July Eighth

One of the most beautiful parts of our Small Family Farm, I believe, is the community we are cultivating. There is so much more in this experience than the food. Since forever ago, whenever there is food being cultivated, there is community interwoven within. There are families and stories and children and faces. There are people coming together over a belief in something that is bigger and greater than just the farm and the vegetable.

We share the belief in organic farming and that it is better for the earth, the groundwater, and biodiversity. We share the belief that eating fresh veggies will make our bodies and minds healthier and stronger. We share the belief that in order to preserve biodiversity and the cultivation of more than just corn and soybeans, we must eat these forgotten and uncommon vegetables to ensure that their seeds are saved, cultivated and shared with future generations of eaters. We share the belief that small family farms are a rare and endangered breed. My hope is also that we share the belief in the less visible but truly core principle, that we are a community of people supporting one another and sharing a meaningful and profound experience.

One of the most beautiful parts of CSA farming is that the faces of the workers and the farmers can be seen. There is a transparency in CSA farming that is unique and unlike any other kind of farming. These simple newsletters connect us to the experience and remind the eaters of these vegetables that there are lives behind the vegetables. Many of the people who choose to work on organic vegetable farms aren’t doing it simply for the money. None of them are paid enough for the hard work their doing. The ones who show up on harvest days with forecasts of rain or 90 degree heat are here because they see the big picture.

Our workers are here for a wholesome lifestyle. They’re here for exercise, fresh air, sunshine, food and community. They’re here because they want to invest their time and energy into something that feels spiritually fulfilling. Especially in these times of COVID, some of the Worker Shares only come out of their homes for this outdoor social experience once a week and they say that it nourishes them. It makes them happy to come here. They feel a satisfaction at the end of their work day that only comes from this kind of experience handling food freshly plucked from the soil dripping with dew and getting mud under their nails. They wear their most worn and ragged clothing and they show up as their least glamorous selves ready to do selfless work. Some of them drive impressively long distances for this experience once a week. To say that I am thankful for this is an understatement. I feel a gratitude deep within my chest that feels encouraging, hopeful and warm. I am appreciative for more than just their labor, but for the energy they bring to the cause that helps Adam and I, at the end of a very intense and stressful season, to get the crazy idea to do it all over again next year.

And YOU. You’re part of the story too! We need help getting the work done, but we also need to pay our electric bills, maintain our machinery, make payroll and pay the taxes and insurance. Love, hope and appreciation only go so far. We’re thankful for those of you who write out checks in January with full faith and trust that these veggies will come rolling in in June. We’re thankful you get our your cutting boards and knives each week and that you’re adventurous cooks and are willing to try new things. We’re thankful you signed up for this experience and have woven yourselves into the fabric of this farm and community.

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

Peas-  .76lbs per member.  Another bag of peas and a little more generous this time around!  Pea production is going strong.  They make such delicious snacks, they may not even make it into your dinner!  

Strawberries-  The is the final week of strawberries, sadly.  All good things must come to an end.  Now we can look forward to melons later this summer!  

Green Cabbage-  Green Cabbage!  Fantastic in egg rolls, unstuffed cabbage rolls, sauerkraut, or however you like to slice and dice it!  This is the quickstart variety of cabbage that doesn't quite have the shelflife of the storage varieties of cabbage.  The heads are little more airy and light than a very dense storage variety.  

Kohlrabi-  We're having a litttle tough luck with our kohlrabi this season.  Many of the kohlrabi were splitting or having scarred marks on the sides of them.  We're sorry for the less than glamorous presentation, but they're all the same on the inside.  Peel your kohlrabi and enjoy the crunchy, juicy and fresh kohlrabi.  Remember than you can eat the leaves like they're kale.  Kohlrabi is wonderful cut into sticks, sprinked with salt and eaten simply this way.  

Broccoli-  Something about broccoli in the CSA box make me feel like life is good!  I feel rich and happy and satisfied when there is broccoli in my life;)  Broccoli leaves are more nutritious than they flowers or stalks, so don't toss those!  

Summer Squash and Zucchini-  6-7 squash per box this week!  Zucchini and summer squash keep best at 50 degrees.  The fridge is a little too cold for them to keep well and the countertop is usually a little too warm, so it's up to you where you want to keep them!  This is an incredibly versatile vegetable.  You can always look up the 101 ways to prepare zucchini if you're looking for more creative ideas!  If at any point you feel like you just can't keep up, you can always grate zucchini and freeze it with very minimal effort!  Summer Squash an Zucchini are absolutely LOVING all of this heat and humidity, so they're really going strong right now!  Thanks to a fantastic crew to help us get them all picked!  

Bunching Onions-  Because life is so much better with onions;)  A couple more weeks of bunching onions and then it will be about time to start harvesting white onions!  

Garlic Scapes-  Likely the final week of scape givings.  These are actually the garlic plant's efforts at making a seed nodule.  The plant sends out these scapes in mid June and it is the garlic farmer's responsibility to snap these off so that the garlic plants invest more of thier energy into making larger bulbs under the ground rather than sending its energy up to make a big seed head.  Lucky for us all, these scapes are delicious to eat and a satisfactory supplement to garlic while we wait for garlic harvest in couple weeks.  They're a very rare seasonal treat.  While you can eat the entire scape, the part of the scape that is most commonly eaten is from the blunt end where it was snapped off of the plant all the way up to the little nodule.  Above the nodule the texture changes a little and it's a bit more chewy.  Garlic scapes will keep for a while, but we recommend using them up in your cooking anywhere that you woudl normally use garlic.  They have a much more mild flavor without all of the heat and intensity of actual garlic.  Enjoy!

Fennel-  One fennel bulb per member.  Raw fennel has a mild licorice flavor.  When cooked, fennel is resembles the texture of a carmalized onion.  It grows in layers like an onion but fennel is actually in the same family as celery, carrots, parsnips and dill, the umbellifferae family.  The parts that are most commonly used are the white bulb.  The greener stems and frawns are also edible or can be used for garnish on a dish.  Remember to cut out the woody core at the center or base of the bulb before chopping up and using.  Slice fennel bulbs very thinly with a mandolin and shave onto salads for the freshest flavor and texture!  

Lettuce x2-  Two heads of green leaf lettuce per member this week.  With the bulkyness of the lettuce and all of the other items in the box this week, we had trouble getting the boxes closed this week!  As the weather gets hot, lettuce gets a bit tougher.  These green leaf varieties of lettuce are heat tolerant and bolt-resistant and are a welcome treat in any veggie lovers home!  

Lacinato Kale-  This is also called dinosaur kale, tuscan kale or lacinato kale.  It is an heirloom variety origninating from Tuscany, Italy.  Lacinato is a very popular variety of kale right now.  Strip the leaves from the stem and enjoy in your favorite kale recipes.  When potatoes are in season, I really love to make Zuppa di Tuscano (Italian Kale Soup) and traditional kale soup recipe with sausage, potatoes, and lacinato kale!  

Next Week's Best Guess:  Peas, cabbage?, zucchini and summer squash, cucumbers, swiss chard, bunching onions, broccoli, cauliflower?, fennel?, garlic scapes, lettuce, herb-possibly basil or parsley

Recipes:

Risotto with Sweet Sausage and Fennel

Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls with Spicy Curry Dipping Sauce (Cabbage, Lettuce, Carrots, Zucchini)

Home-Made Honey Lemon Salad Dressing

Tofu Broccoli Cashew Peanut Madness

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