Farmers are notorious for complaining about weather, so here goes. This week was marked by simultaneously way too much rain and not enough rain.
Let me explain. There are two main problems with rainy weather: it makes it difficult to get rid of weeds and it makes foliage wet, thereby encouraging all manner of blights, molds, and other diseases. This is especially an issue in Kentucky where the humidity means that leaves are often damp from dew 12-16 hours of the day anyway. Of course, water is essential for plants to grow and so I’ll gratefully take some rainy days to make sure plants get their water. But too many rainy days, and problems arise.
Okay, you might say, I can see how too much rain can be a problem and too little rain can be a problem. But both at the same time? Yes, in fact. This week my farm was at the edge of thunderstorms almost every single day. Summer thunderstorms here tend to come in the afternoon, i.e., in the few hours of the day where plants might otherwise have been dry. So plants were wet most of the week, and it shows, with lots of blight and rust around. But note that I said that the farm was at the “edge” of the thunderstorms. As a result, despite some rain nearly every day, the overall rainfall for the week was less than half what I would have liked. So too rainy but not enough rain, which is a very frustrating combination.
Okay, enough complaining. In good news, the favourite summer squash in our house, cousa squash, started producing and I expect to have a bunch of it at market on Saturday. The differences between summer squashes are fairly subtle, and we happily use whatever variety we happen to have on hand for most recipes. But cousas are a little sweeter, a little nuttier, and a little more solid, and, we think, a little better than zucchinis. (Yes, local linguistic conventions notwithstanding, zucchinis are a kind of summer squash.) In appearance, cousas are light green, almost grey in colour, and a bit more bulbous than zucchinis. They have very thin, soft skin. Keeping them — and me — from getting completely scratched up by the spiky plants while harvesting is a challenge. — Sydney
This week’s items
Items we plan to have at the market this week (an asterisk indicates unusually limited quantities):
- Beans, Dry (assorted varieties, including Peregion, Red Kidney, and Tiger’s Eye)
- Beans, Snap (Contender)
- Beets (Chioggia, Touchstone Gold, and Merlin)
- Cowpeas, Dry (Black Crowder and Calico Crowder)
- Dry beans and cowpeas (assorted varieties, including Tiger’s Eye beans, Peregion beans, Red Kidney beans, Pinto beans, and Black Crowder peas)
- Granola (Pecan Cushaw Granola)*
- Onions (Candy and Red Candy)
- Pea shoots
- Peppers* (cream bell, green bell, Jalapeno)
- Potatoes (Carola, Purple Majesty, and Red Gold)
- Summer Squash (Cousa, Yellow Crookneck, Zucchini)
- Tomatoes (Matt’s Wild Cherry*)