Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Well, I mentioned on the website that you could come here to find out why it is that I am buying cucumbers and squash from other local farms, so I suppose that means I oughtta write something for you.
I have sworn for the last three years that I would not be growing these crops - the cucurbits - in future seasons, yet every season I do a last minute, multi-bed planting. Turns out quitting a crop feels really bad for a farmer. But this year, I'm serious. I mean,  I did plant that 25 ft bed of cucumbers last week after I dug in the salad mix, but just yesterday I ripped it out and seeded it with beets. Seems I've come to my senses after all.
The cucurbit family is host to what seems like a million pests and diseases. There are cucumber beetles, squash bugs, squash vine borers, verticillium and bacterial wilts, mildews, blights, leaf spots, and viruses. And we have them all. I've got limited space on this half acre lot, and I can't give it up to a 15 ft long vine that bears three fruits before succumbing to one or all of these problems. I'm done.
When I told Nina Berryman at Weaver's Way Farm that I'd like to buy cukes and squash from her since I'd sworn them off, she said, "Isn't it so freeing?"
Yes, it is so freeing. It is so much better for me to get in my car and drive over to Saul and pick up two cases of freshly picked squash and cucumbers, knowing I'm supporting another urban organic farmer and still satisfying what summertime farm stand customers want.
So, be on the lookout for these beautiful crops from either Weavers Way farm or Teens 4 Good farm, both of which are run in Northwest Philadelphia by some amazing, hardworking people I get to call friends. And enjoy!