We hope you are enjoying your shares this week. Our neighbor in Prince George’s County, Joe Goldsmith grew the corn and most of the banana peppers. Everything else, the basils, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, cherry tomatoes and chard , was grown organically by us.
Ok it was technically not chard in your share this week. That green is called Perpetual Spinach. It is actually more similar to chard than spinach. Perpetual refers to its ability to continue to send up new shoots after you cut all the leaves. It’s not the tastiest green but holds holds up better than almost any other green mid-summer.
Jug Bay Market Garden extends its appreciation to everyone who helped harvesting this week’s share. Sunday a brave team of CSA members volunteered to help harvest potatoes despite the forecasts of strong showers. On Monday we got a big helping hand from the sisters Katrin and Julie Weiss. If you have any time to help out on the farm or at pickup, just let us know. Even an hour or two is a big help.
We have reached the mid-way point of the 20 week CSA season. Pretty soon farm management will send out the schedule for the second half of the season. What I can leak out now is that there will be no CSA pickup the week of Labor Day (September 7) or the week of Columbus Day on October 12th. Each year we skip some weeks when a lot of people tend to go out of town or when we are between seasons. Most likely we will skip another week sometime when we do not have much to harvest. The week of August 24th is a possibility. Many a CSA family is on vacation at that time and we may be between crops than. We will let you know by mid-August about this. Either way, the CSA will end sometime in early November.
Wednesday I went on a tour of One Straw Farm near Baltimore. One Straw is the largest and most successful organic farm in Maryland with a CSA of 1,600 shares. I learned a lot from seeing their equipment and growing methods. On the tour, we saw that late blight destroyed the the farm’s 5 acres of tomatoes. This softened the blow some of losing so many of our tomatoes to the fungus. Drew Norman is of One Straw is the best organic farmer around. He sprays the most effective organic sprays and does so even more systematically than us. If he could not keep the wicked blight off, we did not stand a chance.
So far, we still have some tomatoes alive and doing pretty well in the field. We are spraying them with a few organic fungicides that are mildly effective against blight. Whether these fields will be lucky enough not to have a lot of blight spores blew into them will determine the outcome. Knock on wood, the tomatoes in the greenhouse look beautiful and have started to ripen. This fall, we are going put up several more greenhouses. Most years organic tomatoes just do so much better in them because they stay drier and hotter during cool weather. Lots of steel and plastic unfortunately seems to be the only way to do without conventional fungicides in the humid east coast.
Enough about late blight. Mid-season is traditionally the time when Jug Bay Market Garden makes endorsements of products and other things we like. Unlike, “mommy bloggers” who pretend not to be paid by the manufacturers whose products they praise we receive no money or other rewards from those we endorse.
1. Best poison ivy treatment? No contest here. Jug Bay endorses Techno. Both the wash you put use after exposure and the scrub are the only over the counter products that work.
2. Place for coffee on the Hill? Peregrine Coffee near Eastern Market. CSA member Ryan Jensen operates the coffee house and is committed to serving high quality fair trade coffee.
3. Best varieties of lettuce. Move over old Buttercrunch. Tropicana and Magenta. The big heads this spring proved that these two are real winners in the mid-Atlantic.
4. Jug Bay Market Garden endorses Christ Church as the place to bring your young family if you are looking for a church. Regardless of which side of the Protestant Revolution you fall, you can feel at home there. Plus, the wonderful church was shipped over intact from the English countryside at great expense years back. How cool is that.
5. With equal fervor, Jug Bay Market Garden endorses the Hill Havurah as the place to be Jewish on the Hill. The era of the brick and mortal shul is over. The same goes for the era of different movements. Havurahs are the future and the Hill Havurah is a very fine one.
6. Jug Bay Market Garden endorses a “radical leftwing” publically funded health care program akin to ones in places run by conservative governments like Germany, France and Canada. The current employer-based health care system in our nation hampers both micro and big businesses. Many a family dirt farm like ours or other small business is held back by high insurance costs. The American steel and manufacturing as well cannot compete with foreign companies that don’t have to pay for employee health benefits.
7. Female vocalist of the year: Regina Spector. We are a little biased toward high-strung Russian Jews with brooding eyebrows but Regina is a very entertaining new talent.
8. Lastly and ever political, Jug Bay Market Garden once again endorses Ron Paul for president. He had no chance of winning in 2008 so it is no less meaningless to endorse him now that the election is long over. As we explained last fall, this endorsement is solely based on the fact he was the only candidate to show up at the farm office for an endorsement interview. Our endorsement bylaws state that we can only endorse someone who comes to the interview. We are still grateful for him appreciating the power of a small organic dirt farm to influence people at the polls. Plus he chose not to sue the farm after the two of us got into a wrestling match when the interview went awry. Thank you Ron Paul.
There you have Jug Bay Market’s endorsements for the year. Do with them what you wish.
We hope you enjoy your shares this week,
Scott and Tanya