August Eighteenth

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I had a CSA member ask me at the farm dinner last Saturday night where the first place my eyes go in the morning when I first step out the door. I prompted this question by offering that I’m always looking for newsletter content ideas and I’m interested in knowing what YOU all want to know. My initial response to her question was the deck floor. I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer this question. Is there something meaningful about where ones eyes go each morning when they step outside their door? What is to be learned about ones self by watching the direction one looks in?

What if I looked up at the sky? Would that mean I was in an optimistic, cheery mood? What if I looked at the flowers growing along the side of the house? Would that mean I am a bright, colorful soul with adventurous energy? What if I looked at the lawn and the length of the grass? What if I just looked at the deck, would this mean I am a very boring person? I still don’t know for sure, but I do know that I am slightly more conscious this week about what my eyes are drawn to seeing at first glance.

I do know that as I walk out to the kale patch to join the crew a few minutes late for Kale harvest (after getting the kids their breakfast and checking in with Grandma about the plan for the day), I walk to the field and notice the flowering wild plants. I see the milkweed, thistle and red clover flowers and know that it is now late summer. I notice the changing light in these mid-August days and how everything has a shadow and the two-tone-ness of the naturally lit outside world. I always admire the contoured fields and the curves in the landscape. I notice the misty morning and the sound of the crickets chirping LOUDLY. I notice that the mornings are cool and my legs feel a little tired.

But a farmers eyes are very good a looking for all the work that needs to be done. We are very well trained at looking for work. The mind and the eye are skilled at looking for pests, disease, weed pressure and the maturity of the crops. We assess that which is within our control and that which is beyond. It is a daily observation. We look for the fires that need to be put out. We look for the damage. We check our transplants and see how they weathered the storms. We check the spinach seed to see if it is germinating in the freshly seeded beds. We watch the soil moisture to see when it will be dry enough that we can dig carrots, till beds, and cultivate fall brassicas.

In general, I know I am a romantic optimist though-if the question was a personality pop quiz. I’m just naieve enough to work my butt off every day of my life and still believe that I have the best life in the world. I’m willing to carry the weight of this growing operation and a family with three small children and watch my husband feel overwhelmed for 7 months out of the year and still tell myself that we have it good. I’m a little like a gerbil running on a spinning wheel, but I’m also a little like a migratory bird. The cross-continental flight to make a nest takes endurance, loyalty, strength, grit, focus and perseverance-all for the love and gratitude of wings.

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

Melons x 2-  Not one, but TWO melons per member this week!  Most members received two cantelopes or you may have received a cantelops and a watermelon or a cantelope and a Canary Melon.  Cantelopes are not fantastic keepers, so we recommend using them up sooner rather than later.  The Canary Melons are the ones with the yellow rind and a crispy green inner flesh.  

Sweet Corn x 4-  Four ears per member this week.  Corn was a tricky harvest again this week.  We're still dealing with many of the sweet corn plants that were tangled and laying down near the ground from the storms last week.  We're thankful we're able to still get a nice harvest to share with you!  Remember that the moment that sweet corn is harvested, the sweetness of the ears begins to go downhill.  We recommend using up your sweet corn as soon as possible for maximum flavor and sweetness.  Keep your sweet corn refrigerated until you eat it up!  

Tomatoes- 5# bags per member.  We pick any tomato with a 'blush'.  This means any tomato with any beginning of color at the time of harvest as tomatoest ripen nicely off the vine.  They are still considered 'vine ripened' tomatoes.  We grow a wide variety of tomatoes.  You may have received a pink brandywine heirloom tomato, roma tomatoes, red slicers, black velvet heirloom or even Chef's choice which is a yellow tomato.  We offer a nice mix of heirlooms and standard slicing varieties.  Do not refrigerate tomatoes unless you need to buy yourself some time before you are able to process them.  Refrigerators will suck flavor out of your tomatoes.  Allow your unripe tomatoes to sit out on the counter until fully ripe.  

Cucumbers- 3 slicers per member.  The cucumbers are still producing, but production is going down.  We're thinking we will continue to harvest them for another week or so. The cukes we're picking now are less perfect than they were at the start of the season, later in the season like this they get a little mis-shapen at times.  

White Onion-  Because everything tastes better with a lilttle sauteed onion.  

Green Beans- .86 lbs per member.  Green beans are producing nicely now.  We're expecting another couple weeks of green bean offerings yet to come!  

Eggplant- 2 per member. You may have received a standard eggplant that is round-ish and looks like a normal eggplant or you may have received an Asian eggplant that is long and slender. Asian eggplant varieties are slightly sweeter and generally have smaller seeds and cook up quicker. Eggplant isn’t a great keeper. It stores like zucchini which prefers a 50 degree storage temp. The fridge is a little too cold and the counter is a little too warm, so dust off your eggplant recipes and have fun!

Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-  These are the very adorable little orange cherry tomatoes in the brown paper bags.  We didn't quite have enough to give everyone a pint clamshell so we bagged thsse.  Sun golds ripen orange, so do not wait for them to turn red.  Check out our very favorite and delicious Tomato Tart recipe below that we served at the farm dinner last weekend!  You don't have enough cherry tomatoes here to make the tart, but fill in with your other ripe tomatoes and you'll think you died and went to heaven.  Trust me!  

Carrots-  1 lb bags of carrots again this week. 

Green Curly Kale-  Because the kale is so prolific.  

Next Week's Best Guess- Melons, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Swiss Chard, Beets, Green Beans, Onion, garlic


Kale Olive and Chickpea Salad

Sweet Corn and Coconut Milk Chowder

Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

Baba Ganoush (Eggplant Dip) with Pomegranate Molasses

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