July 19, 2017
With daytime temperatures hovering around 20 degrees (or below), and frost still making a regular appearance most veg on the farm have decided to grow at half the usual pace. Carrots that can be ready in as little as 6 weeks in Summer and Autumn have slowed right down to take closer to 10 or 11 during Winter. Broccoli and cabbage are stalling, I’m picking beetroot as babies and even leafy greens are struggling along.
At this time of year everything slows down. From around now until October is often referred to as the Hungry Gap and this will be reflected in the CSA shares at the moment, which this week have only 8 items. Even as the air temperature begins to warm up in the coming weeks, it will take slightly longer for the soil itself to warm. However, once it does things will really take off. The leeks, onions and garlic will be ready to harvest and the peas will start to flower and pod up. The summer veg will get underway and it will be time to sow corn. Boxes will be bumping back up towards 15 items.
This week I have been spending a lot of time in the polytunnel seeding tomatoes, capsicums, chilli, eggplant, basil, okra, pumpkins, melons, summer varieties of broccoli and cabbage, more onions, flowers and peas. In the coming weeks, they will be joined by rhubarb, cucumbers, zucchini and squash. It is very exciting right now, in this time of sparseness, to imagine a summer bounty of goodness overflowing from the CSA boxes.
So, thank you for sticking with us during the Hungry Gap. You will be rewarded in Summer and Autumn as the soil warms, the microbes awaken and the plants draw nutrients up into their leaves, stems, buds and fruit to create flavours to take our breath away.
Yours in veg,