Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

We made it half way through with only blessings abound remaining.  The weather looks promising with plenty of bearable temperatures, plenty of rain, and harvests flourishing.  I probably couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful summer if I had planned it myself.  I’m feeling a bit better about things this week as we are catching up on a number of projects that have been looming, lingering and waiting to be completed.

My sister, Julie and her boyfriend, Drew were here for a few days this week to help out on the farm and offer a couple extra pairs of hands that were much needed for us to catch up.  This week we got the rest of our garlic harvested, bunched and beautifully hung in the barn to dry and cure.  This was a major feat to accomplish.  We planted well over half of our fall planting of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi and rutabagas.  There’s still another chunk of plantings that have yet to make it into the ground, including some of our fall lettuce, pac choi and nappa cabbage and more green and red cabbage.

Momma Jane, Julie and Drew worked on getting our pea trellising down this week from our old spring pea plantings.  There’s still some clean up work to do there, but we’re making way!  Adam and I had fun with our first potato harvest this season.  The red potatoes mature earlier than the rest of the varieties, so we’re excited to offer beautiful red potatoes this week!  We hardly even made a dent in the potato patch.  There’s still plenty more to last us through the rest of the season and then some.

We made it almost half way through our shallot harvesting this week with the help of Julie, Drew and Jesse.  Jesse is one of our neighbors that comes over to work for his families CSA share.  The shallots will sit in the greenhouse for a few weeks to dry and cure before they can be cleaned up and distributed to the CSA members.  We also managed to get the solar-electric fencing set up around the sweet corn on Tuesday night.  We noticed that the raccoons have been getting into the sweet corn already and have been taste-testing, eating a few of the early ears.  I’m thinking that we will probably have sweet corn next week!  We’ll see!

Our tomatoes are finally starting to show signs of promise!  We picked one large bowl of tomatoes this week, but it’s hardly enough to start sending them out.  Maybe next week???  But by week 12, we should be sending tomatoes for definite, if not next week?  We’ll have to wait and see!  I also noticed, although I hardly like to notice, that the green beans are making beans!  Yes, this means that your dearly beloved will be on her knees most of next week picking beans!  This week also marks the end of the broccoli harvesting.  We might have some trickling in of cauliflower yet, but I’m not expecting anything spectacular with what we have remaining. 

We harvested the rest of our spring batch of chickens this week also.  But we are raising up some baby chicks for our fall batch.  They’re still in the brooder and will be set out to fresh grass in two weeks to start their foraging lives outside.  Our pigs are getting huge too!  We’re really happy with these Berkshire pigs that seem to do really well on pasture, compared to the traditional pink pigs that most Americans raise because they grow big and fat quicker, but taste and quality usually lack.  The Berkshires are a black, heritage variety the traditionally do very well on pasture and foraging.

We are in the planning stages of a fall CSA potluck for all of the member to come to farm if it is convenient for them on the date we choose.  We are thinking that we would like to schedule this event while the CSA is still running.  Last year we had the CSA farm potluck the week after the CSA ended, and when the members came to the farm, there wasn’t much left to see because everything had been harvested, cover cropped and was fall-bitten and dieing back.  We’re thinking some time in late September.  But, please remember that you’re welcome to come to the farm now, any time you like, while the season is in full force and there is everything to see!  At least a day advance notice is helpful so we know to take some time out for you if you wish to do so.  Bring your work boots too, if you feel like offering a helping hand:)

So….WHAT’S in the BOX???

Red Potatoes-  Freshly dug!  Red potatoes are earlier maturing than the other varieties.  The skins do scuff a little when you dig them early like this.  The skins on potatoes are loaded with nutrients!  Does not need refrigeration.  Keep away from direct sunlight.  Store in a brown paper bag, or a basket with a towel over top.  They should be allowed to breath some.

Lettuce– Definitely the last week of lettuce for a little while. 

Parsley–Finally!  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Broccoli— Wow, the broccoli harvest this week surprised me.  Maybe just one more week, maybe. 

Cauliflower-  I wouldn’t exactly call it a bumper crop, but it gets  better every year.

Green Onions-  This is the last week of bunching onions for the season.  Smaller bunches also.  Fresh, real onions won’t be long before they’re ready.

Cabbage-  Green cabbage this week.  Keeps best in crisper in refrigerator.

