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Monday, August 12, 2013

August 13th and 16th: New Fruits this Week!

PEACHES!

 
I have never seen our peach trees so full!  We had to prop up their branches, hoping they won't break, and that was after I had thinned off hundreds of little peaches!  I am currently eating a bowl of peaches, blueberries and raspberries.  A pretty rocking breakfast I must say.  And YOU can have one too!  Peaches and blueberries will be for sale at pick up this week and there are a few raspberries left in the patch for Upick.  Maine summers are short, but oh so sweet.  And after a gorgeous weekend like the one we just had--wow!

 TOMATILLOS

  
are ready for PYO!  They are up by the hoop house, right next to the strawberries.  Look for fruits like in this photo--the more yellow they are the sweeter they will be.  You literally have to dive into the bush to pick them since the ripest ones are way down in there closest to the ground.  In fact, the ones that have fallen off and are on the ground are usually the best : ) 
 
Here is a nice link about tomatillos (it even has a pronunciation key for those of you who can never seem to get it right -- mom : )  http://whatscookingamerica.net/tomatillos.htm

GOOD BUGS

 
Some of you know this lovely critter, the tobacco hornworm.  A few of them have been dining on my tomato and pepper plants.  Usually when I find them I yank them off the plant and stomp on them with my foot (generally with an "ha!  I found you!" exclamation).  But this guy, and his buddy on the neighboring pepper plant, were spared.  Why? you ask.  Genetically hornworms don't have those white spikes on their back.  They are actually cocoons of a parasitic wasp.  The adult wasp lays her eggs just under the skin of the worm.  When the larvae hatch, they feed on the worm, chew their way through the skin and make a cocoon attached to the outside of the worm.  When the wasps emerge, the worm is already pretty weak and will soon die...no stomping involved.  I have never seen any on my farm in the 10 years we have been here so I was excited to see evidence of this beneficial insect!  Here is a pretty cool YouTube of wasps hatching http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRAxdkI4-X8
  
 
The Yellow and Black Argiope. Or as I called it growing up: the zipper spider.  This is a common garden spider, but this year it seems to be everywhere.  I will say it has become my new favorite friend....the bug wrapped up to the right of the spider is a Japanese beetle.  Every web I have seen from this spider has been full of them!  Here is another link for those strange folk like my self who find good bugs fascinating http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argiope_aurantia


Ok so now that I have totally freaked all of you out!  (Notice I did start with a lovely picture of peaches.)

I believe we have passed through the crazy harvests of cukes and zukes, (ahhh, nice for me but bad for those of you who may have missed canning them) so now they will be a part of your weight.  And we are SO close to having tomatoes for all, but not quite yet so please be mindful to read the signs. We will have a couple week break in lettuce since the 95 degree heat destroyed two plantings.

This weeks bounty: Chinese cabbage (use in place of lettuce), chard (makes a nice salad too), beets, leeks, green beans, cukes, zukes, summer squash, (broccoli/tomatoes for some) herbs (basil, cilantro, dill, mint, parsley, cutting celery)

BABY LEEKS for grilling!  This year I decided to plant loads of leeks so that I could give some out in the warmer summer months for grilling.  The best way to clean them is to cut them lengthwise and rinse.  Toss them in a little oil and spices and grill 'em up!

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