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Tomato Mountain Newsletter - Week 23 | Summer Week 5

Posted 8/2/2017 7:14pm by Jason.
Whats in the box?! 
As we head into the last month of summer, we’re finally drying out. We’ve had many 2”, 3”, and even 5” rainfalls over the last 5-6 weeks. The pattern has changed now, and the weather is much drier/more settled.
Our peppers in the field have taken a big hit as they don’t like lots of water. If I had to guess now, I’d say it will be a lean year for peppers. We had to pick all the green peppers (that we’d normally allow to ripen/turn red) off the plants to give them a chance to grow, vegetate and gain momentum. That’s the only reason there are peppers in the box this week. Hopefully, that will allow the plants to put their energy into growing more leaves, flowers and, eventually, peppers.  
This drier weather is coming just in time for us to sow our big fall carrot crop. Nothing we do is a bigger deal or more important. Our first sowing came the night before the last, pounding 3.5” rainfall. The weather, however, wasn’t our biggest problem. We messed up the adjustment on our tractor seeder and sowed the carrots far too thin.Our next attempt was much better, with only one of the four hoppers on our seeder giving us slightly less than optimal results. Yesterday I did the second of our two planned sowings. It seemed to go quite well. Can’t say for sure until the seed germinates, but the amount of seed we put down was nice good. We should have plenty of carrots for late fall, winter, next spring, and into next summer.
Tomatoes are in full swing and we’re getting lots into the boxes this week. We are not trying to be everything to everyone anymore. We’re sticking to what we do best, growing more of our most popular and distinctive crops, and not trying to do too much variety. Tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, zucchini, onions, get the idea. Good, solid, locally grown produce. And tomatoes are our #1 crop, so expect a steady diet of the 10 or so varieties we grow for the next 8-9 weeks.
We need your feedback. As I’ve mentioned in a previous newsletter, we’re having fun and success selling potted 8” herb plants at farmers’ markets. We gave basil plants to large and medium shareholders earlier this year. We didn’t get tons of feedback, but what we did get was pretty mixed, with half people happy, and the other half not really sure what to do with a plant they didn’t ask for.
The idea of having a slow growing, versatile, and relatively easy-to-care-for herb plant seems at least as good as getting a bit of that herb in the box every few weeks. Thyme plants are probably as easy to take care, and as useful in many recipes, as any plant. It’s the backbone of any Mediterranean herb mixture, can be used fresh or dried, and does well under anything from full sun to a fluorescent light in your kitchen during winter.
Instead of giving a thyme plant to everyone, we’ve decided to offer them as a free add-on to anyone who wants one. There is significant expense on our part, and moderate care required on your part, for this to be successful. We think it’s a nice way to offer out thanks and appreciation to our customers. Anyone who is signed up for our CSA at the beginning of the fall season (around October 1st), will get a free 8” thyme plant. All you have to do is ask for it/order it as an add on, but there will be no charge.
We haven’t potted on these thyme plants yet. We did sow the seeds. but have not potted-on the small thyme plants to the final containers yet. We’re very interested to know what sort of response to expect. Please let us know what you think, what ideas you have, and whether or not you’ll “order” your free plant. Thanks in advance.

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