Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

January First, 2016

A new year arrives like the birth of a new child.  So much potential lies in these days ahead, so pure and innocent. The change is like the promise of everything that is tender and new, so much hope lies within the future.  So much promise.  In the world ahead of us with a seemingly changing climate, there is some discomfort in the air.  The new year is like a clean, virgin, blank slate, but it seems to have some warping around the edges.  What does a new year, a 2016, look like on a local, organic, small-scale vegetable CSA farm? strega nona

Well, if I have learned nothing from farming, I have learned to become an optimist.  I have learned to order my seeds, prepare my bed and sow.  I say a little prayer to the Bella Luna and send three kisses off to the Full Moon as Strega Nona did as her “ingrediente segreto”.  Year after year we plan and improve and believe.  We believe that the work we are doing is important, necessary and in harmony with the ecosystem we live within. 

We are entering our 11th year as CSA farmers.  The CSA is the most important part of our farm and is also the style of farming and community engagement that we are most passionate about.  We are excited about the lessons we’ve learned as farmers.  We’re excited about new seed varieties we plan to try, soil health and improvement and also for the food, of course, that we plan to grow and feed to our friends-all of you!

Lucky for us, winter offers your farmers a luxurious break.  A physical and mental break from the stresses of a farming season.  It creates a space where one season comes to a definite end and another will come to a true beginning.  This is it.  This is the beginning.  The beginning of a new year.  We have updated our 2016 pricing and even the shopping cart on our website is new where we can now accept credit cards and paypal on our home site.  The Early Bird Discounts are in effect through April 1st, but we love to see folks sign up as early as they are able so that we can mange the bulk of our book-work associated with the flush of new Sign Ups coming in when it’s cold outside and we’re not so busy with transplanting and cultivating and other fun farming jobs that we would much prefer to be doing in May! 

Join us in a new season.  Let’s all vote together for local food.  Let us reduce the fossil fuels that are used to transport vegetables across the country.  Let’s try new vegetables.  Let’s try new recipes and meet new people and convene in this way.  Renew your membership in our CSA.  Tell your friends to join a CSA.  Eat more vegetables.  Visit the farm.  Bring kids to the farm.  It’s time for resolutions.  This is a really wonderful place for growing and we really want you to be a part of its future. 

June Eighth

The Small Family Farm is a dream come true.  We are everything we set out to be 10 years ago.  A sustainable, diversified, small family farm.  The dream to become farmers is deeply rooted in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement.  A farm enveloped by the community, transparent and engaged within the community and a farm that nurtures the bond between the culture around where the food is grown and the people connected to the farm who eat the food. IMG 2503

Congratulations to you, the community member who believes that there is more to food than just the sticker, the store and the price tag.  This food has a face and a story behind it that makes eating it, buying it and preparing it somehow more meaningful than many of the foods we eat today.  The people who partake in growing these vegetables use extra ingredients like love, passion and a commitment to sustainable agriculture. 

Farmer Adam and I “bought the farm” in 2007.  We carry the mortgage and take care of the administrative work behind this production, but in no way are we to take all of the credit for the flourishing and thriving farm it is today.  Adam and I are just two teeth in the gear.  All of you and the many helpers who work on this farm are also teeth in the gear.  Together we all make it work and spin round.   So thank you, at the very beginning, for investing in a movement that prioritizes local, sustainable, organic, and fresh food with true meaning behind it in your lives. 

We hope that through your weekly newsletters you will feel that you are part of the family farm.  We want you to think of us as your farm.  We want you to come here if you can.   We want you to wash these vegetables in your home, at your sink, and chop them with your children or your friends and think about and talk about where they came from.  We want you to help us write our story and for the effects of this experience to be far-reaching.  Culture everywhere is built around food.  Food is part of our national and local identity.  It defines us in many ways.  Even many of our most meaningful memories take place around food.  Birthday parties, dinners with friends, and holidays all center on the foods we prepare to share with the people we love.

