Eggplant (Only for last names beginning A-K)
This time of year I find myself circling back to other summers to compare. We’ve been lucky to have a warm relatively dry summer with periodic rains up until about two weeks ago. Int he last two weeks, rains have started coming more frequently and more from the south, bringing high humidity and a different character- hot, driving, almost tropical rains.
We’re hoping this change won’t bring on the tomato late blights that have hit this area in 2 of the last 4 years. Some neighboring suffolk county farms have it, some don’t. It can be devastating, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that our strategy of heavy pruning, extra spacing, and high tunnel protection will keep the blight at bay.
Looks like it might be a bit rainy this Saturday. Expect the delicate items to be under the farmstand, and less delicate things to be under a tent as we did 2 weeks ago. This makes the distribution a bit more cramped for everyone, so thanks in advance for your patience. On the plus side, we’ve hardly had to irrigate this summer- a genuine relief, since our tubing and sprinklers are 4 years old and in need of an update (this winter!)
You could think about farming as a system of clear feedback loops- that farmers either do or don’t listen to. Every action we take is reflected back at us through the diseases and pests that appear in the field, the puddles that form in the roads, and the complaints we hear from you, our co-producers. Part of my job here is to set up these systems so that the messages we receive are heard and our practices are updated.
This is always a challenge but this year we’ve got the CSA core group and a new Farm Advisory Committee to help collect and make good on the feedback we’re getting. More on these committees in future notes- just know that they exist and are a crucial part in the management of this farm. Over the long term we will have a very strong farm thanks to their help. In particular, we are working on a digital and paper feedback system that we can use to record comments and thoughts from you, each week.
Based on your feedback, the imperfect solution to our egg shortage has been to bring in eggs from other backyard island flocks, which we did last week. The last 8 people to show up got eggs from the Clarks on South Ferry rd. and Matt’s Organic Eggs on Stearns Point Road. It will probably be the same this week. So, not our own eggs for the latecomers, but at least we’ll save you some driving around the island. I think by supporting backyard flocks around the island we’re making the best out of a difficult year.
We’re happy to announce that we got solid germination on our fall carrot crop! Looking forward to sharing those with you in September and October.
Winter Squash & Pumpkins
Are looking very healthy. We’ve been able to stay on top of the weeds and thin them appropriately. They’ve turned the corner from seedlings into adolescent plants, sending out runners and creating a genuine “patch.” Feel free to take a walk up the hill to admire them this weekend.
David Lapham will be making some summer classics:
-Sautéed squash and goat cheese
-Tomato with basil and mozzarella
-Hot & sweet pepper
Music will be at the Shelter Island Farmer’s Market at the Shelter Island Historical Society’s Havens House- be sure to go check it out, sing a song or two, and to pick up whatever else you need for dinner.
See you Saturday!
Bennett & The Sylvester Manor Crew