Small Family Farm CSA

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August Twenty-First

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The farm is dry. The dryness is something we openly asked for earlier in the season. This lovely, sunny, dry weather has been wonderful for drying down our garlic and onions in the greenhouse and dry storage room. We are now beginning to harvest and dry down the first of our winter squash harvest. It is wonderful for getting work done in the fields for either harvesting or weeding. But we’re starting to get a little nervous now as we’ve had such a long stretch of dry weather and many of our late summer and Fall crops are beginning to get thirsty!

I will now ask for a long, slow, soft rain (as if you can deliver that for us;). Just one for now would be great! About an inch. Maybe 1.5 inches;) Two inches max! Our potatoes and sweet potatoes will need a litle rain in order to size up, fall seedings of carrots, beets, radish spinach and recently transplated lettuce would also like a drink in order to thrive. We are beginning to talk about irrigation and running new drip irrigation lines to the crops that need it the most. No real chance of rain lies in the forecast.

While we wait for rain, we are harvesting many of our favorite summer vegetables like sweet corn, melons, green beans, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, and carrots! The boxes this time of year are probably my favorite boxes of the season. Folks, these are the boxes we live for. We spend all winter dreaming of vine ripened tomatoes, fresh picked sweet corn and juicy, local melons and there is no time like the present to fall in love with them all over again!

I find it interesting how nature and the seasons give us all that we need in the season that we are in. We are offered juicy, crispy, sweet and colorful foods in this warm season when our bodies know that it’s time to load up on sugars to keep our energy strong for the harvest, stay hydrated and eating healthy! I also love how summer foods are convenient and quick to prepare.  BLT’s are a favorite quick summer meal. I also love sweet corn, steamed green beans, fresh salsa and chips, and snacking on raw carrots, cucumbers, celery, cherry tomatoes, and sweet peppers! A little hummus with a pile of raw veggies goes a long way.

This week we will stay busy harvesting more green beans, catching up on some much needed weeding projects, laying irrigation lines and harvesting more melons for next week’s CSA boxes. We are excited to start giving cantelopes and honeydew melons next week. The CSA boxes are getting very heavy now! We recommned not using the handles on the sides of your box to carry them, but to carry them from the bottom of the box as the handles can rip very easily when the boxes are this heavy. Very bountiful, full and HEAVY boxes this time of year! We’re so happy to be sharing all of this lovely, seasonal, organic fresh food with you! Thank you for valuing fresh, local and organic vegetables in your lives!

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

Yellow Watermelon-  One beautiful, juicy and sweet watermelon for all this week!  We love these because they fit in a CSA box so nicely.  Watermelons keep best in the fridge until you get a chance to use them up.  

Canary Melon (or Cantelope)-  The Canary melons are a yellow melon with a harder rind.  We love these melons because when they're fully ripe they have such a sweet flavor.  Do not mistake your Canary Melon for a spaghetti squash.  Keep your melon in the fridge until you get a chance to use it up.  We ran a little short on Canary Melons and supplemented cantelopes for those who did not get a Canary Melon.  Cantelopes can sit on your counter until you get a chance to use them up.  A cantelope will smell ripe when it is ready to eat.  

Sweet Corn-  5 ears per member this week.  Sweet corn needs to be refrigerated unti you are ready to use it.  Sweet corn is best eaten as soon after harvest as you can.  We recommned using it up right away for best flavor!  We will have one more week of Sweet Corn Harvest to share with you next week.  We were hoping for larger givings of sweet corn this year, but the yields weren't as expected this year.  

Cuccumbers-  4 Cukes per member this week.  Cucumbers are waning in production now.  The cucumbers we are picking are the last flush and aren't as perfect looking as the early season cucumbers.  We anticipate anohter week or two of cucumbers left in the season.  

Tomatoes-  5.24 lbs of tomatoes per member this week.  We pick tomatoes with a "blush".  A blush is anything with any early signs of color.  We need to pick tomatoes this way because the plants need to be picked every two days to keep the fruits from ripening too quickly on the vine.  If the fruits become too ripe, we won't be able to ship them without them turning into tomato sauce in your box!  Leave your tomatoes sitting on your counter outside of the plastic bag we ship them in to ripen.  When tomatoes are put into the fridge the ripening process stops.  Refrigerators (and I don't understand the science behind this completely) suck the flavor out of tomatoes.  Your tomatoes will be more flavorful if left on the counter to ripen.  We only recommend putting tomatoes in the fridge this summer if you need to buy yourself some time and you have too many tomatoes getting too ripe on you.  Use these guys up!  Another generous giving coming up next week!

Cherry Tomatoes-  1 Quart per member.  We have never given such large quantities of cherry tomatoes before, but there is a first time for everything!  Probably the best tasting tomato in the whold world are these tomatoes!  Remember that these ripen orange and are fully ripe when they are a nice and bright orange.  

Carrots-  1 lb per member this week.  Carrots are always welcome as a healthy snack, with dip, in a stir fry or any way that you fancy!

Green Beans- 1.24 lbs per member this week.  The bean bags this week had a mix of green beans and also 'Dragon Tongue' beans.  Dragon Tongues are a Dutch Heirloom variety that is a yellowish bean with purple streaking.  Unfortunately, the purple streaking in these dragon tongue beans goes away once the beans are cooked.  It's sort of like magic!  

Eggplant-  Either a standard eggplant or a long and thin Asian eggplant.  Eggplants can be a tricky vegetable to become acquainted with if you don't already love them, but if you find the dish that makes you a believer, I know you can learn to love eggplants!  They do prefer a 50 degree storage temp zone.  So you'll have to use them up quick before they begin to go bad on either your counter or in your fridge.  They're so much better fresh!  

White Onions-  2 white onions per member this week.  Onions should keep on your counter at room temperature until you get to using them up!

Sweet Peppers or Broccoli-  We had equal amounts of broccoli and sweet peppers this week, but no enough to give everyone both.  You may have received either broccoli or sweet peppers.  We're hoping the sweet peppers will start to come on soon here.  

Collards or Kale-  The Collards didn't really look all that great this week.  We gave small bunches and the leaves really weren't looking the best, but we really wanted to go through and clean the plants up in hopes that the plants make a rebound for a nice Fall harvest.  Collards are another one that can be really lovely if prepared right!  If you did not receive Collards, you did receive a small bunch of Curly Red Kale.  We wanted to get something leafy and green in the boxes this week.  

Jalapeno-  The Jalapenos are the smaller, green pepper in your tomato bag.  Jalapenos will 'ripen' red, so a lucky few may have received a red Jalapeno.  Red ones can be a bit sweeter.  

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers-  These peppers are one of the most mild on the spectrum of hot tomatoes.  Technically, they are a hot pepper.  I have cut into many hungarian hot wax peppers and some have been surprisingly spicy, and some have been hardly spicy at all.  They are usualy a lime green color and are also called 'bananna peppers'.  But these peppers 'ripen' orange to red, so you may have received one that was orange or red as well.  They would be in your bag with your tomatoes.  

Next Week's Best Guess:  cantelope, watermelon, tomatoes, sweet peppers, broccoli?, hot peppers, beets, sweet corn, cucumber, green beans, onion, garlic, eggplant, cherry tomatoes


Crisp Cucumber Salsa (Yum!)

Tomato, Onion and Cucumber Salad with Kalamata Olives and Feta Cheese

Eggplant Parmesan Stacks

Pico De Gallo (Fresh Salsa)

Fresh Green Bean Casserole

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