All weather has impacts

Casey picking plums for this week’s CSA — his shirt makes a great soft spot for landing plums!

What a summer this has been so far! Or, hasn’t been.

What we have experienced: significant rainfall in July! What we have not experienced: dusty, dirty skies; intense heat waves; intensely dry days.

So, it’s different than what we’ve come to expect here in the Willamette Valley for July (which usually full of those things I listed above). Most folks I talk to seem to be rejoicing in the more comfortable season, and I can definitely see the effects of it in the environment around us. Trees that might be showing the earliest signs of drought stress are still mostly just green. In our orchards, we can see that our earliest apples are maturing more slowly, which might actually lead to better quality, as sometimes the summer heat can be too intense for them. We had almost perfect germination in our fall brassica sowing and field-sown carrots — which often struggle to germinate on hot mid-summer days. Not this year!

There are of course also expected slow downs in the maturity of all kinds of crops. Our tomatoes are just now starting to ripen, later than our typical early July (for cherry tomatoes). Overall, our harvest lists remind us more of late June than mid-July. But, unexpected seasons such as this certainly keep us on our toes, always watching and learning from the farm and our larger environment!

I do hope that we still get some days warm enough to invite dips into the river (which hasn’t been overly appealing just yet). While the heat can be hard on us humans, it also provides those unique summer opportunities that I hope we’ll still get to enjoy to some degree this year. It is, after all, only mid-July.

Beautiful plums!

But, even with the feeling of delay in the fields, we’re excited about this week’s share, which leans more heavily on the warm-season fruiting crops: green beans! plums! zucchini! cucumbers! We also have lots of salad mix for summer salads and lots of new potatoes (perhaps for summer potato salads???). Overall we chose to harvest fewer individual items, but there are ample amounts of what we do have, and it’s all top-notch quality!

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers, Katie & Casey Kulla

~ ~ ~

Meet this week’s vegetables:

  • Plums
  • Green beans — The first of the summer green beans! What is your favorite way to eat them? We love to sauté them with onions and eat them plain or add meat to make into a main dish. We also love to roast them in a pan with butter and garlic.
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce mix
  • Fennel
  • New potatoes — A mix of types!
  • Cabbage
  • Zucchini
  • Fresh onions
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