Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

June Thirtieth

I was really beginning to worry about all that rain.  Secretly, quietly, and with a small amount of erosion to show for it, a wee bit of anxiety was building in me.  I don't want to say the "F" word, because I'm hopeful the weather is going to take a turn towards the sunny side, but I'm not sure my soggy heart could handle another swampy summer cleaning up after a fl#$d.  That feeling we got in the spring of 2006 and in the Summer of 2007 returned to me in the last week or so when I looked at the weather forecast and saw more severe storms on their way.  The rain not only makes it difficult for cultivation (weeding), but it also makes it hard to get your workers motivated to get out there and help you in the mud and humidity wearing rain gear and peeling a layer of muck off the bottom of their boots.  We were even tossing some kohlrabies during kohlrabi harvest that looked like they were starting to rot from all the rain-something I've never seen before.  But as I wipe the sweat off my brow today, there are three more gleaming days in the forecast with full sun up ahead!  I'm not a big fan of the heat as it is, so I never thought I would be so happy to see so much sun and heat in the days to come.JILL-AND-ADAM

All the rain sure made everything start growing!  The water loving celery looks like it grew three inches in the last week, cabbages are filling out, cucumbers are vining out and the tomatoes are looking like they need trellising already.  Is it really Week 5?  Wow!  We started picking summer squash and zucchini this week and we know that this will become an every-24-hour ritual for the rest of the summer, along with cucumbers once they begin as well.  It have a sort of love-hate relationship with those three crops for this reason.  Broccoli is in full force.  We will also be harvesting broccoli every two days for the next few weeks until every last head has been harvested.
Our lettuce patch is on the defensive.  We're still battling woodchucks and a very serious part of our lettuce patch has been gravely chewed upon by our furry little friends, but we're hopeful that their numbers are down.  We seem to see less and less of them as we catch them one by one.  We have one bed of romaine that has been a sacrificial bed for the woodchucks, distracting them with the romaine while the red leaf grows.  In previous years we were giving each member 2 or 3 heads of lettuce per box, but this year it's been difficult to get one head in every box because of the woodchucks.  All of our fall successions of lettuce will be planted out in a bigger field where we have seldom seen any damage from wildlife (other than raccoons invading our sweetcorn).
This weekend past we seeded a large portion of our fall successions of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, fennel and more.  Shortly we'll be planting our fall kohlrabi, rutabaga and spinach.  Just as we're scooping out our spring plantings, we're seeding our fall plantings.  It was a busy weekend in the greenhouse!  It's amazing how quickly it all happens.  We have broody chickens hatching our their baby chicks, our pigs are plumping right out and we're getting close to harvesting our first batch of meat chickens (we'll be sure to let you know about them when we're harvesting).

Sooo, What's in the Box???

Zefa Fino Fennel- When you're using fennel in the kitchen, you've got to feel like a gourmet chef.  Mama Jane Grilled fennel this week for the farm family and it was fabulous!
Early White Vianna or Early Purple Vianna Kohlrabi-  Kohlrabies are reaching the end of their reign.  Quite possibly we will have one more week of Kohlrabi, but that will most definitely be all!  It is a cool weather crop.  You can cook the leaves with your collard BASIL-BEDgreens.  Peel kohlrabi, slice and eat raw like apples!
Snow Peas-  Another cool weather crop as we enter the warm season.  We'll keep picking until there is no more.  Edible pods, but if the shells look a little bloated, the peas on the inside are delicious!
Palla di Fuoco Radicchio-  A bitter green.  This is wonderful shaved thinly into salads, sauteed or even steamed with butter and salt.  See radicchio recipe below.  An italian heirloom veggie.
Packman or Arcadia Broccoli-  I LOVE broccoli season because it seems to make so many people happy.  We have an ice machine this year for icing our broccoli, we're very excited about keeping it so fresh!  We should have broccoli for the next two or three weeks for sure!
Bouquet Dill-  One of our CSA members sent us her recipes for Spinach Souffle Casserole that calls for dill.  This is an amazing recipe!  If you don't find yourself cooking with it, you can always let it hang in your kitchen in a well ventilated area and dry out to use later.
Red or Green Leaf Lettuce-  We found just enough to give everyone one head.  Something to go with your radicchio.
Flash Collards-  Collards are a Southern thang!  They've been a popular request item among our customers and they add a little diversity to our cooking greens list.  This is our first time growing them.  We thought we would give them this week as the leaves are getting quite large! 
Garlic Scapes-  Definitely our last week of garlic scapes.  The plants are finished scaping.  Chop em up and eat em while they last.  You can put them in anything you're making for dinner, we do!
Bunching Onions-  Yeah!  Some onions are finally here.  They came a little later this year than they did last year, but they're just as good.  These can be eaten raw with dip, chopped up on salads or sauteed with dinner, however you prefer.  The greens are even edible when they're this young and tender!  Sprinkle them on top of your casseroles, soups and steaks and you'll look like a gourmet chef.
Next Week:  Our projections for next week are only a guess. The maturity of the crops depends entirely on the weather conditions. We do not promise that this is what box next week will look like, but this is close to our best guess.
Bunching Onions, Red or Green Leaf Lettuce, Parsley, Zucchni or Summer Squash, Broccoli/Cauliflower, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Red or Green Cabbage, Beets(?)

Recipes:

Shaved Fennel Salad with Snow Peas and Mint

Spinach Souffle Casserole (with Dill and Cilantro-this is very yummy!)  This recipe was supplied by Therese Laurdan.  A good friend of ours, a CSA member and domestic goddess in the kitchen.  This woman knows how to cook it up right!

Chef T's Pesto (in case you still are sitting on that basil from last week or want a good pesto recipe for when you get basil next time.  There is more coming, oh yes!  This recipe was supplied by Thomas Sacksteder, the chef at Gunderson Lutheran, also one of our CSA members.

Baked Radicchio and Mozzarella Pasta