The other recent weather pattern is the coolness: the highs have been in the low 80s or upper 70s, and overnight lows have gone into the mid-50s. For some crops, like lettuce for example, these temps are ideal. But for others, like summer squash, and the new sweet potatoes we're trying this year, these temps are just too cold! The squash in particular has slowed way down, meaning this week we've had to order some squash from the co-op because we don't have enough! Usually this time of year we are selling to the co-op! The tomatoes are also experiencing some odd growth patterns due to the weather--they aren't ripening as quickly, just slowly changing colors up on the vines. Don't worry though -- we still have tons of ripe tomatoes!
Now that it is cooler and wet, we are worried about disease. Many plant diseases like to hang out on cool wet plants, and the current weather is perfect for the spread of certain diseases. We are working to protect our crops the best we can: avoiding harvesting when wet, working from the youngest generations to the oldest, and washing hands between crops. But nothing is certain. So cross your fingers for us that we don't see late blight on the tomatoes, that the squash and cukes aren't affected too badly, and that the basil stays healthy!
We've all been doing our best to eat our tomatoes, and Pele has been making some delicious fresh salsas.
Pele's Fresh Heirloom Tomato Salsa
10 lbs Striped German Tomatoes (or your favorite heirloom!)
5 or 6 garlic cloves
1 ripe habanero
2 green cayenne
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
2 tsp salt
bit of fresh chives
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup black olives
Chop garlic, peppers, and lemon juice in food processor. Put mix into enormous mixing bowl. Chop about 3 tomatoes in food processor for liquid base, add to bowl.. Dice the rest of the tomatoes by hand, and add to mixture in bowl. Add salt, corn, olives and fresh chives. Stir. Keep enough in fridge to eat for 1 week and freeze the rest! Garnish with lemon or lime basil when service. Makes at least a gallon of salsa!