The identity and the image of this country does not need to be golden arches, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the little red hat on the Pizza Hut sign.  I believe that our identity lies within the meals we prepare at home and that we can reclaim our image and regain a certain freedom at the same time from mass-produced food made from the cheapest possible ingredients.  We can re-learn how to feed ourselves from scratch, from the farm, from whole-food ingredients. 

Cook tonight for someone you love and know that the food you are preparing came from a place that cares deeply about the nutrient density of the food, the health of the soil and also the health of the community around that food.  Bon Appetite! 

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

Asparagus-  I have to admit, we buy the asparagus!  It comes from a friendly amish neighbor of ours, Elmber Beechy who has 18 acres of Certified Organic Asparagus.  This is the only item we ever buy from another farm in your CSA box, everythign else that you will receive this summer will be grown on our farm.  We haven't had the field space to devote to planting a couple of acres of asparagus, so we're happy to buy it from Elmer.  He and his 15 children do such a nice job, don't you think?

French Breakfast Radish-  We still wonder, even after all of these years of growing French Breakfast Radishes, do the French eat these for Breakfast?  Either way, we sure to love them!  They're a longer shaped radish with white tips.  Radish greens are edible and can be used in salads.  IMG 2504

Green Buttercup Lettuce x 2-  Our poor Buttercup lettuce was affected by a few minutes of hail that we had in late May.  The haill caused some shredding of the outer leaves, but we removed most of those leave and we have smaller buttercups here that are delectible.  Buttercups are by far, hands-down the best lettuce you will ever eat.  So smooth and tender and we just love eating every morsel of it!  Two smaller heads per box.  Be sure to keep your lettuce in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve the moisture.  

Pac Choi-  Pac Choi is an Asian vegetable that these little, tiny bugs called flea bettles love to eat.  We cover our beds of pac choi with a white floating row cover called Remay, but the bugs still do a little damage to the leaves.  We think the damage is very minimal on these and they look great!  They are nice, large, crunchy heads that make a wonderful Asian style salad too.  See our recipe below!  Also keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture.

Spinach-  About .26lbs of spinach per member.  We were hoping to give twice this amount of spinach per member, but the hail that I mentioned earlier shredded over half of our harvest in late May.  The re-growth looked great and we tolerated more ripping in this harvest of the leaves than we usually would.  Still enough spinach here for nice salad or two! 

Shallots-  About a half pound of shallots per member.  These little puppies were over-wintered from last season.  Shallots are in the allium, or onion family and they are wonderful minced up and used most commonly in sauces, dressings and marrinades, but you could just use them like onions if that's easier!  These guys kept so well for us all winter because of cold storage.  If you don't think you'll use them right away, keep them in the fridge!  

Green Garlic-  This is the long stemmed veggie that looks a little like a Leek.  Green garlic is really an in-mature garlic plant that we pull up early for the first few CSA boxes.  Slice it up and use it like you would use garlic.  It it edible from the white tips all the way up the stalk.  Great added to almost anything you are preparing with a more mild flavor than cured garlic!  

Rhubarb-  A half pound of rhubarb per member.  These guys were also damaged by the hail I talked about earlier.  They sufferend some bruising on the stalks.  Who knew that just a minute or two of hail could do so much damage?  Your vegetable farmers!  

Pea Shoots-  The entier bunch of pea shoots we sent you is edible!  The tendrils, the stem and the leaves.  You can chop this up and toss it with a salad and they will taste like peas in your salad.  Also keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge!  

Herb Pack-  Every herb pack contains one sage, thyme, oregano and basil plant.  We suggest planting these guys outside somewhere in full sun.  Sage, thyme and oregano are perennials and they will over-winter wherever you plant them and spread from year to year if you let them.  They will also do fine in a partial-sun area.  The basil really does need full sun to thrive.  Plant them all at least one foot away from one another in fertile soil and enjoy fresh herbs for your cooking all summer long!

