August Thirty First
The rain this summer has been unbelievable! We can hardly believe that every time we check the forecast there is more rain coming. It feels a little like a rain forest around here this last month or so with warm, hot days and very high humidity. We feel thankful on the farm for the reprieve from the heat that is happening now.
We are happy to say that we are finally done planting. It’s hard to belive that a vegetable farm like ours that begins seeding the frist of the onions and celery in the wee and early days of March continues to seed, transplant and direct seed outside all the way through mid Augst. The last of our transplants of lettuce, turnip and rutabaga all went in about ten days ago and our fall spinach plants are beginning to show their first true leaves. Now, finally, after all of these months of planting, weeding and harvesting, we’re done planting! Now we’re down to just weeding and harvesting.
It is impressive to see how much planning and organization goes into planning out all of these successions of plantings to ensure a steady, weekly supply of a colorful, flavor and diversified vegetable array for you to open up in your surprise packages week after bountiful week. You’re worth it though! This is all a labor of love!
The rains have led to blight on the tomato plants. We’re not sure just how long the tomatoes will be able to hang in there with all of this moisture in the air. Tomatoes do not like to have their leaves wet or the blight or disease on the leaves of the plants will take hold and slowly kill the plants. While we are harvesting heavy harvests of tomatoes now, we predict that the tomato harvest will end sooner this year than it has in previous years. We’ll see what happens here.
We farmers are never quite happy, as you may know, with the weather. No matter how much rain we’re getting it is always not enough or too much. No matter the temperatures it is either too hot or not hot enough. With so many different crops and so many different ideal conditions for each crop, there is no ideal amount of rain or sunshine. It’s a good thing we have no say in the weather. Because who could we blame if everything went our way and it still wasn’t what we needed after all.
Finally we feel thankful that the dawning of Fall is here. The first of the leaves on the big Maple Tree have begun to turn colors. The temperatures are finally dropping instead of rising and the days are getting shorter and shorter by the constant and predictable 2 minutes each day. The cooler temperatures bring back a bounce to our step. We wake up whistling and approach each day with gratitude for yet another fruitful summer on the farm. What a merry place to know and be a part of!
Sooo…What’s in the Box???
Red Potatoes- The first potato giving of the season, finally! These papas were lovingly lifted from the dark earth this week by gentle hands. We are so happy to be working with fresh, crisp potatoes again! 3lbs per member.
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. The white onions don’t keep as well as the yellow or red onions, so we’re giving all of the white onions first before we move onto the yellow and red onions.
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 Bell Peppers- Five to 6 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! Fajitas anyone?
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 or Romanesco- Either one eggplant (either a standard eggplant or an Asian eggplant). 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! If you did not receive an eggplant, you received a romanesco. The romanescos are those fractal looking cauliflowers that are lime green in color. So lucky to get one of these guys!
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- We were able to give everyone a whopping 10lbs 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- Some bags were mixed with Dragon Tongue and some were not. A .80 lb bag 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.
Red Beets- About 1 pound of beets per member this week. We cut the greens off of the beets this week. Beets keep wonderfully in your fridge in a plastic bag for months if you don’t have a recipe to use them up now.
Green Curly Kale- A very nice and hefty bunch of curly green kale for everyone this week. When we can’t have fresh lettuce, it’s nice to have a hearty bunch of cooking greens to eat up!
Cilantro- Consider this CSA box a nice salsa box! All of the fixings in this box for making Salsa! Tomatoes, peppers, onions, and cilantro! Pico time!
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. Garlic will keep on your countertop in the kitchen for at least a few more months since it is so fresh. But if you plan to keep it any longer than that, move it into the fridge where it will keep even longer!
Next Weeks Best Guess:
Sweet Peppers, tomatoes, onion, beets, eggplant, hungarian hot wax pepper, jalapeno pepper, edamame, cabbage?, kohlrabi?, lunchbox peppers, chard, oregano?, potatoes, cherry tomatoes