Thursday, September 2, 2010






The heat wave has officially hit. It's been in the upper 90's since Saturday and there is no sign of it breaking. We had such a cold, wet winter and spring we finally feel like we've found summer. Working in the fields in the blazing heat and humidity turns already physically demanding work into physically exhausting work.

We are not the only ones feeling the effects of the heat: the crops are too. Certain plants, specifically sungold tomatoes and lettuces are not tolerant of the heat. The lettuces are wilting and the sungold tomatoes get soft and crack, rendering them useless. The only time to harvest these two crops are first thing in the early hours of the day, before the sun is beating down on them. If you harvest lettuce early in the morning and immediately submerge it in cold well water, the heat of the fields is washed away and the crisp lettuce can live in the cooler for several days. If you harvest this same lettuce in the middle of the day, under the noon sun, it won't even make it through the evening. For the sungolds, the heat not only alters their texture, but also their flavor. Typically sungolds are the sweetest, most wonderful burst of deliciousness imaginable, but in the sun not only do they get mushy and crack, they lose much of their trademark flavor.

The squash, field tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and okra, on the other hand are thriving in this tropical climate. If Adam and Melody knew to expect this heat, they would have planted mangos! All these vegetables are growing so vigorously they must be harvested every day now, instead of every few days in normal summer temperatures. The heat has also worked wonders for the melons. The asian sun jewels are all ripe and harvested and the cantaloupes are finally ready. Next up: watermelons. Any day now...

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