Recipes

Spinach and Garlic Vinaigrette

Sesame Ginger Pac Choi Salad

Sweet and Spicy Stir Fry

Green Garlic and Asparagus Pizza

 

 

August Tenth

Here in the depths of summer we lie.  Our schedules are busy, the days still feel long and hot and our brains feel a little foggy from all of the heat and activity.  On a farm, farm families are busy keeping up with the daily harvesting, weeding and planting.  We’re focused on the farm and the thought of a vacation is months away.  We watch our friends and family around us take camping trips and vacations and we are reminded of how different we are from a modern day family. IMG 2728 copy

The sacrifices are real, but the rewards are rich.  We spend our weekends preserving the bounty and inviting family to come and see us instead.  Rather than journeying away from the farm, we journey deeper into our very grounded family unit and the full experience of summer on a farm.  The intimacy we experience with the plants and animals in our surroundings on this little piece of earth is rich.  We get a day by day visual of Day Lilies opening and closing and then falling off.  We are literally watching the peppers turn red.  We watch the raspberry patch ripen and the young pullet hens begin to lay eggs that we raised from day-old chicks this Spring. 

We don’t go far distances in the summer, but our roots grow deeper.  We find a wholesomeness and feeling of fulfillment in the stillness and quietness on our home and farm.   And while our children are still very small, we see the value in creating a soild foundation and family routine that honors home-made meals, work routines, food preserving and naps for the wee ones.  We are secretly envious of all of our friends (with older children or no children) who are traveling and camping and getting away this summer, but we store up our urges to travel and see the world for a more still and quite time in the off season. 

The farm is a living a breathing beast that requires close attention and care.  We are thankful for a shift now as the cucumbers and summer squashes slow down and the tomatoes and sweet peppers are about to pick up.  The melons are amazing and bountiful and the sweet corn seems to get better and better every year.  The fruits of our labor and loyalty are paying off and feeding us all well!  Fall is just around the corner!  

Canary Melon- The Canary Melons are a bright yellow rind with a yellow/green flesh that is crunchy and sweet.  The Canary melons have been confused for spaghetti squashes in the past.  The canary melons are not a spaghetti squash. 

Broccoli-  Very nice broccoli heads for everyone this week!  This is some of the nicest summer broccoli we have ever grown! 

Cucumbers-  The cukes are really slowing down now.  We were down to giving just 2 cukes per member this week!  This was very likey the final cucumber giving. 

Summer Squash and Zucchini-  3 Summer Squash and Zucchini this week.  The plants slowed down in production a little, but we still stay faithful to harvesting every other day.  Summer squash and zucchini also prefer 50 degree storage.

White Onions-  Another week of  whole onions.  These are more of the ‘rustic’ onion look.  We snagged these off of the curing tables, but we didn’t take the time to peel them back this week to make them look pretty. 

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  These peppers are also known as 'Banana peppers’.  They are most commonly seen lime green or a yellow-ish color.  When they are ‘ripe’ they turn orange or red which sometimes makes them a little sweeter.  Hungarian Hot Wax, despite their intimidating name are amidst one of the most mild of all hot peppers out there.  For a Woose like me, they’re perfect!

Jalapeno Pepper-  One of these little guys per box.  Jalapenos pack a little more heat than the Hungarian Hot Wax peppers.  We recommend wearing gloves if you go to cut these up!

Fennel-  Fennel bulbs.  The bulbs are most commonly used in fennel, but many people do like to cook with the stems and frawns as well.  The frawns can be added to salads for flavor or garnish. 

Dill-  Sure, just when cucumbers are coming to an end, we give Dill!  Lickily, Dill goes well with more than just cucumbers!  Or, if you lay it out on dehydrator trys, you can make your own home-made dried dill.  Once it is dried, store it in a mason jar with a tight lid to preserve freshness. 

