Covelo Organic Archive CSA Newsletters - 2011                                                                                

WEEK TWENTY-FIVE - November 22, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Cabbage

Carrots

Beets

Leeks

Kale

Chard

Red and yellow onions

Fingerling potatoes

Garlic

Butternut squash

        Dear people,

    This is the final box for this season and though it won’t last until next year, I have put in more potatoes, onions, and butternut squash that will keep for quite a while.

    I have put a cover on one of the greenhouses that are back by my house at the farm so that I may grow a few things for the winter and early spring for the Covelo farmers market. The market is now held from noon to 3pm at the east end of the library commons. Hope to see you there.

    I may take a vacation in Janurary and seek warmer weather, but I will be back to get the seeds started in my heated greenhouse and begin the next year’s starts.

    Thank you for supporting the farm this year and please let me know if there is something you would like more or less of next year.

                                                Sincerely,  Tom Palley

                                

WEEK TWENTY-FOUR - November 15, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Cabbage

Carrots

Beets

Leeks

Red Gold potatoes

Yellow onions

Buttercup squash

Little pearl onions

Garlic

        Dear people,

    This is the penultimate box, meaning that next week’s box will be the last and ultimate box of this year. I hope to see some of you at the Friday Covelo Farmers Market now held from noon to three at the new addition to the library center.

    The cabbages have just headed up. Cauliflower and broccoli are a possibility for next week but maybe later. The garlic we planted for next year has come up and is ready for weeding as there is lots of grass growing around the garlic.

     The carrots have grown to great size without the splitting or rotting that may come later in the winter. Gophers are munching a lot, but we should have over a thousand pounds to last through the winter.

                                                 Sincerely,

                                                Tom Palley                                                                        

WEEK TWENTY-TWO - November 1, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Kabocha squash

Fingerling potatoes

Red onions

Carrots

Beets

Leeks

Eggplant

Chard

Cilantro

Garlic

Honey Dew melon

Biondo di Lyon chard

        Dear people,

    This is the first week of the Covelo exclusive boxes as we no longer have markets around the county or the desire to wander out and lose money trying to keep up with the demand for our carrots.

    I have inventoried our onions, potatoes, squash and garlic and in the process have culled out the unappealing or just plain rotten. There are abundant winter squash available of the butternut and buttercup varieties. This week we share the less abundant Kubocha squash.

    The melons have been in the walk-in for some time and we have culled out the soft or moldy ones hoping for a bit of sweetness to send your way.

        Our tractor got back to work and we have sowed bell beans over most of the garden.

                                Sincerely,  Tom Palley

WEEK TWENTY-ONE - October 25,2011

TODAY’S BOX

Carrots

Leeks

Eggplant

Cucumbers

Zucchini

Cilantro

Peppers

Honey Dew melon

Potatoes

Onions

Garlic

Buttercup squash

        Dear people,

    We enter the final week for farmers markets and our CSA boxes outside of Covelo. It is the first year we have not had frost by the end of October in the 23 years we have been in operation. The tomatoes did not get the word and have given up a while ago, but cukes, zukes, peppers and eggplant persist.

    We will be taking up our drip lines and tractoring up our summer crops this week or next so that we can sow our winter cover crop of bell beans, a type of fava bean. The bell beans protect  the soil from heavy rains that compact the soil and fix nitrogen to increase soil fertility. In the spring when cut and mixed into the soil they add organic matter and break down quickly.

        Thanks to all of you for supporting us in another year and we hope to have you back again next year.

                                                Sincerely,  Tom Palley                                

WEEK TWENTY - October 18, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Eel River melon

Butternut squash

Salad mix

Leeks

Red Gold potatoes

Peppers

Zucchini

Onions

Carrots

Beets

Garlic

        Dear people,

    The sunshine this week is filtered by fog in the morning and much appreciated in the afternoons. The tomatoes have never recovered from the drenching they took two weeks ago. We are going to begin taking up the drip lines from the summer crops that have completed their production.

    Next week will be the final week of this year’s boxes for those of you outside of Covelo. We may drop your last week’s vegetables in a bag, so you won’t have to return it. But please return this week’s box next week and if you have more than one somehow, we want to reuse them.

    The Eel River melon is the same as the Crane melon. I just harvested these over the weekend. All we have left are Honey Dew melons.

    The garlic has come up after we flamed the emerging grass weeds. It is the first crop for next year. We have had garlic each week and we still have more than enough for the remaining five weeks for Covelo people. I am a believer in the healing and healthful qualities of garlic and I like the taste, too.

