Hallelujah!! It is FINALLY raining and the air seems much cooler after our relentless heat wave. The plants must be blissful from this afternoon's shower from above. The heat last week was so intense that even the drip irrigation that we installed earlier this year did not make an impact on some of the crops; however, without it I doubt that much would have survived. No matter how much you can irrigate, there is no substitute for the real thing. The rain is timely since I spent yesterday sowing carrots, radishes, bok choy, beans, arugula and butternut squash for Fall.
This has been a week of surprises... This morning, as I was making my rounds through the garden, I found the best surprise ever - the first ripe tomato of summer. There is absolutely nothing better than the taste of a tomato fresh from the garden and still warm from the sun! And, I confess - I couldn't help myself... I had it for breakfast. Sorry, CSA members, I couldn't figure out how to divide it between all of you and I couldn't have it go to waste... so, I did the next best thing. I ate it on your behalf!! But, hope looms on the horizon, a number of others are beginning to ripen and hopefully within the next week we will have heirloom tomatoes for everyone.
Another surprise was the peppers, eggplants, cucumbers and lima beans I noticed forming on a few plants, and the emerging leaves of the salad greens planted to grow in the shade of the climbing beans.
But the greatest surprise, the one that I have been waiting for for weeks, were the butterflies that returned for the season. Every year, I wait with anticipation for their arrival. Their grace and beauty are such a pleasure to behold in the garden. A recent article posted on the internet stated that butterfly populations are down 80% due to the GMO crops, which makes me a little anxious. I was so very happy to see them return to the farm for the summer.
This week we harvested all of the garlic and hung it in the barn to dry, along with the shallots that were harvested last week. The battle of the bugs continues and even though many of the squash have bitten the dust from the squash beetle, many more have survived and the harvest this week is abundant. New this week in CSA shares are Zephyr Squash, a very pretty yellow squash with faint white stripes, light green blossom ends and an unusually nutty taste.
I received a recipe for Summer Squash Soup from the Adams County Farmers Market Association today, which looks very yummy. http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Summer-Squash-Soup
A number of other squash recipes can be found on this page as well.
One last reminder to CSA members - the herbs in the Herb Garden are abundant. Please feel free to come and pick your own.
The rain has stopped and the sun is coming out. Perhaps we will have a rainbow.
Beech Springs Farm is a small family farm near Gettysburg, PA. The farm is open to the public by appointment only.
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A beautiful garden is a work of heart.....