Sweet Corn-  5 Ears of sweet corn per member this week!  Boy are they delicious!  Sweet corn needs to stay very cold in order to keep it’s sweetness.  Sweet corn does not keep well outside of the refrigerator, despite the fact that you see it being sold by truck farmers in parking lots outside of refrigeration.  Eat it up ASAP for the best flavor!

Eggplant-  You may have received either one standard eggplant or one Japanese (or Asian style) eggplants.  Eggplant also keeps well in a 50 degree storage area.  You choose, the countertop or the fridge? 

Basil-  The basil wanted to be harvested two weeks ago when we didn’t quite have the time to get to it.  We harvested generous bunches this week, but the plants were starting to flower.   Just pluck the good leaves off of the stems and make pesto!  We made up for in quantity for what we lacked in quality here on basil this week.  Basil will turn black in the refrigerator and it keeps well stuck in a vase like fresh cut flowers. 

Celery-  Okay, so local celery is no comparison to California Celery.  I don’t know what they do to that stuff to make it so crunchy and light green and contain so little leaf.  But I’m here to tell ya folks, this is what local celery looks like!  It’s even a pretty good year for it with all of the rain that we’ve had.  The stalks are juicy and sweet!  Local celery has a stronger celery flavor when compared to our usual California Celery.  Don’t forget to use the greens in your cooking, salads and soups!DSC 0136

Green Curly Kale-  Nice bunches of kale for your cooking green fix for the week.  Curly green kale makes great kale chips!

Tomatoes-  The beginning of the tomatoes!  We were able to give everyone two tomatoes this week.  We pick any tomato with a ‘blush’ or any shade of red, yellow or orange.  We grow many different kinds of tomatoes and some are romas, some are heirlooms and some are standard slicing tomatoes.  We grow many different colored tomatoes as well.  You will soon be receiving bags of tomatoes with a mix of different kinds and colors.  Do not put your tomatoes in the fridge as their flavor with diminish  We recommend leaving your tomatoes on your countertop to ripen if they are slightly under ripe.  Only if they are very ripe and you are in danger of loosing them should you put them in the fridge if you can’t eat them up promptly. 

Green Beans-  When we picked the green beans on a wet and dewey morning, some of them were getting put in their bins wet.  Green beans do not like to be wet or dirty, but these were both a little wet and a little dirty.  We also do not wash green beans because they don’t wash easily and don’t like to be wet and it would be very difficult to get them all dry before we stuck them back in the cooler.  Wash these guys right before you eat them!  We’re hoping for another nice giving of green beans next week. 

Next Week’s Best Guess:

Disclaimer:  This is only our best guess from what we see up and coming from field walks.  Next week's actual box may look slightly different from this projection.

Honeydew, Melons, Broccoli?, Celery, Summer Squash, Zucchini, sweet corn, Eggplant, White Onion, Hot Peppers, green beans, sweet peppers, tomatoes, swiss chard, carrots?, 

Recipes

Cucumber Melon Salad

Sweet Corn and Coconut Milk Chowder

Toasted Garlic Green Beans

Fennel Cucumber Salsa

Cream of Broccoli and Fennel Soup 

August Seventeenth

Harvesting all of this bounty feels like a gift.  It is not entirely a gift because we have to work very hard and put in countless hours on tractors and on our hands and knees doing field work to extract this volume of food from the dark, mysterious soil.   But it is a gift in that there are mysterious and magical forces at work that are cooperating with us to make all of these flavorful orbs ripen into colorful and fragrant shapes of enzyme-rich food.  Magical things like seeds and thunderstorms and soil chemistry and seasons and communities.  Farmers are probably more like magicians than just equipment operators and field crew managers.DSC 0155

It is really a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by so much bounty and excess and abundance.  Why shouldn’t I be whistling while I work and hopping around as happy as a leprechaun?   Well, the truth is that I am very happy, but I struggle at times when we are all so very tired and even exhausted, to remember everything that we have to be thankful for and to remember all of the reasons why we are so lucky and blessed.

