Farm Notes: Beating them to the Feast
Until this point in the season we have been picking most crops as they are needed. Now we are beginning to pick onions in bulk for storage. Onions need to be harvested when the tops have dried down and they are dry. The constant rain and humidity we have had in the past two weeks is not making for a good onion harvesting for storage. If the onions get too much rain just before they are harvested the water will run down the central stalk and into the heart of the onion. This moist heart will often lead to rotten centers. We have been trying to cull out these bad onions, and apologize if we missed any. But also since the added moisture will make it more difficult to store the onions into the fall we will be giving more onions in the share now while they are still good and delicious.
Elsewhere on the farm, the deer have been causing havoc in the lettuce and the carrots. Since we grow on several farm parcels, we try to rotate the crops that the deer tend to like to different fields. The early lettuce was grown on the home farm inside the protection of the deer fence. In past years we have seen more deer damage on the earliest lettuce. Early lettuce is more appealing to the deer because there is not much other green growth yet at that point in the season. Often the mid-summer crops see less deer damage because the deer have so many other options for food. But not this year. Now they seem to have gotten a taste for lettuce and are devouring the field before the heads are even fully grown. This week you may find some small lettuce in the share. This is because the deer have eaten so much and because we are trying to beat the deer to the feast. We are rotating the next plantings of lettuce to other distant fields in the hope that the deer in that new area do not yet have a taste for lettuce. But that lettuce will not be ready until later in September.