Welcome To Harvest Week 13: Tue/Wed/Thurs Delivery, Sept 3, 4 & 5, 2013

Welcome to Harvest Week 13
Farmer John Writes about The Shrinking Coulter: When Heavy Metal goes Underground.

Let Your Friends Know about our Back-to-School Shares
We are now offering back-to-school shares. We realize some families are gone from home too much during the summer, but they do want their kids to eat healthy. With school going back in session, it is the perfect time to be putting a healthy meal on the table and a great time to see what a CSA share is all about. Send them to www.angelicorganics.com soon, as the share signup and payment have to reach the farm no later than Wednesday, Sept 11. They will receive a $20 discount when they use coupon code Friend2013.
Cello by Patti Garvey
Save the date Sat, Sept 21, for our Farm Open House
We are honored that Angelic Organics Shareholder Patti Garvey has offered to play the cello at our open house. Patti has been performing classical music, rock and roll, jazz, hip hop, and latin music for over 20 years throughout North America, South America and Europe, playing in Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, Miami’s New World Center, Teatro Teresa Carreño of Caracas, Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, and Konzerthaus of Berlin

Open House Schedule
10am: Kinnikinnick Creek walk with Katie Townsend on 70 acres
11: Begin check in at main barn,  dish drop off, hayrides to the pumpkin patch; cello music in the farmyard
12:30pm: Lunch
1:30: Cello Performane by Patti Garvey, followed by CSA meeting/talk
Pumpkin painting and veggie sculptures in Learning Center gathering space. (Your hayride pumpkin is the pumpkin you will paint or sculpt.)

The Weather This Past Week
Hot, often in the low 90’s, with a lovely storm on Friday evening.  The previous week’s rain allowed us to deeply subsoil the fields that had not yet been worked up for 2014. Then we pushed really hard to apply  16 tons of Biodynamic compost per field, then apply the Biodyamic sprays, then prepare the ground for seeding and finally do the seeding. We seeded 30 of next year’s vegetable fields to peas before the rain arrived. We have 4 fields left to seed, but we’ll have to wait for the fields to dry to finish those. I’m not a great sport about being rained out before we got completely done with the fall seeding of cover crops, because that’s just the way I am. If we plan to get something done before the rain, then it had better get done before the rain. Oh, well, I suppose it’s good to let the rain win now and then.

Pollo (Eduardo) Casique works late seeding forage peas to boost fertility in our 2014 vegetable fields. Twenty minutes after he made this pass with the grain drill, the rain came pounding down.This is the 29th field he seeded on this Friday. Next year, it will grow your spring beets and cabbage.

Pollo (Eduardo) Casique works late seeding forage peas to boost fertility in our 2014 vegetable fields. Twenty minutes after he made this pass with the grain drill, the rain came pounding down.This is the 29th field he seeded on this Friday. Next year, it will grow your spring beets and cabbage.

The Crops
Kale Alert
Your kale got munched a bit the past few days. Flea beetles suddenly marauded in our crops, after behaving rather well for most of the season. I suspect the intense heat made them suddenly active, but it could be other things, such as an abrupt generational metamorphosis. We regret the pockmarks in the kale leaves from the flea beetle damage, but the kale will still taste good.

Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower have all come on early…probably due to the cool weather this summer. Some of our winter squash is ripe. Tomatoes came on fast and are now almost gone.

Early Broccoli, Aug 29

Early Broccoli, Aug 29

The Crew
We had a lovely volunteer here for the last 3 weeks, Karla Canela, friend of illustrious full-season field worker Alina Yacino. Karla worked hard in the fields and also took great photographs. I’ve invited her back next summer to be our farm photographer and field worker. We hope to have an exhibit of Karla’s photography in the barn loft gallery for the July open house.

