It has been a devastating week here at Fresh Veggies. I’m feeling a little more than discouraged.
The lettuce and tomato plants are covered in bugs, white flies, I believe. The lettuce was ready to harvest and I was totally grossed out by the bugs so WE DID NOT EAT IT. Bleck. No amount of washing was going to take that visual away from me. Gag.
I promptly busted out the insecticidal soap and sprayed like a maniac. As a matter of fact, I should probably go spray again to be sure. Bleck.
Then, there’s the matter of the sunflowers. Total loss. I blame the chipmunks. I blame the squirrels. I blame the bunnies. I blame them all. And, I am sad.To make matters worse, there is someone down the street from me who has no less than 100 sunflower plants happily growing in her front yard. I am beyond jealous.
And, I will just have vicariously enjoy her sunflowers because mine are dead.
This week’s haul included a couple of fun things and a little bit of sad news. First things first, what’s in the box? (All organic from Lattin Farms unless otherwise noted)
- Decorative Gourd
- Decorative Indian Corn
- Potatoes from Workman Farms
- Butternut Squash from Peri & Sons
- Onions From Peri & Sons
What do you do with a full sunflower head? Thankfully, the newsletter came with instructions. (I love that the farm doesn’t assume that I know this stuff. Instructions are appreciated!)
How to Make Your Own Sunflower Seeds
Cover the flower head with a paper bag and secure into place by tying around the bag with a string.
Hang the cut sunflower upside down by the stem in a warm but ventilated area for three weeks to two months while it cures. The seeds will fall out over time, caught in the paper bag.
Place the dried sunflower seeds in an airtight container in the refrigerator for storage. Roast the sunflower seeds by spreading them in a flat layer over a cookie sheet and placing in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes. Add salt or leave them plain based on your preference.
I love the decorative stuff because they can hang around until Thanksgiving and not be confused with my Halloween decorations.
Now, the sad news … the drought was pretty tough on my farm this year. And, well, drought conditions make it pretty tough on about everything around here. Here’s the official scoop from my CSA newsletter:
“It has been a challenging year for us – drought, heavy insect and disease pressure, crazy weather (including about three weeks without sunshine due to wildfires). Despite these difficulties the basket went out every week full of fresh produce. The variety, due to problems noted above, was not up to our usual standards – lots and lots of some things and less of others. Thanks for putting up with those variables.
We are changing the basket substantially in 2014 to ensure we can send a full basket of good produce every week, despite the challenges we anticipate due to continued drought. Luckily at Lattin Farms we have storage ponds on the farm and will be able to plant for the new seasons we are implementing for 2014.
We will have two seasons rather than three, with an Early Season Basket beginning the first week of June and running through the end of July. This season will begin with the usual greens, plus beets, turnips, carrots and in July the first
of the summer squashes, tomatoes and peppers. Late Season Basket will include August and September and will contain all the crops you got this year. This will allow us to concentrate on our major season as we face the challenges with weather and drought.
Our sign-up for 2014 will be up on the website within the next couple of weeks and we would appreciate early sign-ups with the $50 deposits as we may be required to limit basket numbers if the drought worsens.
We are asking some of our cooperating farmers if they want to pick up some of the spring and fall business that we have had. Look to our website later in the year for announcements on other subscription programs for spring and fall baskets. Thanks again for your loyal support. Rick Lattin”
Well, that’s just how it works here in the desert. No water, no life. You have to do the best you can with what you have so we’ll see how it works out next year for crops and Fresh Veggies in the Desert.
Let me know what you think … I was looking forward to the winter break but now it’s a little sad that I’m watching the CSA change at the same time.