July Nineteenth

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It’s only week 7 and the season feels like it’s in a teenage stage of development.  Many of the plants are looking full sized, healthy, strong, and like they’re approaching the season of setting fruit.  The potato, tomato, squash, melon and cuke fields look fantastic to name a few.  The broccoli and cauliflower we’re bringing in now are also looking amazing for peak season cole crops.  After about two inches of rain this last week (alas!) the farm is looking lush and healthy!  The farm may never look better at any other stage of the season as it does now.  We will soon be harvesting many crops that will chop up the fields making things look a little messier. 

We got a good start on garlic harvest this last week and we will soon be jumping into onion harvest.  Onions are brought into the greenhouse tables and laid out to cure with fans on them.  Onions are similar to garlic in that they must be dried down quickly after harvest to cure or they will not be able to be stored.  I love how beautiful they all look filling up every square foot of the greenhouse.  I love the musty smell of earth and spice that fills the air and the feeling that one more crop is safely brought in from the fields and curing down for storage and ready for packing into CSA boxes. 

It's exciting to watch the farm transition from Spring into an official feeling Summer.  We’re now eating cucumbers which arrive just in time to help keep us cool through the hot summer months.  Zucchini is coming out of our ears and the tomato vines are filling up with green fruits everywhere.  The melon plants have medium sized unripe melons everywhere and even the winter squash are sizing up on the plants already.  The farm looks fertile and the veggies abundant! 

It's a bittersweet thing to watch your children grow up and it's a bittersweet thing to watch the farm grow up too.  Looking so fine and all grown up, pretty soon we'll start digging, cutting, chopping, and picking away at this plants and in late summer their leaves will begin to turn yellow, brown and become spotty.  This is a drastically accelerated metaphore for aging humans and aging plants.  But all these little plant babies are also my babies and I become sentimental as I watch them grown up so big and strong.  It's a good thing that we get watch our own kind grown up a little slower that we watch a tomato or potato plant!  So interesting is the comparison and how wonderful it feels to be so intimately connected to the seasons that the marking of time is aparent and known and felt in observing the stages of the wild and cultivated plants around us.  

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What’s in the Box?

Collards-  Gorgeous collard greens this week as your cooking green.  Use like you would use kale if nothing else comes to you!

Fennel-  Another offering of fennel for the adventurous cooks among us!  Can be sauteed like onions and added to almost anything!  If it’s a larger fennel, slice in half lengthwise and make a V-shape cut in the fennel to remove the hard center core.  Fennel looses most of its licorice flavor when cooked.  The frawns can also be eaten or used as garnish. 

Flat Leaf Parsley-  Flat leaf Italian Parsley as your herb this week to add to your salads of every kind.  Parsley can also be un-bunched, layed on a tray and dehydrated.  Once dried, remove stems and store in an air-tight container. 

Green Cabbage-  This is also the quickstart variety.  We believe that because of the drought this year, this variety of cabbage made tighter, less airy heads than we have seen in the past.  It is still not a storage variety, but we did get more dense cabbage heads this summer than we have in some years out of the Quickstart variety. 

Cauliflower-  Amazing summer cauliflower this summer!  Not a fantastic keeper, so plan on using it up quick!  Broccoli and Cauilflower like to be kept very cold, so rush these guys home and get them in the fridge! 

Broccoli-  Broccoli also loves to be kept very cold, so rush it home and get it in the fridge!  Gorgeous summer broccoli this year!  We learned that the broccoli liked the drought this year.  In years with frequent rains, we see more black spots develop on the heads from being wet too often and too long which is the beginning of decay.

Lettuce-  2 Green leaf lettuce heads this week for all.  Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge. Summer lettuce can be tricky to grow as lettuce does not love the heat.  I always feel so thankful for any lettuce peak summer! 

Cucumbers-  Horray for the cucumbers!  I have been anxiously awaiting cucumbers all winter long!  Cucumbers prefer 50 degree storage temp.  The fridge is too cold and the counter is too warm, so you’ll have to take your pick!  Use them up because more are on the way! 

Zucchini and Summer Squash-  Plenty more squash to make your dinner and kitchen feel summery!  Prefes 50 degree storage. 

Green Onions-  Green onions to hold us over until fresh onions start coming in!  Can be used all the way to the top! 

Garlic Scapes-  We still have some garlic scapes to share.  We will have fresh garlic for you next week! 

Next Week’s Best Guess-  Kale, Lettuce, Bunching Onions, Garlic, Celery, Carrots, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Basil, Broccoli, Cauiliflower, Asian eggplant?

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 Recipes

Southern Collard Greens and Cornbread Recipe (don't use vegetable or canola oil, sub butter!)

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Lemony Fennel Salad with Parsley

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Garlicky and Cheesy Broccoli and Cauilflower Bake

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Baked Zucchini Chips

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Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad

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