, lettuce and arugula are coming along, but there will be a gap.
While I am sharing sad news: We’ve decided that we aren’t going to host an open house on the farm this year. The drought and on-going pandemic have left us a little worn out. It takes a team to put together the kind of event we’ve held in the past, and not everyone on the team is up for it. If, however, you are in the neighborhood and would like to stop in for a brief visit, we would love to see you.
What’s new on the farm?
The Medinas have just wrapped up today’s tomato harvest, and the consensus is that we are at peak tomato. You can see them at work on our Instagram page. Nate and Jan and Kordehlia are now at work sorting and bagging. Five new large-fruited varieties stand out for us. The large yellow tomato with the starburst of orange on the blossom end is Ginfizz. It has turned out to be a prodigious producer. The tallest vines are 7-8’ high and they are loaded with fruits in every stage of maturation.
The pink tomato varieties, Enroza and Abigail, are also producers. Abigail, the larger of the two, was bred at Johnny’s Selected Seeds by Emily Rose Haga, and occupies a new category in tomato breeding, with a primary emphasis on flavor. Abigail is an F1 hybrid, but it has heirloom parentage. It’s also early, high yielding and resistant to late blight, qualities that I value as a farmer and that aren’t normally associated with heirlooms.
Cherokee Purple, a true heirloom, has been our go-to “purple” variety for years, but this year it has received reinforcements from Marnoaur, a deeply lobed variety, and Cuba Libre, which is somewhat heart shaped. High Mowing Seeds calls these “hylooms,” for the heirloom qualities they are trying to achieve in F1 hybrids. I’m curious to know if you agree that these five are keepers.
I’ll point out three other varieties, not because they are new, but because they appear frequently in your shares: Lucky Tiger is the small green torpedo shaped tomato said to be the best tasting variety from Johnny’s “Artisanal” series. Clementine (orange) and Mountain Magic (red) are a pair of “cocktail” tomatoes – both are round and about the size of ping pong balls, almost too large to pop whole into your mouth, but not if you are a true tomato lover.
This week, you’ll get another big bag of tomatoes – I hope you enjoy them.
Best wishes, Ted
PS. If you are looking to supplement your share with meat, dairy, pantry staples, and other regional food items, our neighbors at Lewis Waite Farm have a lot to offer. You can find more information about them below.
Lewis Waite Farm is both a working grass fed beef and pork farm and an area food hub for over 60 small farmers and food makers. You can keep your food dollars supporting small farms while finding wonderful items to complement the delicious vegetables in your Windflower shares. From meats to cheeses to pantry staples like fruit vinegars or flour, their wide ranging offerings all support NY and VT small farms and food makers. Pick up orders right at CSA distribution on a pre-set schedule, or have food shipped UPS whenever you want. Watch your emails from the Lewis Waite Farmer Network for your ordering window and upcoming deliveries. For more information please see Lewis Waite Farmer Network (localfoodmarketplace.com). Thank you!