Harvesting Melons & Monitoring Sweet Potatoes
Village Farm Team,
We were able to harvest the first of our melons this past week! Of the muskmelon varieties we have planted the quickest to mature were those of the Athena variety. We were able to harvest a smaller amount of the Milan and Sugar Cube varieties but we expect to be harvesting more over the next couple of weeks. The variety pictured below is Milan which has distinctive green stripes. Milan is an Italian melon and is incredibly aromatic, sweet, and juicy. It has a smaller seed cavity which means there’s a higher ratio of flesh to eat versus seeds.
One of the hardest things about growing sweet potatoes (and pretty much any other tuber or root crop) is that the development happens out of sight underneath the soil. Though we’re still a little ways off from harvesting our sweet potatoes, we’ve been monitoring the growth of their greens above ground and they seem to be doing very well. We even spotted one of the first blooms! If you’ve ever seen a Morning Glory, you might be thinking the leaves and blooms of our sweet potatoes look similar. This similarity in appearance is due to the fact that they are members of the same family, Convolvulaceae. Standard potatoes on the other hand are members of the nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Our second week of okra harvesting yielded a bit more than the first week and we expect to see this trend continue. We have two varieties planted: Carmine Splendor and Clemson Spineless. In the photo below, Carmine Splendor is on the right while Clemson Spineless is on the left. The main difference between these varieties is mostly aesthetic as they both have a similar flavor and texture. An easy way to prepare okra is to roast it in the oven: slice the pods in half lengthwise, place them on a baking sheet cut side up, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and add a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast them at 400 degrees until they begin to caramelize around the edges, about 20-25 minutes.
Please note the veggie wagon is still open on Saturdays from 8-12 but with more stringent sanitary protocols in place!
Happy Harvesting, The Agmenity Farm Team
Words & Photos by Courtney West