July Thirteenth

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In these full summer days of endless to-do lists with the demands of the farm getting heavier and stronger, our bodies begin to feel like they’re moving with less briskness and pep.  All the stored energy from a winter’s rest feel like it was used up already somehow.  The broccoli, zucchini and now cucumber harvests need to happen every two days.  The weed pressure gets more and more intense while the thermostat rises.  Adam and I work around the clock trying to keep the farm functioning like a well-oiled machine.  The children, the yard, the kitchen, the laundry-all need attention as well. 

Sustainability is a buzz word in the world of organic farming.  With the emphasis on soil health we are focused on sustainability.  We’re thinking about the monarchs, the nesting birds, the soil microbes, the worms and critters of all kinds whether we see them or not, we aim to coexist harmoniously.  The plants are happy, the crops look amazing, the CSA boxes are full and we have help.  But somehow the lifestyle for the farmer does not feel quite so.  It’s just that we’re tired.  The kind of tired you feel when you’ve poured all of heart and soul into something because you believe it in deeply.  We’re holding onto our ideals with our teeth, be it foolish or admirable, I still haven’t figured that one out. 

I do not wish to sound like I am complaining, because I really dislike complaining.  Everything we have going in our lives, we asked for and created for ourselves.  We dreamed for, invited and built this life brick by brick.  I actually feel lucky and blessed to be here.  No one makes us do it other than me, the mad-woman behind the scenes who thought this was all a really good idea.  I’m just mad enough to continue believing that it is a good idea and to hit the restart button every year.  My amazing, hardworking husband obliges me and together we jump in with both feet. 

The truth it, it is a good life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  The rewards are much greater than the sacrifices.  But I guess it helps a little to share the fact that it’s really, really hard with you.  I write these newsletters like a journal entry in the quite of the evenings when the children are sleeping and mommy has a little time to herself after a busy day on the farm.  I sit here wondering what to write about and these are the words I find myself typing. 

But sometimes, on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I sneak out to my flower beds for a little while.  I have some Lillys, Echinesia, Gladiolas, Irises, Poppys, Calendulas, a few Zinnias and this year I tried to start some Daisys.  The Daisy’s are still pretty little and I’m not sure if they’re going to take off.  I really want Daisys.  They possess a simplicity that is so contrasting to my life, I feel drawn to them.  I feel guilty when I’m weeding my flowers when there is so much weeding to be done in the fields and I know Adam is out there trellising tomatoes.  But the children play in the yard when I’m weeding flowers and we’re together in a way.  I feel guilty when I’m farming and I’m not with my kids.  I feel guilty when I’m with my kids and I’m not farming.  I have learned that I cannot escape some level of guilt wherever I am.  So I just go weed some flowers for a little bit when I can afford to.  It nurtures me in a different kind of way.  Maybe I will learn to let go of my guilt in these flower beds and trust that I am doing enough. 

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What’s in the Box?

Green Cabbage- This is a variety called Quickstart.  An early season cabbage that isn’t quite as dense as a storage cabbage.  It’s a little lighter and airier of a cabbage, but crispy all the same! 

Cucumber-  The very first cucumber harvest of the season!  I was SO excited for cucumbers this year!  Just one thes week, but be ready for more next week!  

Zucchini and Summer Squash-  4 squash per member.  We tried to give everyone two zucchinis and two summer squashes, but you may have received three summer squashes and one zucchini.  Time to dust off all of those zucchini and summer squash recipes because the squashes are rolling in heavy these days!  Zucchini pancakes, zucchini fritters, zucchini bread, zucchini ricotta roll ups!  Sub summer squash in almost any zucchini recipe. 

Broccoli or Cauliflower-  Either a broccoli or cauliflower per member this week.  I hope you got the one you love to eat the most!  

Romanesco-  Success!  We have been attempthing to grow romanesco for a very many years with varying success.  We usually time it so that we get a late season harvest and then it never matures in time to acutally share with you!  This year we shot for a summer harvest and hit it on the bullseye!  

Fennel-  Fennel is in the same family of plants as celery, carrots, dill and parsley.  It has a lovely licorice flavor that is wonerful when eaten raw.  Use a mandolin and shave fennel thinly raw onto salads.  When fennel is cooked it generally looses its licorice flavor and will caramelize like an onion, so it can be snuck into just about and dish!  Remember to cut out the woody core in the center by the base.  The frawns can be used for garnish or nibbling on while you’re cooking for fun! 

Kohlrabi-  Two kohlrabi per member.  We tried to give everyone 1 purple kohlrabi and 1 while kohlrabi, but towards the end of packing we had only white left and some folks received two white kohlrabi.  We’re coming to an end on kohlrabi season. 

Green Onions-  One bunch of green onions per member.  The green onions can be used from the tip of the whites and most the way up into the greens.  Use as much of the green onion as you like! 

Red Leaf lettuce-  These red oakleaf lettuces are so special!  It takes a couple extra minutes to clean up, but such a lovely texture and color on the plate! 

Collard Greens-  Your challenge for the week!  If you eat meat, time to thaw out some bacon.  They’re AMAZING cooked in broth and then fried with a little bacon.  But if meat isn’t your thing, stem the until they’re pliable and use them as a wrap. 

Next Weeks best guess:  Summer Squash, zucchini, cucumber, kale, broccoli and/or romanesco, carrots, celery, bunching onions, garlic scapes, fennel, lettuce.  

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