As we near the start of the regal month of August, allow me to share a few thoughts on the month of July which is drawing to a close. Greyer, cooler and more humid than usual, it has clearly affected the growth and productivity of many plants. In the normal course, July is hot and dry; consequently, we are somewhat put out, dare we say disappointed, that it has not been as it should be.
First there are the tomatoes, which have been notably slower than usual to redden, despite all our cajoling and entreaties. We will not yet be able to offer them up in your baskets, for lack of sufficient quantities to satisfy popular demand.
Then there are the blueberries which – despite magnificent robes of blue – have so far refused to shed a lingering tartness. We’ve also harvested our first cantaloupes, but their melony orange hues likewise offer no guarantee that they will be as sweet as they should be.
The biggest risk associated with a humid month of July is the development of different fungal diseases – such as cucumber and squash powdery mildew, tomato and onion mildew, apple scab, lettuce and spinach rust. Yours truly does not usually pray for a hot and dry August, but this year may be different – at the very least I hope that Mother Nature will be magnanimous and work in our favour.
It will be difficult to come up with a hard and fast list of vegetables this week, as explained above. Our tried and true veggies will continue to lead the charge – namely cucumbers, summer squash, lettuce, kale, spring onions – but the rest of your basket will depend on what, and how much, we can pull out of the field, i.e. most probably some cantaloupe, some corn, some eggplant, some cauliflower and more. So let us surprise you, but do not hold it against us if a given item (or more) does not make it into your basket this week.
One last housekeeping item: if you are also signed up for a bread basket, when you leave on holidays please remember to let your baker know the dates you will be away so you do not lose your bread. We’ve run out of space in our freezers and, much to our dismay, freezers seem to be out-of-stock most everywhere (!)…see you soon.