Week 2 CSA Box Preview

This week we expect to have more of the same, though a lot can happen in the garden between now and Thursday.  Here’s our weekly CSA box preview:

Lettuce

Radish

Turnip

Kale

Arugula

Sage

And here is last week’s box:

Week 1 CSA Box

Local Tomatoes in Ely, MN

For us, tomatoes represent the bounty of summer. We look forward to early ripening cherries we can pop into our mouths. Nothing beats the first, juicy bite of a perfectly ripe beefsteak enjoyed on a hot sunny day. We love tomatoes, and we love growing them because, as singer Guy Clark famously said, “what would life be without homegrown tomatoes? There’s only two things that money can’t buy, and that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes!”

Tomatoes fresh from the garden.
Tomatoes fresh from the garden.

We love tomatoes, but we live outside of Ely, Minnesota, a location notorious for its cool summer temperatures. And what do tomatoes love? Heat! You can’t buy local tomatoes at the grocery stores in Ely. You need to grow them, and because we grow produce to share with all of our CSA customers, we are lucky to have a reason to grow our very own local tomatoes.

In order to grow the best tomatoes for our CSA customers (and ourselves), we go to extreme measures. We start our tomatoes inside while the snow is still on the ground. We nurture them under grow lights for weeks until it is warm enough to plant them in our high tunnel, where a layer of greenhouse plastic helps trap heat from the sun. Every day we monitor the weather and open vents if the high tunnel starts to get too hot. We water the tomatoes regularly with drip irrigation and spend hours pruning them so they will bear high quality fruit.

Tomato plants growing in the high tunnel.

Finally, sometime in August, we have the pleasure of picking our tomatoes and delivering them to our CSA customers in Ely and the surrounding area. Of course, we eat a few too, because what would life be without homegrown tomatoes?

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