Our family has built in a small ritual to help us remember to vocalize and become conscious of our gratitude.  Before we share a meal, we sit together at the table and hold hands and take turns saying something that we’re thankful for.  On an average day we are thankful for the food on our plates, our health, our family, our friends.  Sometimes we are thankful for the rain or the sweet corn or the breeze or for friends joining us for a meal.  We’re not a particularly religious family, but we do consider ourselves spiritual.  And this little custom is a practice that grooms the spirit.

I recently heard a saying, “We are not thankful because we are happy, we are happy because we are thankful”.  When gratitude aught to be woven into our speech, actions and words, if we forget or are having an off day, having a built-in time of your day to offer a few words of gratitude seems like a healthy reparation.  When better of a time than when our families are sitting together at the table for a few minutes amidst our hectic lives?  Why not speak it aloud before your meal that you invested your valuable time and love into while chopping and dicing and sautéing and stirring your daily meditation into. 

I am hopeful that these little packages of vegetables are as meaningful to you as they are to me.  I am hopeful that you feel a connection to something larger than yourself when handling these pieces of transformed mineral and matter.  I assure you that we are investing love, sweat and tears into them.  There is community and laughter and adoration inside them.  They have been handled by people who appreciate a connection to food and earth and kinship. 

So when you sit down for your meal tonight, raise your glass to the farm.  Bow your head to your family.  Reserve a moment of silence for the magic and mystery that lives inside every carrot and tomato and green bean.  Begin a habit of offering thanks for your food, your house, your family, your health.  Gratitude is contagious and it has a way of growing upon itself like it’s own living thing.  Cheers!

Here is a link to an inspiration piece by Michael Perry I stumbled across a few weeks ago on Gratitude if you have a few extra minutes to sit at your computer and read more:  http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/columnists/michael-perry/michael-perry-gratitude-is-renewable-energy/article_acee74f3-5949-5005-9620-1027f7997eef.html

Sooo…What’s in the Box???

Honeydew Melon- Dewlightful is the name of this melon and we found it to be just that.  These are delicious and juicy and everything you would want out of a honeydew melon.  They were harvested on a wet morning, so they were a touch on the dirty side.  Give your melong a little rinse before cutting it up.  We didn’t have the time to wash these with all of the other harvesting and washing on our plates this week.  DSC 0164

Broccoli-  Very nice broccoli heads for everyone this week!  This is some of the nicest summer broccoli we have ever grown!

Summer Squash and Zucchini-  We’re down to harvesting the very last of the Summer Squash and Zucchini this week.  Probably this will be our final squash giving of the year.  Summer squash and zucchini also prefer 50 degree storage.

White Onions-  Another week of  whole onions.  The onions are all harvested and layed out and looking beautiful on the curing tables in the greenhouse. 

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  These peppers are also known as 'Banana peppers’.  They are most commonly seen lime green or a yellow-ish color.  When they are ‘ripe’ they turn orange or red which sometimes makes them a little sweeter.  Hungarian Hot Wax, despite their intimidating name are amidst one of the most mild of all hot peppers out there.  For a Woose like me, they’re perfect!

Jalapeno Pepper-  One of these little guys per box.  Jalapenos pack a little more heat than the Hungarian Hot Wax peppers.  We recommend wearing gloves if you go to cut these up!

Thyme-  Beautiful bunches of Thyme for everyone this week.  We don’t expect that you’ll be able to use all of this thyme in one week, so lay the bunch out on a tray and dehydrate what is left over after using what you can fresh.  Once the thyme has been dried in your dehydrator or your oven on very low heat, strip the stems and store the dried herb in an air-tight mason jar with a tight lid.  Enjoy dried thyme from the farm this winter and think of us in January! 

