Summer Days at Langwater Farm

Although it seems fall is quickly approaching with kids going back to school, summer is still in full swing at Langwater Farm!

To kick off the start of Massachusetts Farmers’ Market Week, the 29th Annual Massachusetts Tomato Contest was held at City Hall Plaza in Boston on Monday.  Langwater Farm was awarded 1st Place in the Cherry Tomato Category!  Our Sungolds impressed the judges among some stiff competition from all across the state.  The tomatoes are evaluated by local chefs, food writers, and foodies on flavor, firmness, color and shape.  We were also awarded 6th place in the Heirloom Category with our Green Zebra Tomatoes.  Tomato season is underway and we are seeing lots of the beautiful fruit in the farmstand.  We are out every day picking red slicing tomatoes, a myriad of cherry tomatoes for our tasty medleys, and now just getting into our heirloom varieties.

We have just begun our large melon harvest!  We are growing various watermelon cultivars: the heirloom Blacktail Mountain (an early mid-size watermelon with good eating qualities and sweetness), Crimson Sweet (a large melon weighing in at over 20 lbs, with sweet juicy flesh and classic striped green skin), Sugar Baby (an “ice box” watermelon, with small but tasty fruit) and Sunshine (a sweet, bright yellow- fleshed watermelon).  Watermelon pairs wonderfully with basil or mint, and are perfect for snacks, desserts, salads, and drinks!    Muskmelons are not yet at their peak but we are seeing a few come in each day.   We are growing some delicious varieties of muskmelons including Brilliant (a smooth canary type melon with a crisp texture and a slightly nutty flavor), Orange Sherbet (a Tuscan variety cantaloupe with a distinct melon flavor and aroma), Superstar, Sivan, Ambrosia, Sarah’s Choice, Honey Orange, Honey Pearl, Gold Start, and Rockstar.  Muskmelons make a great start to any meal on an antipasto plate with savory items such as prosciutto.  They are also great for breakfast or paired with ginger.

We have also been busy harvesting our crops in the Allium genus, including chives, shallots, garlic, and a wide variety of bulb onions.  We will also have scallions and leeks later this fall.  It was a tough year for onions with all the wet weather, but it looks like we will still have a pretty nice crop.  We have red and yellow storage onions, that will last until March after being cured for a few weeks.  We also have Italian onions like red and yellow Cipollinis, and a specialty onion grown in Mediterranean France and Italy known as Long of Tropea.  We also have the farm favorite, Walla Walla onion, with a flattened bulb and a sweet mild flavor.  These are not considered storage onions so get them while you can!  We harvested nearly our entire onion crop two weeks ago, during the optimal harvest time (after 60% of the onion tops had fallen after a period of dry weather).  The task was completed by a huge crew after lunch one day, as they needed to wait for the dew to completely dry.  Some crew members started ahead, clipping the tops and pulling the bulbs, creating a windrow along the top of the onion bed.  Other crew members followed with crates, inspecting the bulbs for damage or breakdown, then loading them up.  The onions were then spread out on large racks made of hardware cloth and native pine, inside the barn, where they continue to dry and cure.  Our garlic crop is drying there as well!

We are harvesting all of your summer favorites on a daily basis… come visit us at the farmstand to stock up on squash, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, basil, and other herbs, new potatoes, peaches, beets, and much much more!  We are harvesting Langwater Farm’s first ever peach crop this year.  It seems like just yesterday we were planting the tiny saplings on the side of the hill in our Main Street field, but is was the spring of 2010!  There is nothing like eating a juicy tree-ripened peach!