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The First Muse Newsletter - Week 4, June 26
Written by Calliope Pappadakis   
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 00:00

Big BoarGreetings, Friends,

We hear it's a busy bear season this year. Our neighbor keeps webcams around the woods and he's spotted some within 200 yards of the house this past week. While I love knowing the population is flourishing and there are thriving cubs, mamas, and boars roaming about our PA forests, it's a bit disconcerting to imagine them so close to the high tunnel and our small flock of chickens. The commercial farmer's corn is being overwhelmed by the bears; a 300-pound male can eat his weight in corn in less than a week. For the sake of both us and the bears, I hope they find some food further in the mountains and in the safety of the trees. I have been feeding the garden with fish and kelp emulsion once a week since March. Needless to say, there are most likely some bears sniffing in this direction.

Mini Kohlrabi 2012New items you may see in your basket in the coming weeks: Chioggia and Red Ace Beets - eat the greens within a week, roots last several months in your crisper drawer; Daikon - in the radish family, very hot, we slice it thin on salads or roast it with the carrots, and I like it on Chicken Tostadas; Flowering Sprouts – love child of brussel sprouts and kale; and finally, miniature kohlrabi.

If there is one crop I'd have to pick as something that really stands out in flavor as an organically grown veggie, it'd be the good ol’ carrot. Without synthetic sprays and insecticides, the true carrot flavor shines through with rich floral tones and earthy goodness. And what's nice for us carrot-growers is that carrots are very low maintenance. They don't drink much and need very little fertilizer. I’m thrilled that there is such an abundance of them this year. And purple ones at that!

Purple Carrots!

Canteloupe 2012Before harvest last night, I pruned the squash vines and tied them to posts so they aren't lying in the bed near damp soil and pesky vine borers. I also hung the cantaloupes with nets and large paperclips so that the weight of the melon is on the rope trellising and not on the vertically hanging plant. I also spotted our first ripe tomato - a red grape one!

Have a lovely week, see you all soon,
Calliope & Jim