Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

September Eigth

Balance is the theme of the week for me. As the change of the seasons is felt in more of a drastic way, I am reminded of the balance in my life that seemed to escape me for the annual 2-month pilgrimage that it goes away on during the months of July and August. I sense that all balance is not lost as the leaves fall from the trees, the nights dip down into the 40’s and 50’s and I am again wearing sweaters and hats in the fields.

The good nights sleep is what I missed the most during the summer. I have too much of my father in me to actually come in from the fields so long as I can still see out there. I am a hard worker to a fault. It is a characteristic about me that some praise and other’s see in me as my most foolish trait. I’m really not sure whose advice to take some days, but I guess that I am who I am at the end of the day. Being out so late into the evenings when the days are so long- it was cutting into the hours that I spend sleeping. So, the young and foolish part of me simply endures July and August when the sun favors the higher part of the sky.

jillianpickpeppers
Jillian picking peppers on a breezy, cool harvest day.

 

I seem to have taken a renewed sense of pleasure for the work that I do as the temperatures drop as well. I love feeling the cool breeze on my warm cheeks while working with long sleeves and a stocking cap on. My spirits are lifted to know that the summer heat that turns even my water bottles the temperature of warm tea will keep my refreshing water cool. I sense that even the plants are relieved to have the bugs that chew on them sleep in a little later until the day’s air warms.

I see so little of the garden now that actually looks filled with life and bursting with a lush glow. Now, as I drive into the fields on a harvest day, I see so many beds from this spring that are done for the year, filled with grass and need to be worked so they can be cover cropped. All of our old beds of spring lettuce, spinach, radish, and summer garlic, onion, sweet corn. Our old beds of broccoli, cabbage, carrots and cauliflower are gone. All that is remaining is a partial garden with only patches of true colors that resemble fresh life. The rest are winter squash plants that are dyeing back, tomatoes with hardly any leaves left on them, potato plants that are completely died back and empty strips of black plastic where our celery and cucumbers used to live. The greater part of the beautiful, scenic garden is returning to the earth.

The balance that a farmer feels is not a daily balance, I am learning. We have a seasonal balance. We have a surge of long hours, heavy work load and more to do than can be done during the peak season. Then, we have the wane into the “off season” when the days are so short, there is barely time to get anything done during the day and our focus and concerns are marketing and keeping the wood stove burning hot. It has taken me a long time to realize this, believe it or not. While the rest of the world around me was protesting and lobbying for a daily balance, routine and equal distribution of work, play and sleep hours every day of the year. I had to re-learn a new kind of balance that is truly seasonal. For obvious reasons, I love this seasonal balance the most when it favors sleep and play.

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

Beets-  These beets came from a new bed of beets and the greens still look delicious and young.  Be sure to use these beet greens!  Check out our recipe below!  Some of the bunches also have either a golden beet or a chioggia beet included in the bunch.  The golden and chioggio beets are fun because you can incorporate them into a dish without staining everything pink!

 

chioggia
The inside of a Chioggia (pink) beet, a heritage variety.
Garlic-  A bulb of german white garlic.  Garlic stores best in a cool, dark and dry area.  But I don't think you'll need storage tips, it probably won't last long in your kitchen.

 

Red Onions-  To shave into your fresh leaf salads again!

Tomatoes- Tomato production was still strong this week.  We definatly noticed that production is waning now.  Next week expect a much smaller bag of tomatoes.  Have you had your fill of tomatoes just yet?  We still have another week or two of smaller givings.  It's getting chilly fast!!!

Romaine, Red Leaf and Buttercrunch Lettuce-  The return of the lettuce.  A lot of it has come on sooner than we expected.  That seems to be the theme this year.  But the good news is, no woodchucks are muching on these beds (knock on wood)!

Green Curly or Red Curly Kale- More fall greens.  Check out our great braised kale and beet greens recipe below!

Peppers- More bell peppers.  Not as great of a pepper year this year than the last couple years.  It's a surprise too with all the warm weather.

Eggplant or Cherry Tomatoes- Not as many eggplants this year either than in previous years.  Cherry tomatoes are on their way out!!!

Green Beans-  A mix of green, yellow and purple beans.  The beans are a little dirty this week because of all the rain.  We cannot wash the beans either because they will deteriorate so quickly when they are wet.  We figured you could wash them before you eat them.  My mother always told me that little dirt wouldn't hurt me, and boy was she right!

Next Week:  lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, kohlrabi, acorn winter squash, bell and hot peppers

Recipes

Toasted Garlic Green Beans

Braised and Blended Kale and Beet Greens