The Farm's Silo, by Karla Canela

The Farm’s Silo, by Karla Canela

Karla (left) and Alina, Effervescent Field Workers

Karla (left) and Alina, Effervescent Field Workers

The Shrinking Coulter
We do deep tillage on the farm, every vegetable field at least once, sometimes twice per season. Our subsoiler (in some circles referred to as a ripper) penetrates the silty clay soil about 16 inches deep, slicing a channel through it which lets air in to stimulate microbial activity and let’s water infiltrate, rather than pool on the surface or run off. In loosening the soil, the tillage machine makes it easier for roots to penetrate and spread out. It takes a lot of power to subsoil (hence the term rip), about 35 horsepower per shank.

Hardened steel points are bolted to the tips of the subsoiler shanks. There is a variety of point styles that a farmer can choose from, depending on how aggressively he wants to loosen and lift the soil. The points we use at Angelic Organics lift the soil just a little, not nearly so much as a mole making a classic burrow in a cartoon.

The subsoiler has coulters mounted on the front that slice through the ground ahead of the shanks, cutting through crop residue that might otherwise plug the machine. Our coulters had become badly worn over the years, so Primo replaced them this past week.

The new, black, waffle coulters are positioned ahead of each shank. We also replaced the points on the tips of the shanks.

The new, black, waffle coulters are positioned ahead of each shank. We also replaced the points on the tips of the shanks.

The new coulters are in the foreground. The old coulters are in the background. The old coulters were originally the size of the new coulters.

The new coulters are in the foreground. The old coulters are in the background. The old coulters were originally the size of the new coulters.

Overlay of the old coulter (shined to a silvery finish from slicing through the soil over the seasons) on top of the new black coulter. The old coulter is about 13 1/2" in diameter; the new coulter is 17 1/2" in diameter. The soil wore the old coulter down 4" in diameter over the years.

Overlay of the old coulter (shined to a silvery finish from slicing through the soil over the seasons) on top of the new black coulter. The old coulter is about 13 1/2″ in diameter; the new coulter is 17 1/2″ in diameter. The soil wore the old coulter down 4″ in diameter over the years.

Rear view of the subsoiler shank, which penetrates about 16" into the ground. Notice how the shank tapers from the top, where it is about 1" thick, to about 1/2" towards the bottom. This tapering is from slicing through the soil acre after acre, year after year, and is exacerbated by the occasional rock.

Rear view of the subsoiler shank, which penetrates about 16″ into the ground. Notice how the shank tapers from the top, where it is about 1″ thick, to about 1/2″ towards the bottom. This tapering is from slicing through the soil acre after acre, year after year, and is exacerbated by the occasional rock.

Primo eventually intervened with the wear on the shanks by installing shank guards, which direct the soil wear to the shields and away from the shanks themselves. Here you see the worn point and shank guard in the foreground, with the new point and shank guard just behind it. The point and shank guard in the foreground were originally the same size as the point and guard behind them.

Primo eventually intervened with the wear on the shanks by installing shank guards, which direct the soil wear to the shields and away from the shanks themselves. Here you see the worn point and shank guard in the foreground, with the new point and shank guard just behind it. The point and shank guard in the foreground were originally the same size as the point and guard behind them.

Soil is much softer than steel, yet the soil can shape the steel, wear it down, transform it. It makes one aware of what love can do in hard places.

Angelic Organics Learning Center: Building Bridges with Green Architect Roald Gundersen
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Help build our next whole tree structure at the Learning Center’s Whole Tree Architecture Bridge Building workshop: together, we’ll learn about whole tree design, framing and finishing, then build a bridge across Kinnikinnick Creek. The combination of expert instruction and hands-on experience will leave you inspired. This workshop includes the option for camping overnight, at no additional cost. Sign up on our website  for this unique weekend workshop: http://www.learngrowconnect.org/node/4879. For a limited time only, register one person at full price and receive a second registration for half price! To redeem this special offer, call Kellie at 815-389-8455 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Salad Greens – Lettuce

Fruiting Crops – Spaghetti Squash, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers

Cooking Greens – Bagged Chard, Bunched Kale

Alliums – Sweet Onions

Brassicas – Cabbage, Broccoli

Root Crops – Carrots, Beets

Herbs – Thyme

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  • Jerri Jones
    Reply

    Good newsletter again. I thought the Ripper article was interesting. Who knew?

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