Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

August Nineth

Pre-maturely, we named this farm the ‘Small Family Farm’ way back in the Spring of 2007.  We knew we wanted to be a family farm, we knew we would always remain small and we wanted to epitomize everything it meant to be a ‘Small Family Farm’.  We wanted the kids and the fields and the barn and the tractor and the clothesline.  We had a highly romantic ideal backed with a strong work ethic and a focus that let nothing stand in our way.  We had a lot to learn then.  And we still do. DSC 0351

The family aspect of running a farm, we have been learning, looks very beautiful.  We have blond haired little angels running barefoot across the fields.  We have home-cooked sit-down dinners holding hands as a family.  We have other people’s children coming and going and breathing life and community into the farm.  We have literally a family of friends and community that is our worker and worker-share base of helpers.  But we also have the dark side of the moon- as every family does.  We have the tantrums and the deadlines and the stress and the aches and pains.  I don’t want to create too perfect of an image for you.  This is real life! 

The children, though,  have drastically changed my role in this farm.  Becoming a mother has transformed me from being the primary farmer, tractor-operator and field crew manager into more of a farm worker.  While farmer Adam, father and husband, has been slowly assuming more and more of my past responsibilities.  He quit his off-farm job in 2014 when our second child was born and the farm has been thriving ever since.  I struggle some days with a loss of identity with taking more of a passenger-seat role in the fields due to my family and motherhood responsibilities and personal expectations. 

I’ve been keeping a little secret from you all.  I’m 22 weeks pregnant with our third child due in mid December.  While I very much so wanted this, I still struggle with the meaning of it and the implications.  Growing our family will mean more work for Adam and I both in the short term as we raise our very young family into more middle-sized people with more independence.  I will still do the lion’s share of taking care of an infant with honor and gratitude.  But in this stage of our lives, which I’m sure I will look back on fondly one day, I still have to remind myself daily that I am a farmer too.  I watch Adam doing a fantastic job at running the crews.  I make dinner while he does the tractor work.  I give the 2 year-old the nap while he takes the crew out to harvest cucumbers.  I stay up late folding laundry and picking up toys while I let him rest his bones from lifting heavy bins all day and shouldering the weight of this operation. 

I am the farthest thing from a sub-servant wife (and my husband has never treated me so).  I am a feminist.  I am a professional, non-traditional woman.  I am so much more than a mother.  But I do have to actually say it to feel it some days.  I am playing a role in our family that allows our family and farm to function at it’s best.

It’s ridiculous.  I know.  But if you’ve never had children or your children are grown-you may not be able to empathize or identify or remember how thick the veil of motherhood really is.  Especially when they are very young.  It is encompassing.  It is the reason many people do NOT have children. It is TONS of work.  Hard work.  Constant.  And extremely time-consuming, no matter how you do it.  The responsibility is heavy.  Much like running a farm this size. 

But, I’ve always been the sort of woman to take on more than I should.  I’ve always been able to follow up with more strength and courage than I knew I had.  I also have a work-aholic nature that the children do help soften now (they slow me down whether I like it or not).  And resting and sleeping inside me is a full-time farmer.  I look forward to the day when we reach the top of the bell curve and our family life and our work may actually become easier again.  But for now, it's full force ahead!parsnip

Soooo…..What’s in the Box????

Sweet Corn-  8 ears per member this week!  And boy oh boy is it sweet!  Did you know that minute sweet corn has been harvested it begins to loose some of it’s sweetness?  Yes, the sugars turn to starches and the flavor decreases by the hour.  We highly recommend keeping your sweet corn in the refrigerator and eating for supper TONIGHT to maximize the aweseome flavor it has!  Some of the corn did have worms in it.  Yes, worms are gross, but this is organic corn folks and there isn’t much we can do about it.  Just take a knife and cut those spots or the tip off if you find one.  We don’t want you be alarmed, because they’re in there!  Farmer Adam did a fantiastic job keeping the sweet corn fence electrified at night and keeping the coons out.  We sometimes loose huge numbers of corn to the raccoons.  This year we’re keeping them out so far! 

Celery-  Still stunning and amazing heads of celery coming strong.  We probably have a couple more weeks of celery offerings befor the celery stops coming.  Enjoy it while it lasts!  Make celery soup, celery and peanut butter sticks.  Celery salad.  Live it up!  Don't forget to use your celery greens in soups, salads stocks or however you can get them into your tummies!

Red Cabbage-  Red cabbage keeps spectacularly well in the fridge in your crisper.  It can be a little bit trickier to figure out what to do with, so check out our loved Warm Red Cabbage Salad below!

Eggplant-  The first eggplant offering!  You may have received either one standard Black Beauty Eggplant or you may have received one long and skinney Japanese Eggplant.  Eggplant prefers a 50 degree storage area which can be hard to come by.  They sometimes get a bit wilty in the fridge and the countertop is a tad too warm, so we recommend using these up sooner rather than later because they’re not awesome keepers.  More next week!

Cauliflower or Broccoli-  Either one Broccoli or Cauliflower this week.  Broc and Cauliflower are coming to an end again here until our later successions kick in.  Such nice broc and cauli this summer!  

Lettuce-  Either a red leaf or green leaf lettuce this week.  Smaller heads this week as lettuce doesn’t tolerate the heat well, so we grab it early before it wants to start to bolt.  More lettuce on the way! 

Carrots-  Another handsome offering of 1lb bags of carrots this week.  We chose not to give the carrots with the greens still attached this week to save time bunching them in the fields.  Still very freshly dug for you!  So excited to have carrots again!

Slicing Cucumbers- 7-8 Cucumbers per member this week.  Cucumber production will really take a plummet after this week.  They had their peak and the plants are producing a lot less now.  So make your favorite cucumber recipes now before cucumbers slowly drift out of season. 

Thyme-  Fragrant, delightful and hearty Thyme!  If you can’t use it all fresh, we recommend laying it out on a tray to dry in a dehydrator or warm oven with the door open for several hours until it is dry and crispy.  Strip the leaves from the stem and enjoy your own home-made dried thyme in the winterthyme;) 

Tomatoes-  Finally!  They are starting!  This is the first offering of tomatoes.  2 tomatoes per member this week to get us started.  But they are gorgeous and well received!  More next week.  Hopefully lots more! 

Summer Squash and Zucchini-  Just two squash per member this week.  Squash production is also waning fast.  We’re still picking them because they’re still coming, but I wouldn’t expect them to last too much longer. 

Pickling Cucumbers-  Just three pickling cucumbers per member this week. These guys are a bit of a pain to harvest and catch while they’re still small.  We have been giving some that are a little on the larger size for a pickling cuke, but this is what we had time to squeeze in and gather amidst all of our other harvesting we’re trying to keep up with. 

White Onions-  One white onion!

Next Week's Best Guess:  Sweet Corn, Red Cabbage, Celery, Cucumbers, Onion, Zucchini and Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Hot Pepper, Chard or Kale, beets

Recipes

Warm Red Cabbage Salad

Blue Moon Celery Salad

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Guyere featuring Carrots and Celery

Eggplant Curry