Sweet Corn-  4 Ears of sweet corn per member this week! Those nasty raccoons are getting into our sweet corn rows even though we are so very faithfully keeping an electric fense around the corn every night and keeping the fence line trimmed down so it doesn’t short out from the weeds growing into it.  We were able to salvage 4 ears per member this week.  Even the birds were landing on the tips of the corn trying to get their share, we even had to snip off the tips of a few of the corns here and there.  Sweet corn needs to stay very cold in order to keep it’s sweetness.  Sweet corn does not keep well outside of the refrigerator, despite the fact that you see it being sold by truck farmers in parking lots outside of refrigeration.  Eat it up ASAP for the best flavor!  The sugars turn the starches very quickly once it has been picked!  One more week of sweet corn yet to come if we can keep the coons away!

Sweet Bell Peppers-  One or two sweet peppers per member this week.  You may have receveived either red, orange and/or yellow peppers this week.  Most of them were red peppers. 

Lunchbox Sweet Peppers-  Everyone received two little, small sweet peppers that could be mistaken for a hot pepper, but they are not hot.  They usually come in red, yellow and orange colors.  We grew these little guys last year for the first time and totally fell in love with them!  Our 4 year old thinks we grow them just for her, but she wasn’t around when we picked all of these to share with you.  Eat these for a snack raw, or cook with them like you would any other sweet bell pepper. 

Celery-  Okay, so local celery is no comparison to California Celery.  I don’t know what they do to that stuff to make it so crunchy and light green and contain so little leaf.  But I’m here to tell ya folks, this is what local celery looks like!  It’s even a pretty good year for it with all of the rain that we’ve had.  The stalks are juicy and sweet!  Local celery has a stronger celery flavor when compared to our usual California Celery.  Don’t forget to use the greens in your cooking, salads and soups!DSC 0136

Green Lettuce-  Small heads of green leaf lettuce for everyone this week.  We had to harvest them small because they were starting to bolt on us.  Lettuce does not grow well in the heat of the summer and will quickly bolt in hot summer heat.  So we took them small at the first signs of bolting.  I love lettuce during tomato season for BLT’s!

Tomatoes-  The beginning of the tomatoes!  We were able to give everyone 4.5lbs of tomatoes this week.  We pick any tomato with a ‘blush’ or any shade of red, yellow or orange.  We grow many different kinds of tomatoes and some are romas, some are heirlooms and some are standard slicing tomatoes.  We grow many different colored tomatoes as well.  Don’t wait for your tomatoes to all turn a bright red color, some of them ripen pink or yellow or orange.  You will know when they are ripe if you give them a very gentle squeeze and they are soft and not firm anymore.  Do not put your tomatoes in the fridge as their flavor with diminish.  We recommend leaving your tomatoes on your countertop to ripen if they are slightly under ripe.  Only if they are very ripe and you are in danger of loosing them should you put them in the fridge if you can’t eat them up promptly.

Green Beans mixed with Dragon Tongue Beans-  One pound of beans per member this week!  We planted a row of green beans right next to a row of Dragon Tongue Beans.  The Dragon Tongues are a larger, more flat type bean that is yellow with purple streaking.  The purple color will go away once the bean is cooked.  We tried to give everyone a mix of both types of beans. 

Carrots-  One pound of carrots this week per member.  We snapped the tops off of the carrots this week because the tops of the carrots are starting to dye back and it made it a little easier for us to wash and bag them rather than sit in the fields and bunch them with their tops on.  Still very fresh carrots harvested on Monday morning by loving hands. 

Next Weeks Best Guess:

Sweet Peppers, tomatoes, onion, carrots, watermelon, sweet corn, eggplant, hungarian hot wax pepper, jalapeno pepper, garlic, green beans, romanesco?, lunchbox peppers, oregano?, romanesco?

 Recipes

Panzanella (Thank you, Danielle, for all of your awesome recipe suggestions!)

