Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 
July Thirteenth

What a wonderful season it has been!  The temperatures this summer have been mild, the rains have been regular and plentiful and the quality of the produce has been superb.  In all of our short 11 years of farming vegetables, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so much regularity and consistency in the rain department.  An easy and soft inch per week has blessedly fallen on our farm with much gratitude to follow.  With the effects of climate change always looming overhead, there is an air of discomfort when we check the forecast.  I suppose that this may have always been the case for farmers, but somehow it feels very immanent at present day.   Even in a text book summer such as this, I remain skeptical. DSC 0131 1

Each day, week and month passes by and we survive.  We even thrive and grow and remain remarkably hopeful and optimistic, because what other options do we have? We sow our seeds, set down our roots and keep to it.  We are devoutly loyal to keeping our sweet little 21 acre farm in organic production.  We do our part to keep the air, water and soil clean on one little patch of the crust of this earth.  We keep our heads down and our hands moving and by the grace of the community and (and the weather patterns) we succeed at producing enough vegetables for a 310 member CSA program year after year.  And our gratitude swells. 

Our farm has survived two FIMA recognized flood seasons, one serious drought year and a couple other years of extended drought periods that were manageable, but difficult.  We have some built-in protection against drought with an irrigation system.  We chose to build or little farm on top of a ridge as to assure some protection against flooding.  We are always working to improve our grass water-ways in low spots of the fields to reduce erosion during heavy rainfall.  But short of a removable dome that we sometimes wish we could place over our farm, our vegetables are stark naked out there standing in the rain, wind, frost and hail when severe weather arrives. 

I mostly refrain from talking about subjects such as ‘climate change’ and ‘severe weather’ in these newsletters, partly because I know that ‘climate change’ is a political subject that some people are still trying to deny and also because I don’t want to jinx ourselves by mentioning severe weather and ultimately calling its name.  Tonight as I write this newsletter the winds are blowing strong.  There are two huge willow trees next to our house that are humongous and probably should be taken down by professionals.  When the winds on this ridgetop blow fiercely, it puts a kind of fever and anx into a person.  I’m feeling a little more bold in this moment. 

The glaciers are melting, the monarchs and honeybees are disappearing and weather patterns everywhere are changing.  I remain saddened, but remarkably resilient and optimistic to this information.  I find it helpful to be reminded, but also to forget periodically to stay strong.  I remind myself that I am doing my small part by reducing the carbon footprint on the food that my community eats.  You are taking part as well by buying or working for the food that is produced by conscientious farmers and eating this food with a low carbon footprint.  Let’s all buy local food whenever possible even if it costs more.  Let’s not forget the big picture, and in the same breath, let’s be thankful together for this (so far) absolutely beautiful growing season! 

Sooo….What’s in the Box????

Broccoli-  The broccolis really ranged in size quite a bit this week.  Some were smaller and some were quite large.  Summer broccoli is always a bit more difficult to grow because broccoli really performs well in the cool season, so the hot weather stresses the plants out a bit and causes them not to reach their full potential. 

Cauliflower-  The Cauliflower also ranged in size quite a bit this week.  Some were large and some were smaller.  Cauliflower also performs best in the cool season, so the hot weather stresses them out a bit and causes some of them not to reach their full potential. 

Slicing Cucumbers-  4-5 Slicing cucumbers per member.  Cucumbers prefer a 50 degree storage temp.  Depending on the temperature of your home, the countertop could be a fine place to keep them for the week until you get more next week!  The fridge could work too, but still not the ideal storage temp. 

Pickling Cucumbers-  5-6 Pickling Cucumbers per member.  You can eat these like regular cucumbers, or make a quick batch of refrigerator pickles and enjoy later!  See our recipe below!

Zucchini and Summer Squash-  4 Squash per member.  Dig out those favorite summer squash recipes the get creative.  They’re just starting to crank now!DSC 0142

Lettuce x 2-  One Red or Green Leaf Lettuce and one Red Oakleaf Lettuce per member.  The lettuce is still so tender and wonderful.  We are having salads for dinner a lot at our house these days!  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture. 

Bunching Onions-  The bunching onions are still looking amazing.  One more week of green onions before we move on to harvesting full size white onions.  Yum!

Garlic Scapes-  This is the final giving of garlic scapes.  We will begin harvesting fresh garlic next week so we can look forward to that!

Red Curly Kale-  Very nice bunches of red curly kale this week for your regular dosage of cooking greens!

Flat Leaf Parsley-  Cute little bunches of flat leaf parsley.  Parsley is loaded with anti-oxidants, so don’t let this major health food go to waste!

Green Top Beets-  Beets pulled fresh out of the ground with their greens still attached.  The greens on your beets are a bonus item in your box this week.  Don’t let those greens go to waste.  If you want to keep your beets a little longer, cut the tops off of them and store the roots in a plastic bag in the fridge and use up your greens right away!

Fennel or Eggplant-  These were the two items that we had small numbers of.  Only 150 fennel and almost 150 eggplant.  We tried to make sure there was either a fennel or an eggplant in every box.  The long and skinny eggplants are the Japanese Eggplants. 

Next Week’s Best Guess:

Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini, bunching onions, carrots, swiss chard, celery, eggplant?, hot peppers, garlic

Recipes

Kale Salad with Poppeyseed Dressing

Honey Lemon Refrigerator Pickles

Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza with Cauliflower Crust (or whatever crust you want to use;)

Zucchini Fritters

Cucumber Ranch Salad Dressing