Wet weather affecting crops

The wet weather is having only slight effects on the crops at Two Toad Farm. Due to the gentle slopes and fairly well drained soil (Beckett), there is no puddling of water. The wetness is causing some loss of young, tender leaves of salad mix, the bottoms of some pac chois, and making slugs a problem for the farm for the first time ever (in my entire farming/gardening career). Another slight problem is that the peas are not sweetening up as they should. They are growing well, but without the sun, they are not producing as much sugar as they could (varieties like sugar Anne, sugar sprint, and sugar snap are usually very sweet).

Some new allies have emerged from the soil this week. Bee assassins catch and eat cabbage moths and other flying pests. Unfortunately they also eat my honey bees, but hopefully they stick to slower flyers. I hope they eat the grasshoppers.

Broccoli is coming for the CSA next week, and summer squashes are starting to size up, we’ll keep an eye on those). I will also be vigilant in the tomatoes watching for signs of early blight that devistated so many tomatoes accross Maine last year.

Keep thinking sunshine,



CSA Distribution for Week of 23 JUN 2009

Don’t forget that you can cook radishes many different ways (folks have been roasting them in the oven with garlic and olive oil), and that the salad mix is all baby versions of larger cooking greens so you can cook with them (they cook FAST, be careful.. great in morning egg dishes) if you’ve had enough salads. The braising mix is great cooked or raw.

This may change based on tomorrow’s harvest, but the plan is:

This week’s full share consists of the following:

2 Pac Choi (me quing choi)

1 head lettuce (red cross)

1 bunch of baby beets/greens (bull’s blood beet)

1 bunch garlic scapes (red Russian and MY FAVORITE!!!! )

1 bunch Hakurei turnips

snap peas (sugar anne, amount to be determined after harvest)

1 bunch radishes (rover)

½ lb braising mix (mizuna, red giant mustard, tatsoi, vitamin green, kale, ruby streaks mustard)

1 kohlrabi (white eder)

1 bunch green onions (red baron –red or stutgarder –yellow)

½ lb salad mix (“all greens” mix)

Half shares will be be 1/2 of this…. smaller bunches will be set aside for the half share folks but it’s up to you to pick out smaller heads of lettuce from the crates.

From the cold, wet, muddy field….


June 09, 2009 CSA Distribution

CSA Shares consisted of the following:

2 large bunches of Kale, 1 bunch of baby bunching greens (choice of purple mustard, mizuna, or red kale), one large Black Summer pac choi, bunch of green onions, 1 lb of salad mix, 1 bunch of radishes, and for those who wanted, a bunch of arugula.

Next week, look forward to winterbor kale (more common variety), and bright lights swiss chard. Also Red Cross lettuce (head), and Tropicana lettuce (head). Sweet, baby turnips will also make a comeback… and I’ve been watching the first large plantings of peas. There MAY be some peas for the CSA, but if so, a small amount.

Please send recipe questions and Ideas for a new section of the website coming soon.

Thank you,


CSA is SOLD OUT: Distribution has begun.

Come to Two Toad Farm’s Fresh Market every Saturday 9:-Noon at Great Brook Animal Care on Rt 202 in Lebanon, Maine.

Tuesday, June 02 was the first distribution of the 2009 Summer CSA. A full share included: 1 bunch of mizuna, 1 bunch of kale, 1 buch of scallions, 2 bunches of radishes, and 1 pound of salad mix. Shares will continue to grow larger as more veggies become ready for harvest. Some limited crops will be available for retail sale during CSA pickups each Tuesday at Farmfield Nursery and Greenhouses from 4:-7:pm.

Monday, June 01, I woke up to a light frost at the S. Lebanon gardens, but the W. Lebanon feilds escaped. The cold nights have made soil temperatures low, and dry weather has made germination of direct seeded crops challenging. Both times it has rained this spring, it rained for a week, followed by life in the desert. That is all part of the variability of farming in Southern Maine. Despite a lot of crop failures (the list is long), the farm is starting to fill up. Potatoes already need hilling, peas are flowering, and the first planting of beans that actually lived is up and growing well. I’ve been planting hundreds of pepper, tomato, and cucumber seedlingsand the first planting of zukes and summer squash are already in and settled. The first feild planting of pac chois are ready for harvest, and a small, early crop of broccoli is ready for market this Saturday, June 06 while the large plantings are not too far behind.

Hoping for some rain every week… and some sun every week.

Jordan Pike

Two Toad Farm