This week, when Alon and I checked the weather forecast for the upcoming week, we encountered that sizzling red sun symbol blazing over each day of the week, next to anticipated temperatures of 33-34 degrees and 25 degrees by night. Hot and humid. OK, we said, in a brave attempt to console ourselves: this must surely be the last week it will be so hot. The nights are growing longer, and soon things will cool down. It will still be hot, true. But maybe just a tad less hot….
It’s important to keep our spirits up, because soon, soon—in the middle of August—we intend to begin our autumn planting. The trays of seedlings are due to arrive this week, and weather permitting, we’ll plunge them into the waiting clumps of earth by the end of this week. Or, alternatively, at the beginning of next week.
Meanwhile, despite the heat—or maybe because of the heat—there are a host of things happening in the field. This week we’ll let you share a glimpse of the beauty, the grace and the various occurrences that have transpired in our field over the past weeks. Our great thanks to Chana, who comes to Chubeza with camera-in-hand every month to skillfully capture the unfolding drama in our fields. I also added a few snapshots I’ve taken of the Jerusalem artichoke in its glorious bloom, which I promised long ago to share with you.
Our corn crop now spans the gamut, from tiny sprouts beginning their way in the world to garden-beds that have been picked clean. Hues here range from green to yellow to brown.
The cherry tomato vines are laden with blushing red beauties: multitudes of dainty tomatoes in an array of shades from whitish-green to ruby-red. No one can pass by without polishing off a quick nosh or more….
In the neighboring bed are the peppers, the last of their family to ripen in summer, who are earnestly turning from green to red. In the coming weeks, you’ll meet them in your boxes, juicy and sweet.
The zucchini have been with us from the start of the season. Tenacious critters, they courageously beat the summer heat and the slew of seasonal viruses who endear themselves to the vegetable. Tough survivors that they are, these plants have succeeded in producing lovely, fair-skinned fruit– and at the end, a delicate flower that has yet to fall.
The Jerusalem artichoke, a cousin of the sunflower, goes really wild in a lush, verdant green jungle, adorned by hip yellow flowers.
Did we say “jungle?” Check out this man-size Jerusalem artichoke wall!
And if the subject is flowers, summer is a splendid celebration of blooms growing throughout the field—without which, of course, there would be no fruit.
From top to bottom: okra flower with a friend (look closely), zucchini flower and friends, and a Thai yard long bean blossom posing alongside a ripe pod
Of course, it’s not only flowers who host the summer insects, present en masse in our field…
To ease the growth of the sensitive plants among us, we cover them in shade netting. Those who usually rate this special treatment are the many varieties of greens. We salute them all for surviving the oppressive summer heat of the field.
And this is our rather permanent state throughout these days of stifling summer heat– sans the planting and seeding, but hard at work with the tasks that come with ripening: picking, picking and more picking.
(in photo: our glamorous green okra)
May we all make it through this week with plenty to drink, splashing and paddling away, in the shade, with friends and family we love to get-together-and-sweat-together with….
Alon, Bat Ami, and the Chubeza team
WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?
Monday: basil, scallions, melon, eggplant, okra or long Thai yard long beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, a slice of pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, corn, red bell peppers
In the large box, in addition: potatoes, spaghetti squash, parsley/coriander
Wednesday: green or red bell peppers, corn, a slice of pumpkin, tomatoes, scallions, eggplants, cucumbers, potatoes, parsley, cherry tomatoes, Thai yard long beans
In the large box, in addition: okra, melons, nana