Summer Squash, Zucchini, Patty Pan, and/or cucumbers-Plenty of summer squash, zucchini, and or patty pans to go around this week.  They all taste the same, pretty much, just shaped and colored differently.  I’m afraid the cucumbers aren’t looking so good, but some folks did receive one.  

Swiss Chard-  A leafy green to add some color and volume.  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Hungarian Hot wax peppers-A very mild hot pepper.  This pepper is more for fun and crisp than it is for heat.  Enjoy it anyways!

Next week!  A short list of items that we may have next week, but will not promise to have.  Due to the unexpectedness of the season, anything could pop up or go down hill in no time.

Kale, cauliflower, shallots, garlic, beets, sweet corn, summer squash, zucchini, patty pans, eggplant

The arrival of the cicadas marks the beginning of the most difficult time of the season.  They are here to sing the high notes while the rest of us are passed out on a lawn chair somewhere with watered down lemonade from too many melted ice cubes.  The cicadas pulse their buzzes on and off, overlapping and interrupting each other, hardly ever a moment of true silence.  We the humans are wiping our brows, feeling defeated by mother nature with our sun burns, our sweat pimples and our down right exhaustion from too much heat and humidity.  But the cicadas are in their moment of glory, their 15 minutes of fame.  If you actually listen to them long enough while you’re weeding your flower bed or hanging out your laundry, they’ll take you into a form of meditation.  You’ll notice how they all sound a little different and how they sort of compete with the crickets for the longest and loudest song.

I’ve never really liked the cicadas.  In all honesty, please forgive me for this, I’ve never really liked summer all that much.  I know, it’s terrible, but it’s definitely my least favorite season, if I had my pick of the four.  Some people live for the heat and are reveling right along with the cicadas, but my body slows and becomes more sluggish.  I love cool spring breezes and watching everything come to life again, and wearing cotton and wool sweaters in the fall, while watching the garden go to sleep again.  And you all know how much I love winter, being a farmer and all.  But the arrival of the cicadas is a marking in time for me, a turning of the wheel.  For me, the survival game has begun.

This time of year happens to be our busiest time of year also.  We’re harvesting our spring plantings, and weeding our early summer plantings and trying to plant some of our fall brassicas.  All the rest of the seasons for us are mostly just planting and weeding, or weeding and harvesting, but planting, weeding and harvesting all at once when it’s 90 degrees and the days are waning, I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  All personal time that I would normally allow for myself to stretch, or sleep in, or get off of the farm for a night is completely put on hold until the cicadas are gone.  It’s like I blame it all on them, and that sort of helps a little.

These hot summer days are long, yet predictable.  I know it’s a period of the summer that lasts for about three weeks and then things seem to mellow out a little and start to cool down again.  One day I may learn to sign with the cicadas, rather than dread them, but until that time I’ll just continue to observe them and try to find ways to be more like them, brave and obvious and constant.

So….WHAT’S in the BOX???

Garlic–  Yep, more fresh garlic.  Sorry, we’re not taking the time to clean it for you, there’s too much else to do.

Lettuce– Maybe just one more week for lettuce, and then it might stop for a little while, we’ll see.

Cilantro–We thought we would give this one more time, real quick, because we don’t have any more successions coming on for awahile yet.  Eat it up while it’s here!  

Broccoli— Wow, the broccoli harvest this week surprised me.  Maybe just one more week, maybe. 

Cauliflower-  I wouldn’t exactly call it a bumper crop, but it gets  better every year.

Green Onions-  More delicious green onions to use in place of the real thing.  We’re thinking in two or three weeks, the real onions will be ready for pulling.

Kohlrabi-  Either a white or purple kohlrabi.  Kohlrabi is in the same family as broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower.  The leaves are edible.  Peel kohlrabi and use for cooking or eating raw.  It’s getting a little hot now for this, but we probably have one more week of it left.

Summer Squash, Zucchini, Patty Pan, and/or cucumbers-Plenty of summer squash, zucchini, and or patty pans to go around this week.  They all taste the same, pretty much, just shaped and colored differently.  I’m afraid the cucumbers aren’t looking so good, but some folks did receive one.  

Beets-  Yeah!  The beets are finally here.  Remember the tops are edible too.  Use tops like you would use chard or kale.  Beets are in the same family as chard and spinach.

Next week!  A short list of items that we may have next week, but will not promise to have.  Due to the unexpectedness of the season, anything could pop up or go down hill in no time.

Lettuce, broccoli, parsley, cauliflower, green onions, garlic, cabbage, potatoes, summer squash, zucchini, patty pans.