All at once a shift happened on the farm this week. On Friday morning around 7:30am a 15 second gust of 60mph winds ripped through the farm and tore two large branches off of our beloved (and huge) willow tree that grows snug up near the north-west corner of our home. As good karma would have it, the limbs did not damage the house, deck or Adam who happened to be returning to the house from closing the greenhouse doors. Friday morning was a violent morning of high winds, thunder, lightening and rain that actually left the garden’s quench for thirst satisfied and the crops undamaged. This Week's Bounty!
The high winds on Salem Ridge Road present themselves during the changing of the seasons. It could be wishful thinking, but even in my short life experience so far, I can see that fall is coming. The winds left our lawn littered with willow branches challenged the integrity of our tomato trellising and reminded us at the same time of how powerful Mother Nature can be-just when we start to get a little impatient and frustrated with what she has and has not been providing us with this season. Humbled by the winds and rain, our lips are sealed of complaints once again.
The weeds on the farm, no matter their growth stage of child or adolescent are pre-maturely making a hurried attempt at going to seed. All the plants know that there isn’t much time left of warm soil temperatures and long hours of sunlight and sense the need to drop their seeds before they risk endangerment of their species. All the little fuzzy caterpillars of all the fuzzy species are busy worming their way to an appropriate place to cocoon themselves. And all the fruit and nut bearing trees and bushes are well on their way to dropping their fruits and spreading their seeds.
When we bought our farm in the Spring of 2007 I remember saying to the previous owners that I really thought the wind was lovely up here on the ridge, with a sort of enchantment in my eyes. Wind is subtle and gentle yet it can be strong and moving. She watched me while I looked off into the distance in a gaze and said with a chuckle, “You just wait, honey”. The Salem Ridge winds symbolize change for me; the changing of a weather pattern, the changing of a season and still symbolizing (with a little less naiveté) the changing of a life’s course.
Sooo, What's in the Box?????
Green Cabbage- We had to peel back a few of the outer layers of cabbage this week because they weren't looking so great on the outside. We're now waiting for our fall crops of green, red and Napa cabbage to come on.
Beets- We harvested most of the beets with green tops so you could use them to cook with. We ran out of large green-top beets and sent bulk beets for those who did not get the tops.
White Onion- More white onion for your regular cooking needs.
Sweet Peppers- Sweet peppers are really starting to ripen now! We harvested everything that needed to be picked and were able to everyone at least two red or yellow sweet peppers!
Hot Pepper- You probably received a hungarian hot wax pepper or bananna pepper which is a long, lime-green pepper. When Hungarian Hot wax are fully ripe they will turn an organge or red in color! We did harvest a small quantity of Jalapeno and Chile Peppers as well. The Jalapenos are little, dark-green peppers and the chilis are long, red and skinney peppers. All three are hot peppers, so watch out! Adam and Evan Unlading the freshly packed boxes into our root cellar/walk-in cooler. Notice a couple missing branches from the willow tree in the upper right hand corner?
Sun Gold Cherry Tomato (or Extra sweet Peppers)- Remember the Sun Golds are a beautiful orange when fully ripe. We ran out of the plasitc clam-shell containers to put the cherry tomatoes in this week, so ended up bagging some of them in small, brown paper sacks as a temporary solution. When we ran out of cherry tomatoes to give, we were able to give everyone an extra couple sweet peppers!
Garlic- Another bulb of garlic for your regular cooking needs. Garlic prefers cool, dark and dry storage. Or else, just keep it on your countertop and use it up soon!
Zucchini, Summer Squash and Patty Pans- The soft summer squashes are on their way out the door! Enjoy them while they last!
Tomato Mix!- Everyone received around 5.6 lbs of tomatoes this week! You may have received a mix of the large and flavorful Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, and Red Nepal or the more noraml looking Big Beef, the Yellow Taxi and Orange Blossom Tomtoes or even some of the Mariana Roma Paste tomatoes. Allow your tomatoes to sit on your counter at room temperature to ripen. Refrigerators can affect the flavor the tomatoes, do not refrigerate them unless they are becoming too ripe and you need to buy yourself more time before you use them up.
Collards- A southern cooking green for all of your soups, currys, fritattas and greens dishes. I've totally fallen in love with collards this year. Love 'em!
Green Beans- I mean, yellow and purple beans and big old bags of them! Be warned that the purple beans turn green when you cook them, but it's only mildly disapointing until you get to eat them and see how yummy they are!
Roasted Beet Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Feta Cheese
Beet Kvass- (A healthy Beet Tonic Beverage)
Collard Greens with Tomatoes and Asagio
Teriyaki Green Beans with Cashews