Vinaigrette Green Beans

Blue Moon Celery Salad

Green Beans with Tomatoes (Spanish Style Green Beans)

Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole with Gruyere (feturing Carrots and Celery)

August Twenty Fourth

Community Supported Agriculture or CSA began in the United States with a farm in Massachusetts that was selling shares for apples, cider, and vinegar.  The basic concept was born where what is produced locally is consumed locally.   The CSA members were a core group of people who were actively interested in knowing where their food came from, that is was produced without the used of pesticides and harmful synthetic chemicals and were deeply concerned that the farm that the food was being grown on was reserved for agriculture and the production of clean food indefinitely.DSC 0139

Similar programs and efforts were happening simultaneously in Germany, Switzerland and Japan around the same time period.  We were ‘ripe’ for this change you could say.  And we have come so far since then.  The number of CSA Farms out there is growing (an unknown total number but somewhere in the 1700s in the US) and there is fear that we are straying somewhat from the initial intent and dream that the creators had for the future of CSA. 

Farm monogamy has been woven into the foundation of the idea.  Finding a farm, like choosing a wife or a husband or a life-long friend is a good comparison.  In some areas where there are dozens of CSA farms to choose from, people are farm-hopping and finding a new farm to ‘try out’ each year like a T-shirt or a brand of jeans.  People are intrigued by the idea and excited about buying local produce-but are straying from the long-term relationship part of supporting a CSA farm.  We would like for you to think of it as more like choosing a football team to support, a city to move to, a college to send your kids to, or what company to work for where you would remain loyal and committed to that team or place or company through the years of drought, flood or bounty. 

As with any relationship that you may have, there is a beauty, richness and depth that reveals itself over time that simply cannot be felt or truly known without weathering the storm with a person over the years.  There are many ways to buy organic food these days through farmer’s markets, grocery stores, CSA’s , and organic Food Co-ops ect.  These are all blessings on the land and our community and it makes me feel hopeful. 

But what makes CSA farming so special and unique is the relationship to a place.  I’m not talking entirely about your relationship to me or Adam or our kids, because it’s not possible for us to be best friends with everyone.  I am talking about a relationship to a place.  Like having a place you call home and the image that comes to mind when you think about where your food comes from.  The big, red buildings, the Maple Tree on the ridge, the tractors, the gravel lane, the familiar grounds.  You eat the food from this place week after week, year after year, and suddenly it becomes your farm.  Adam and I are merely the stewards for this brief passing of history.  And when we are gone, maybe this farm will be run by one of the children in this community and the profundity of history will be a beautifully layered component.DSC 0135

If you find a farm to know and love you will experience the blessings of wonder, relationship, and commitment.  You will feel love for the place and also feel loved by the place.  You will create a history and develop stories that are your own.  It is okay to have love for many farms, but while remaining grounded and rooted in the one love you have for your farm.  I have a farm in my heart and it will be the same farm for my whole life. 

Sooo…What’s in the Box???

Red Watermelon- Ana is the variety of this watermelon.  A red, seedless watermelon that we are very happy with this year.  You can’t be sad if you have a watermelon on your countertop!

Summer Squash and Zucchini-  We’re down to harvesting the very last of the Summer Squash and Zucchini this week.  Probably this will be our final squash giving of the year.  Summer squash and zucchini also prefer 50 degree storage.

White Onions-  Another week of  whole onions.  The onions are all harvested and laid out and looking beautiful on the curing tables in the greenhouse.

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  These peppers are also known as 'Banana peppers’.  They are most commonly seen lime green or a yellow-ish color.  When they are ‘ripe’ they turn orange or red which sometimes makes them a little sweeter.  Hungarian Hot Wax, despite their intimidating name are amidst one of the most mild of all hot peppers out there.  For a Woose like me, they’re perfect!

Jalapeno Pepper-  One of these little guys per box.  Jalapenos pack a little more heat than the Hungarian Hot Wax peppers.  We recommend wearing gloves if you go to cut these up!

