Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

July Twentieth

Summer feels like it’s finally here!  The heat it on and the forecast is calling for temperatures in the middle 90’s this week!  I even heard the first cicadas of the season a few nights ago.  The harvesting is heavy and the work load is even heavier!  We have been busy trying to keep up with seeding fall lettuce, transplanting fall broccoli and cabbage and all the while maintaining many of the every-other-day harvests such as broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers and summer squashes. DSC 0143

We feel thankful for the dedicated and hard-working crew we have here this summer.  Working on our farm we have one full time employee, Andrew, who faithfully shows up for work every morning ready and willing to give it his all.  He has a keen interest in berry production and says he wants to be a farmer too one day.  He is passionate about farming and growing local food and we feel thankful for him these days.  We also have Joe and John who are part time workers.  Joe has been with our farm for 7 seasons now.  He’s an old friend, a young father, and a spectacularly hard working person with a dedication to growing local and organic food and sustainable living practices.  And new this year we have John!  John is a musician at heart, a back-to-the lander living in a Yert just south of Viroqua.  He is totally green to working on farms, but he has taken to the task in an impressive way. 

Also helping us get the work done are the truly amazing array of Worker Shares we have on our farm!  We have over 30 people who work a 3.5 hour shift each week in exchange for their CSA Share.  These 30 people come out to the farm every week, rain or shine and uphold a commitment to the farm as a working CSA member.  They bring with them fresh energy and a strong interest in participating in the growing of their own food.  They bring their interesting stories and backgrounds, their interest in organic farming and a beautiful passion for participation on a local CSA farm.  These folks all come in turn like a carousel spinning around and around.  The music playing in the background is the sound of our conversations, the chard stems ripping and the weeds being pulled.  I cannot express to you accurately how deeply grateful we feel for our worker shares and their help on this farm. 

Farm work is hard work.  It’s bending and lifting and kneeling and crouching.  There is a little sitting involved from time to time, but mostly bending and lifting coupled with lots of carrying and hauling.  We’re out there in the elements.  Sometimes it’s hot.  Sometimes it’s tedious.  Sometimes it’s muddy and slippery or raining and drippy.  It’s the kind of work that builds character.  Lucky for us, the kinds of people that are drawn to helping on a farm are the hardy and strong.  We attract the robust and resilient type unafraid to do hard things. 

In the heat of the summer we feel tired.  We sometimes even feel exhausted.  We feel tested and tried.  But in some ways it feels good to be tired.  It feels good to hit the bed mattress and fall asleep within a couple minutes.  It feels good to walk out of the field after a long days work and feel like you used your body.  We feel the sun on our skin and the wind on our cheeks all day.  Sometimes it’s a little harsh, but what makes it all worthwhile is the people we spend those hours with and the comfort in knowing that we will eat good, clean food for supper and we know exactly where it came from. 

Sooo….What’s in the Box????

Cabbage-  Either a green or a red cabbage this week.  We predominately harvested green cabbage, but began cutting red cabbages when we got a little low on green.  Very nice, full and dense heads of summer cabbage this week!

Broccoli-  A nice head of broccoli for everyone this week!

Cauliflower-  Amazing looking cauliflower for this time of year.  Cauliflower is a cool weather loving plant, and they don’t always perform well in the heat of the summer, but most of these looked really great this week! 

Cucumbers-  A great cucumber year, eh?  A hefty 7 regular slicing cucumbers per box this week!  Bust out your favorite cucumber recipes this week!  Truly sharing the bounty now!  Cucumbers prefer 50 degree storage. 

Pickling Cucumbers-  Another heavy harvest for this week.  Think our strong crew out there hauling cucumber bins all day!  7 picking cucumbers should be enough to fill a couple quart jars for refrigerator pickles.  Yum!  Use them up quickly for the freshest and crunchiest pickles! DSC 0156

Summer Squash and Zucchini-  5-6 nice Summer Squash and Zucchini this week.  Another heavy harvest that we stay faithful to harvesting every other day.  Summer squash and zucchini also prefer 50 degree storage. 

Bunching Onions-  This is the final week of green onions.  Enjoy them while they last!  Use them all the way up to their tips!  We can look forward to white onions next week! 

Green Top Carrots-  Carrots freshly dug with their greens still attached!  What a treat it is to eat carrots that are so fresh out of the ground that they still have their cute little white root tips and dark green tops on them.   Carrot greens are edible and can be used like parsley.  Carrots are in the same family as parsley.  Check out our carrot top pesto recipe! 

Swiss Chard-  Succulent and deliciously tender Swiss Chard bunches this week!  Don’t forget to make good use of your chard stems, they make a nice addition to a stir fry, your muffin recipes or even pickle them!  Get creative in sneaking veggies into everything you make!

Green Leaf Lettuce-  We’re down to just one head of leaf lettuce per box this week.  Another week or two of lettuce and then there may be a dry spell for a bit during the mid summer heat spell that usually makes it too hot to grow lettuce anyways.  We won’t miss it with all of the other wonderful veggies filling the boxes!

Eggplant-  We harvested some standard eggplants and some Japanese Asian eggplants this week.  You may have received either one of those.  Eggplants prefer 59 degree storage as well. 

Hot Peppers!  -  The little green one is a Jalapeno pepper that may pack some heat.  The little lime-green one a Hungarian Hot Wax pepper that is better known as a ‘banana pepper’.  The Hungarian Hot Wax are of the most mild in the hot pepper family- but can occasionally be a little hot.  If you’re a little wimpy on hot peppers like me, you’ll like this one!

Next Week’s Best Guess:DSC 0152

Disclaimer:  This is only our best guess from what we see up and coming from field walks.  Next week's actual box may look slightly different from this projection.

Broccoli or Cauliflower, Cucumbers, pickling cukes, summer squash and zucchini, white onion, carrots, lacinato kale, lettuce, eggplant?, garlic, celery, basil, red cabbage?

Recipes

Chard Stalk Hummus

Carrot Top Salsa

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole 

Cold Cucumber Soup