                                                Sincerely,        Tom Palley

WEEK NINETEEN - October 11, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Blood peaches

Corn

Butternut squash

Salad mix

Carrots

Cucumbers

Eggplant

Peppers

Kale

Fingerling potatoes

Red onions

Garlic

        Dear people,

    Another inch of rain Sunday night and Monday am has soaked the land well and put an end to the fire season. Because it remains warm and a week of dry weather is expected there remains a chance that more tomatoes might ripen.

    Our garlic got planted ten days ago and we will flame the beds to kill the grasses and other weeds that have emerged before the garlic.

                                        Sincerely,  Tom Palley                         

WEEK EIGHTEEN - October 4, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Honey Dew melon

Corn

Blood peaches

Eggplant

Green beans

Potatoes

Tomatoes

Onions

Garlic

Chard

Carrots

        Dear people,

    Rain has come and dampened the fields. We will see a change and then soon will come frost to close the summer and change things more.

    The peaches are a juicy and sweet variety that may spurt when you bite into them. They are red inside, a blood variety that ripens late. They have bent the branches down and now we are picking them all.

                                        Sincerely,  Tom Palley                                                                

WEEK SEVENTEEN - September 27,2011

TODAY’S BOX

Sunshine watermelon

Melon various

Corn

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Eggplant

Peppers

Onions

Carrots

Kale

Garlic

Dear people,

    For those who have not yet tasted the Sunshine watermelon, here they are. Sweet and juicy and in great demand. The other melon might be a speckled Eel River melon or a cantaloupe.        

        Last week we were out of corn but we have found some small ears still, both white and yellow.

    We plan to plant our garlic this week for next year. We may plant about sixty pounds of seed this year to grow four or five hundred pounds again.

                                        Sincerely,

                                        Tom Palley

                        

WEEK SIXTEEN - September 20, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Honey Dew melon

Tomatoes

Cilantro

Peppers

Garlic

Onions

Carrots

Zucchini

Cucumbers

Potatoes

Green beans

        Dear people,

    It is fall and apples pears and peaches are ripening as melons are tapering off. We have all the makings for a batch of salsa this week and if you are ambitious to make more we still offer bulk rates for cases of tomatoes.

    Our winter squashes will soon be ripe for picking. These store well so we will have some all winter.  Besides Butternut, we have Red Kuri, Buttercup, and Delicada. There will be five more weeks of boxes for those not in Round Valley and another four weeks after that for those who pick up at the farm.

                                                        Sincerely,  Tom Palley

                                

WEEK FIFTEEN - September 13, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Sugar Baby

Crenshaw melon

Green beans

Sweet corn

Tomatoes

Peppers

Eggplant

Summer squash

Potatoes

Red onions

Garlic

Basil

        Dear people,

    How much food is too much? We can only put as much in the box as will fit, but all of our produce is outpacing the demand and we are able to contribute more donations than usual. Green beans, tomatoes and melons are all plentiful. If you are planning to put up green beans or tomatoes we can offer them now at wholesale prices. Dilly beans make a great gift.

    All of our potatoes and onions are now harvested and we have begun to prepare this area for the winter cover crop of bell beans that will take the place of all our summer crops after frost puts an end to them in early October.

                                        Sincerely,  Tom Palley

WEEK FOURTEEN - September 6, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Sugar Baby watermelon

Cantaloupe

Sweet corn

Green beans

Cucumbers

Tomatoes

Potatoes

Red onion

Garlic

Chard

Dear people,

    We are filling the barn with tomatoes and the walk-in with melons as we work to keep up with the harvest of our summer fruit.

    Most of the Walla Walla onions are gone, but we have red and yellow onions that keep better for the rest of the year. We have cut down the work days to nine hours as it has become too dark to start work at six now. We are not able to take off Labor Day as we try to keep up.

                                Sincerely,

                                Tom Palley

        

                                                

Week thirteen - August 30, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Sugar Baby watermelon

Cantaloupe

Sweet corn

Tomatoes

Lemon cucumbers

Salad mix

Green beans

Basil

Garlic

Dear people,

    We are somewhere past the middle of our season, but just coming into the fullness of melons and tomatoes. Our walk-in refrigerator is bursting with watermelons and cantaloupe and we may have to store some in another cooler. Tomatoes are far outreaching the demand at stores and are now available at $25/20# box.

        The payroll has mounted with the increased harvests and the fruit keeps ripening weekends. Enjoy the fruits of summer.

Sincerely,  Tom Palley

Week 12 - August 23, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Beans

Tomatoes

Cantaloupe

Eggplant

Onions

Potatoes

Carrots

Squash

Cucumbers

Garlic

Dear people,

We have our van back this week and we have melons and tomatoes.  Our Round valley Blackberry Festival kept us busy this past weekend.

