Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

August 17th

A little fact about me is that I rarely leave the farm.  I’m a bit of a spoiled country girl that has a husband that does my bidding off the farm and runs my errands for me and a lovely mother to help with delivering CSA boxes on Wednesdays so that I can stay home and attempt to “keep up” with the innumerable tasks that must be done on the farm.  It is my job to make sure that all systems run smoothly, all harvesting is kept up with and the oil changes in all engines are never missed.  If this farm were an orchestra, I would be the composer. 

Being the country girl that I am that rarely leaves the farm, I sometimes feel a bit out of touch with the world of good food that is happening in the city.  In my mind, good farming practices equal good food.  I live, eat, sweat, sleep, and work for wholesome, nutritious and down-right delicious, no, gourmet food.  My standards for what defines good food are unfairly high.  Frequently, when we go out to eat at a local or even non-local restaurant, we are sorely disappointed.  You might think that I’m sounding almost snobby or snooty on my definition of good food, but please allow me this one truth-I have earned this stance.  I understand the construction, the energy and the effort that goes into food because I grow food.  I live behind the scenes of food.  I know that what makes a meal delicious is the ingredients. 

As a local, organic farmer who pays close attention to the health of our soils, the rotation of the crops and pasturing animals, and the biodiversity of the farm, I really wish that everyone in the world cared about these matters as much as I did.  Wendell Berry says that, “a nation can be judged by how it treats its animals”.  Also, a nation can be judged by who they are giving their money to to raise their animals.  If everyone understood the consequences of what they put into our mouths each day and who they are spending their food-dollars with that are supposed to nourish their bodies and minds, maybe we would be a different kind of people. 

By global standards, I am a very wealthy person, by US standards, our family lives in the lower middle class, but by my own very modest criterions, we are highly privileged and blessed to have access to the best food that the Midwest can produce.  My goal in life is to work towards bridging the gap between Starbucks and Kickapoo Coffee, between Tyson chickens for 99-cents-a-pound and pastured, rotationally grazed freedom rangers and between California Dole produce and Small Family Farm CSA produce.  There is a tremendous amount of flavor, culture, color, scent, nutrition and quality that is lost when we eat and buy cheap food. 

In my dirty farm jeans and torn work shirts I look and behave a bit like a hermit that may have never actually had the honor of sitting down to a decent meal.  If you saw me on a Tuesday afternoon after the craze of the hustle and bustle of a busy harvest week you might pitty me just enough to invite me in for a good warm, home-cooked meal.  But if you knew me better than the dirt beneath my fingernails you would know that I have given it all up for the ripening tomatoes on the vine, the pigs in the pasture and chickens in the coop.  Nothing is binding me here to these animals or to these plants except for my passionate belief and love for supremely high quality food and the enrichment of the community that surrounds it. 

Sooo....What's in the Box???

Watermelon or Cantelope-  We harvested mostly red watermelons for everyone that we believed were ripe and ready to be picked.  Your melon will ripen off the vine a little.  If your yellow spot isn't as yellow as you would like, allow it to sit on your counter for a few days.  The Cantelopes will ripen further.  Do not put your cantelope in the refrigerator, it will ripen on your countertop further after 4 days or so.  

New Red Norland Potatoes-  Beautiful new red potatoes!  We do not wash our potatoes.  Potatoes will keep best with a bit of dirt on them.  The potatoe skins will scuff off during the washing process when they are so freshly dug like these.  

Scarlet Nantes Carrots-  More beautiful orange carrots.  They will keep best in a plastic bag in the fridge if you remove their stems for storage.  

White Onion-  We're going to get rid of our white onions before we move on to a different variety of onions because white onions do not like to keep.  

Cucumber-  Cucumber production is going down hill fast, I am sorry to say.  It's hard to tell if we'll even have cucumbers for next week.  The plants are looking pretty chewed up by the cucumber beetles and production is slowing down quite a bit:(

Summer Squash, Zucchini and/or Patty Pans-  Still more squash to go around.  The plants are also starting to look a little tattered, and we expect that production will start to wane soon.

Green Beans-  We were totally amazed that the green beans are still producing as well as they are.  We have a new flush of yellow and purple beans coming on soon to take the place of the green ones!  

Tomatoes-  A slow start on tomatoes, but a few are better than none.  Some of the varieties have not even started to produce yet, so still a ton of tomatoes to come one.  Next week should be a good week!

Eggplant-  We were able to give an eggplant for everyone this week!  Send me your favorite eggplant recipes!

Green Pepper-  We picked a green pepper for everyone, but a few folks may have received a red pepper instead.  

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  This is the little yellow pepper in the box.  These little puppies are not very hot when it comes to hot peppers.  In fact, they are the most mild of all the hot peppers.  

Swiss Chard or Red Curly Kale-  We tried to pick Swiss Chard for everyone this week, but they plants were looking very rough!  We picked small bunches to make it last, but we still ran out of chard to pick and went to pick the Red Curly Kale to fill the rest of our harvesting needs.  You may have receive the curly Red Kale instead.  The Swiss Chard plants will make a come back after a little rain and some cooler weather!

Next Weeks Guess:  Red Cabbage, beets, cantelope, rainbow lacinato kale, white onion, green pepper, tomato, zucchini, summer squash, patty pan, green beans, celery

Recipes:

 Warm Red Cabbage Slaw (this recipe was recommended by a Madison CSA member...in case you still have a cabbage in the fridge;)

Spicy Potato Sausage and Green Soup

Tomato Onion and Cucumber Salad (Therese, a Viroqua CSA member has shared this one with us)

Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Hummus