Greetings from the farm! We've had great growing weather here in Amenia, and we're thankful for all the rain we've been getting too; we barely used our irrigation system the whole month of June! Our tomatoes are so big and bushy that pruning and trellising them (to increase future production) is more like a trek through the jungle than a day on the farm! We don't want to count our chickens before they hatch, but there are some lovely-looking--albeit still green--tomatoes on all of those vines...
You may have wondered why we switched from our basil bunches to bags of basil for processing this week. It's because of a new plant disease that has hit our region in the past few years: basil powdery mildew. Though we haven't seen it yet this season, basil powdery mildew has hit many organic farms in the area in summers past, and though there's no knowing when it will hit, when it does our basil season will be over.
Many plant breeders are working on basil that can resist the powdery mildew, but for now, here's our solution: Since we know that for many people (us included!) Italian basil is a beloved taste of summer, we've harvested larger quantities of processing-quality basil. If you love Italian basil, you can make some pesto now to freeze for later!