        Now is the time to order bulk tomatoes at 20#/$30, bulk green beans at 15#/$40, bulk pickling cukes at 20#/$24.

    It is beginning to be a little dark at six am when five workers show up at the farm to begin harvesting and irrigating our crops.

                                                Sincerely,  Tom Palley

WEEK ELEVEN - August 16, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Watermelon

Sweet corn

Salad mix

Cherry tomatoes

Peppers

Carrots

Onions

Basil

Garlic

Dear people,

    A deluge of cherry tomatoes has us needing your help with the excess. All we ask is two pints a week. Let me know if your watermelon was ripe and sweet. I was off at the mechanics when they were picked. I believe they know when the curly dries out they are ready. Garlic and basil make pesto. Highly  recommended.

                                        Sincerely,  Tom Palley                                                        

                                                                                        

WEEK TEN - August 9, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Sweet corn

Green beans

Sun Gold tomatoes

Peppers

Cucumbers

Squash

Onions

Carrots

Beets

Basil

Dill

Dear people,

    Suddenly we have more cherry tomatoes than we know what to do with. Twenty cases are in the barn. If we run out of green beans by Wednesday we may replace them with extra Sun Gold tomatoes. Still very few large tomatoes ripening, though the plants are heavy with green fruit.

        Cucumbers are also working us hard and we now have dill so if you are a pickler this is the time to order extra cukes.

    In years past we have our first watermelons and cantaloupe at this time, so it is a bit later this year, but we did get a second weeding done and look forward to bringing you more fruit.

                                Sincerely,  Tom Palley                                                        

                                                        

Week 9 - August 2, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Sweet corn

Salad mix

Eggplant

Cucumbers

Carrots

Yellow squash

Walla Walla onions

Chard

Garlic

Potatoes

Dear people,

        We have harvested all of the early Walla Walla onions and are drying them in the shade of the large oak trees on the south side of the farm.

    Pickling cukes are coming on and may be ordered in bulk if you are ready. The dill is just beginning to make flowers. Tomatoes are still all green except the cherry tomatoes. Eggplant are starting to make more fruit. The yellow squash are prolific after a slow start.

                                        Sincerely,

                                        Tom  Palley

WEEK EIGHT - July 26, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Cherry tomatoes

Green beans

Carrots

Lettuces

Walla Walla onion

Beets

Summer squash

Garlic

Chard

Dear people,

    A stray paper bag blocked the intake of the compressor that powers the walk-in refrigerator. Monday morning I found the reset button and the paper bag and all is cool again. I will be taking the Dodge Sprinter to the Chrysler mechanics in Autoworld Petaluma again on Thursday to see if they can make it start every time you turn the key.

    We have lifted the Walla Walla onions to let them dry slowly in the shade of the large oaks which border our south side of our ten acre farm. Later, we will trim them to make them more attractive and clean.

    The cherry tomatoes are mostly Sun Gold and  they will be best if ripe and golden. There will also be some of the red Sweet 100. We kept about 75 or 80 of each variety under covered hoops that have forced them into fruiting a bit early. They will ripen out of the sun and out of the refrigerator.

    Here is a recipe. Trim and slice green beans into your favorite shape or size. Steam these with thin slices of carrot. Meanwhile prepare garlic cloves maybe three with a pound and a half of squash in today’s box. Mince or fine slice the garlic cloves and combine with a large onion cut into small bite pieces into as much butter or oil as you can believe in and saute until the onion carmelizes and the garlic has been partially tamed. Now add the summer squash and  steamed carrot and green beans and party on!        

                Sincerely,                                Tom Palley

Week 7 - July 19, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Green beans

Carrots

Yukon Gold new potatoes

Walla Walla onion

Summer squash

Cilantro

Basil

Italian parsley

Garlic

        Dear people,

    Cool weather, even a bit of rain Monday. Sunflowers are opening in the mist. We are picking up some new outlets and will have carrots and beets at Corners of the Mouth and the Ukiah Natural Foods coop.

    Crows are leaving no corn sprouts untasted as we learn to cover the corn from germ to three or four inch seedling. We host a large corvine contingent. Possibly a murder of crows.

    Outbreaks of insects: cucumber beetles on the chard, flea beetles on the eggplants and squash beetles on the zucchini we attempt to restrain with diatomaceous earth and neem oil mixed with dish soap in warm water.

