AgriCulture: Bloomsday

TURKANA FARMS, LLC
WHAT’S NEW THIS WEEK:Tomatoes: loads of our newest variety, Sungold — sweet, gold large cherry size, $4/pint 
The larger heirlooms (black krim, brandywine, rose de berne, are perfect right now 
All varieties of basil – greek globe, classic neopolitan, thai, $2/bunch, Time for Pesto.
Support our troopers. Photo by Victoria Cox
Bloomsday: Hey everyone, Victoria here. If you’ve taken a drive down our road recently — highly recommended now that the weather’s cooled — a strange phenomenon may have caught your eye. Every pond, lake, and drainage puddle appears to be filled, not with water, but with a green nubbly carpet that would look more at home in the half-finished basement of your great-uncle’s 1970s time-capsule house. We’ve been visited by an algal bloom, and none have been spared.When I first noticed the algae inhabiting our own pond, it appeared like a B-level horror villain, an acolyte of the Swamp Thing, or perhaps the Blob, encircled our fountain in its threatening grasp. Our little bubbler, aside from being beautiful to behold and pleasant to listen to, also works tirelessly to circulate nutrients and oxygenate the water. Once the algae arrived, however, the bubbler looked strangely vulnerable in its little patch of clear water, surrounded on all sides by a menacing green film. I had to investigate further.I’d marked “remove algae” onto my endlessly running To-Do list as soon as I’d spotted it from my office window, and had a vague image in the back of my mind of scooping algae out by the handful, like leaves from a pool. Once I was up close, I realized this was an impossible dream. Rather than the giant colonies of string algae or muskgrass I’d encountered in the past, this was planktonic algae. Each drop of water in the pond contained an individual plant the size of a poppy seed, which amassed together to form the impression of a solid sheet. I rushed back inside to research removal, and pictured myself as a hard bitten noir detective scrolling through microfiche in a darkened room as I searched. Of course, I was scrolling through my phone while sitting on the porch and eating a popsicle, but the emotional frisson was the same: Page after page flashed before my eyes, each with the same chilling verdict: No mechanical solution exists.Drat. . Yet again, I ran up against the unwelcome answer that comes so frequently to farm questions: It’s a systemic problem, and needs a systemic solution. I can’t fix it with my fists and a rake. Microplankton are the base of the aquatic food chain, and are integral to the health of everything else in the pond, and any chemical treatment powerful enough to get rid of them would quickly get rid of everything else. They only way to manage their numbers is to try and introduce controls on multiple fronts: more shade will slow their growth, more pond animals will increase consumption and help keep their numbers in check, and aquatic plants can filter out the excess of nutrients that cause their numbers to explode.I was feeling pretty good about my research and the plan I’d come up with, until I glanced down and realized that the single line on my to-do list had not been checked off, and had instead multiplied unimpeded into a suffocating mat of tasks. For a moment I considered an altogether simpler solution… Maybe I could just turn my desk around and not look at the pond for the rest of the summer? But keeping our pond a clean, functional home for the heron and the tiny frogs is no more or less important than anything else we’re trying to accomplish out here. So, shoulder to the wheel once more. I need to dig out an abundance of cattails from the seep in the front yard anyway, so I can transplant them for extra shade, habitat and nutrient uptake. If they establish the way that I hope, they’ll form a protected shoal in which I can plant more delicate aquatic plants. If we stay alert, keep building, keep shading, maybe take some PH tests, build a soil berm, and attend to runoff and rainfall, I have a far-off dream involving a harvest of watercress right from the edge of the pond. And if none of these steps quite solve the problem? Well… who wouldn’t love a pond with two fountains in it?
WHAT’S AVAILABLE THIS WEEKWild Water Peppers, $2/bunch 
Tomatoes, limited quantities, $3/lb. 
Sun Gold tomatoes $4/pint 
Lots of Rainbow Chard – $3/bunch 
Cucumbers, $2/lb 
Mugwort, $1/bunch for infusions or tea 
Beets, $4/bunch (mixed bunches Chiogga, Detroit Red, Golden, or tell us your preference), 
Scallions, $2/bunch 
Kale $3/bunch two different varieties, deep blue green straight leaf and curly leaf 
Collards, $3/bunch 
Wax beans and haricots verts $2.50/lb (limited quantities) 
SORREL, $2/BAG 
MINT: $.75 a bunch 
Greek globe basil, $3/basil 
DILL: sorry, between waves 
SHISO LEAVES green or red, $1.00 FOR 10 
Basil, $2/bagEGGS: Production is now in overdrive. We can handle all your orders. $5/dozMEATS: We keep some on hand, but it helps to order ahead in case we need to retrieve from our stash in the big commercial freezerGEESE: One remaining, about 8.5 lbs. $10/lb.TURKEYS: A few small ones left over and frozen $11/lb .GUINEA FOWL, We are sold out!ROASTING CHICKENS – We are sold out til FallLAMB: shoulder roasts at $10/lb, riblets $8/lb, small and larger leg roasts $14/lb, lamb stew $7/lb, shanks, $10/lbPORK: Loin pork chops, $12/lb (2 to a pack, btwn 1 and 1.5 lbs), Jowl (roughly 2 to 3 lbs each), $12/lb, 
Spare ribs and country ribs $7/lb 
baby back ribs $8/lb 
fresh ham roasts (2 to 3 lbs), $12/lb 
picnic or Boston butt roasts (roughly 2 lbs) $12/lb 
smoked bacon, $12/lb 
Kielbasa $8/lbDUCKS: SOLD OUT
FARM PICKUPS:Email us your order at farm@turkanafarms.com, and let us know when you’d like to pick up your order. It will be put out for you on the side screened porch of the farmhouse (110 Lasher Ave., Germantown) in a bag. You can leave cash or a check in the now famous pineapple on the porch table. Regular pickup times are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., other days by arrangement. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call at 518-537-3815 or email.

AgriCulture: Bloomsday
AgriCulture

 
 
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