Sweet Corn-  3 Ears per member.  Adam wanted me to tell you all that this sweet corn should be called just “Corn” and not “Sweet Corn” because it’s not very sweet.  He was very disappointed in this variety and didn’t like it as much.  But, this is what we grew and this is what we have.   Better luck for next year.  Sweet corn needs to stay very cold in order to keep its sweetness.  Sweet corn does not keep well outside of the refrigerator, despite the fact that you see it being sold by truck farmers in parking lots outside of refrigeration.  Eat it up ASAP for the best flavor!  The sugars turn the starches very quickly once it has been picked!

Sweet Bell Peppers-  Three to 4 sweet peppers per member this week.  You may have received either red, orange and/or yellow peppers this week.  A wonderful addition to your salsas, stir frys and salads! 

Lunchbox Sweet Peppers-  Everyone received about four little, small sweet peppers that could be mistaken for a hot pepper, but they are not hot.  They usually come in red, yellow and orange colors.  We grew these little guys last year for the first time and totally fell in love with them!  Eat these for a snack raw, or cook with them like you would any other sweet bell pepper.

Eggplant-  Either one standard eggplant per member or 1-2 Japanese eggplants.  Eggplant prefers 50 degree storage, so there isn’t really a great way to keep them.  You choose, the counter or the fridge.  They’re really the best if you just use them up quickly! 

Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-  We were able to pick one pint for everyone this week!  These are my personal favorite of all kinds of tomatoes!  These little sungolds are packed with flavor and sunshine and good for your tummy and heart gloriness! 

Tomatoes-  The beginning of the tomatoes!  We were able to give everyone a whopping 6.3lbs of tomatoes this week.  We pick any tomato with a ‘blush’ or any shade of red, yellow or orange.  We grow many different kinds of tomatoes and some are romas, some are heirlooms and some are standard slicing tomatoes.  We grow many different colored tomatoes as well.  Don’t wait for your tomatoes to all turn a bright red color, some of them ripen pink or yellow or orange.  You will know when they are ripe if you give them a very gentle squeeze and they are soft and not firm anymore.  Do not put your tomatoes in the fridge as their flavor with diminish.  We recommend leaving your tomatoes on your countertop to ripen if they are slightly under ripe.  Only if they are very ripe and you are in danger of loosing them should you put them in the fridge if you can’t eat them up promptly.colleen

Green Beans mixed with Dragon Tongue Beans-  Some bags were mixed with Dragon Tongue and some were not.  1.1 pounds of beans per member this week!  We planted a row of green beans right next to a row of Dragon Tongue Beans.  The Dragon Tongues are a larger, more flat type bean that is yellow with purple streaking.  The purple color will go away once the bean is cooked.  We tried to give everyone a mix of both types of beans.

Carrots-  One pound of carrots this week per member.  We snapped the tops off of the carrots this week because the tops of the carrots are starting to dye back and it made it a little easier for us to wash and bag them rather than sit in the fields and bunch them with their tops on.  Still very fresh carrots harvested on Monday morning by loving hands.

Romanesco-  These are the fractal looking vegetable.  They are in the same family as broccoli and cauliflower.  It snaps apart in the same way that a cauliflower does into little florettes and has a pleasant nutty flavor when compared to broccoli or cauliflower.  Enjoy the funky look of this veggie as you eat it! 

Garlic-  One head of garlic per member this week.  This is the Armenian hardneck porcelain variety.  Armenian garlic have four to five large cloves per bulb.  It is a nice kitchen garlic because you don’t have to peel 15 different small cloves, it has just four or five very large cloves.

Next Weeks Best Guess:

Sweet Peppers, tomatoes, onion, beets, eggplant, hungarian hot wax pepper, jalapeno pepper, garlic, green beans, romanesco?, lunchbox peppers, cilantro, green curly kale, potatoes, cherry tomatoes

Recipes

Watermelon Salsa

Savory Tomato Tart

Angel Hair Pasta with Eggplant Tomato Sauce

Roasted Red Pepper and Sundried Tomato Soup