Sincerely,

Tom Palley

Week 6, July 12, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Yukon Gold potatoes

Carrots

Walla Walla onion

Yellow summer squash

Chinese or Napa cabbage

Biondo di Lyon chard

Arugula

Green onions

Garlic

Dear people,

    Last week our twenty long rows of melons and watermelons were uncovered and weeded by hand. I now feel confident that in another four weeks we will begin to have too many melons. Our yellow Sunshine watermelons are the sweetest and juiciest. Our Moon and Stars watermelons are out of this world and our Sugar Baby watermelons have always been popular.

    Crenshaw, cantaloupe, Eel River melons and Honey Dew will need to find homes. Please alert your friends that it is not to late to sign up for our boxes.

                                Sincerely,

Tom Palley, watermelon man

Week 5, July 5, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Squash

Basil

Napa cabbage

Broccoli

Cabbage

Carrots

Chioggia beets

Green onions

Italian parsley

Garlic

Dear people,

    Lettuces have given up in the heat, but will return in the form of salad mix of cut lettuces within a couple weeks.  Early potatoes next week.

        While strawberries have been a disappointment this year, raspberries are ripening and should be part of the boxes soon.

        Chioggia beets are a candy apple red turning pink as cooked.

        Try grilling or roasting in a pan the whole green onions except the roots in olive oil. Tasty!                

                                                Sincerely,

                                                Tom Palley

Week 4, June 28, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Spinach

Carrots

Beets

Zucchini

Garlic

Green onions

Lavender

Dear people,

Please return your boxes each week as they are reused if clean and in decent shape.

This week’s broccoli is a different variety and has done better. The cauliflower has pinked up a bit in the heat we had, but should still be good for eating. Garlic is now harvested and drying in the shade. Today it is still fresh and green and will last better if refrigerated.

                                                Sincerely,

                                                Tom Palley

Week 3, June 21, 2001

TODAY’S BOX

Zucchini

Sugar Snap peas

Broccoli

Spinach

Lettuce

Beets

Turnips

Kale

Green onions

Italian parsley

Dear people,

    Long white row covers now are blanketing more than an acre of the farm to protect the young melon and watermelon starts that are protected beneath. No cucumber beetles need apply. These covers will remain over the plants until they are ready to flower and will need to be pollinated to produce their fruit.

    Zucchini have arrived before the summer solstice, today, the longest day of the year. The heat is yet to come, but we did get a day of 90 degrees last week and that still seems hot at this point.

    At the beginning of summer it is time to start seeds for the winter garden, so just as we have the first spring broccoli we are sowing  broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages to plant in July for September and October harvest.

    We have eighteen Covelo members of our CSA and fourteen more throughout the county.  We are able to provide for at least sixty boxes a week as we head into summer and we would welcome new people who still wish to join.

                                                        Sincerely,

                                                        Tom Palley

Week 2, June 14,2011

TODAY’S BOX

Sugar Snap Peas

Beets

Biondo di Lyon chard

Cilantro

Spinach

Lettuces

Green onions

Collard greens

Turnips

Garlic

Dear people,

The warm weather came at last this week and we are able to plant out our first melons and watermelons this week. We were able to pick a few baby squash this week and should have some for the boxes next week.

The Biondo di Lyon chard is a lighter shade of green than Swiss Chards but like the Swiss Chard this variety has a broad central stem of each leaf. We have grown the red rhubarb squash, the bright yellow chard and the Swiss chard this year.

Collard  greens are some thing more popular in the South, but they take more cooking than either spinach or chard.

We have sown carrots for a fourth time last week and the first sowings may be big enough to be sweet next week.    

                Sincerely,

                Tom Palley

Week 1, June 7, 2011

TODAY’S BOX

                                                                                                         Sugar Snap peas    

Spinach

Lettuces

Turnips

Radishes

Cilantro

Kale

Green onions

Green garlic

Dear people,

        Greetings. We begin another exciting year in the production and marketing of fresh, organic produce, and you CSA  members are a big part of the plan. Early production of summer crops is difficult outside of greenhouse conditions. A mild spring has given us a good stand of early crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, cilantro, kale, chards, carrots, beets, turnips and lettuces.

    We have picked peas for a while from inside our one enclosed growing area and some from outside. These are the Sugar Snap pea, an edible pod type. Often eaten raw, I prefer mine steamed.        

For a look at the farm check coveloorganic.com and then view haven (pictures taken on May 24) as the bell beans were being turned into the ground with a spader. This week it will warm up some and we may plant the first watermelons and other melons out into the area just recently covered in bell beans.

Enjoy salads this week.

                                        Sincerely,

                                        Tom Palley