Late blight reaches the farm

Jordan washing potatoes

Jordan, our volunteer from Ohio, washing and sorting red potatoes

We tend to stay upbeat about the challenges  we face on the farm.  But this year it’s important to share some of the unusual obstacles of the season.  Late blight, the same disease that caused the Irish potato famine, made its way to the Northeast this summer, courtesy of big box stores that imported infected tomato seedlings.  That, combined with one of the coolest, wettest summers on record, has resulted in a devastating outbreak of  blight.  Late blight is an airborne disease that kills tomato and potato plants in record time, wiping out fields within days.

This past week blight reached our farm.  Bill spent a day and a half in the potato field, burning row after row of potato plants.  This will hopefully limit the damage of the blight, and we will be able to harvest most of the potatoes, since they are still healthy and delicious.

We are protecting our tomatoes as best as possible with an organically approved copper spray.  But there is a chance that we will go the same way as “virtually all of the CSA farms [in MA] that … have lost their tomato crop over the past several days,” according to the Boston Globe.  To read the Globe’s article that explains how CSAs are helping small farms survive the economic impact of blight, visit http://tinyurl.com/lateblight.

We have high hopes that we will be providing you with delicious tomatoes into October.  In the meantime, know that we appreciate the support every one of you has showed for organic, local agriculture by joining this CSA.  Because you were willing to sign on and share in the bounty as well as the challenges of non-industrial agriculture, we are able to plant diverse crops and will survive to grow another year.  Thank you.

We’re excited that the green beans are finally ready to pick, as are the cukes and the second planting of broccoli that survived the rain.  And the sun of the last few days has brightened our spirits.  Noah will be still selling his garlic crushers throughout the week, so send an email if you want to buy one.  He can wood-burn ’Hatchet Cove CSA’ and/or a picture of a garlic bulb on it. 

Have a great week, and send happy thoughts to the tomato plants!

Reba and the HCF crew  

Week 9 veggies:  Beets w/Greens, Cucumber,  Green Beans, Cilantro, Zucchini or Zephyr Squash, Broccoli, Tomato, Potatoes, Mesclun Mix

This week’s recipes:  Roasted New Potato Salad, Broccoli with Pasta

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s