Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

August Sixteenth

I must be honest, the second half of the CSA delivery season is my favorite.  I love the Spring and early Summer months because of the cooler weather, succulent greens and the new-ness and uniqueness of the vegetable offerings, but my true loves are the in-season tomatoes, sweet corn and melons. DSC 0348

The green beans, sun gold cherry tomatoes and the sweet corn (oh, the sweet corn) make life richer somehow.  We eat like kings and queens when the tide is high.  Usually, this time of year, we are desperately trying to find room in the CSA boxes for the melons amidst all of the other items.  Watermelons, honeydews and cantelopes will soon be here.  We are very much so hoping that next week, Week 12, will be our first melon offerings.  This Spring when we transplanted all of our melons, we had some very cool, wet and damp weather that caused all of our melons to ‘dampen off’ shortly after transplant.  Quickly after noticing that this was happening, we had to rush-order a whole new lot of melon seeds, re-seed them and then re-transplant them which set our usual projected melon harvest time-line almost three weeks behind schedule. 

But the melons are out there.  They look beautiful and healthy and the plants are showing signs of dyeing back now and the harvest will begin soon.  For now, we’re enjoying the Bodacious Sweet Corn.  I love the names of the Sweet Corn varieties.  This week’s offering is truly called ‘Bodacious’.  Some other variety names are ‘Incredible’, ‘Ambrosia’, and last week’s variety was ‘Trinity’.

This year we set up four lines of electric fence around the sweet corn to keep the raccoons out.  Last year we had just three lines of electric fence wire, but the raccoons still got in and destroyed a fair amount of our mid-season corn.  So far this year, with the rotation moving the sweet corn farther away from the tree-line and the four lines of electric fence, they haven’t gotten in yet!  Farmer Adam faithfully puts the battery that we use to keep the fence hot with on the trickle charger every day and he re-connects the fence each eveing with a freshly-charged battery.  He even told me that every day he tests the fence with his own hand and a blade of grass touching the fence to make sure it is giving a good shock.  Now that is commitment! DSC 0355

We are expecting to have two more weeks of sweet corn in the CSA boxes as long as everything goes as scheduled.  We know those raccoons are congregating in the fields every night planning and sniffing and scheming to find a way in, but we’re keeping them out!  Our plan was to give everyone six ears in each box.  Last week was eight, this week 5 and we’ll see what next week brings. 

The tomatoes are starting to kick into production.  Every two days we head out to harvest again and each time we harvest it seems like we double what the previous harvest has been.  Late August may be a tire-some and heavy time of year, but the foods that come into season are some of my personal favorites.  We can also expect green beans for the next few weeks as well.  Bon appetite!

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

Swiss Chard-  Lovely bunches of swiss chard this week.  The chard is still looking so nice in the mid-summer months.  Remember to cook with your Swiss Chard stems as well!

Head Lettuce-  Either a Red Leaf or a Green Leaf lettuce head.  Again, we're harvesting the lettuce heads a little early because they're showing signs of heat and water stress.  Peak season lettuce can be hard to come by, so this is still a little treat.  We made BLT's one night last week.  

Sweet Corn!-  Five ears per member.  Did you know that minute sweet corn has been harvested it begins to loose some of it’s sweetness?  Yes, the sugars turn to starches and the flavor decreases by the hour.  We highly recommend keeping your sweet corn in the refrigerator and eating for supper TONIGHT to maximize the aweseome flavor it has!  Some of the corn did have worms in it.  Yes, worms are gross, but this is organic corn folks and there isn’t much we can do about it.  Just take a knife and cut those spots or the tip off if you find one.  We don’t want you be alarmed, because they’re in there!  Farmer Adam did a fantiastic job keeping the sweet corn fence electrified at night and keeping the coons out.  We sometimes loose huge numbers of corn to the raccoons.  This year we’re keeping them out so far!

Cucumbers-  4-5 Cucumbers per member this week.  Cucumber production is on a down-turn as cuke season closes in.  But we're happy to still be sharing them as they are a delight to have freshly sliced on the table at every meal!

Celery-  One more week of celery.  We understand it's hard to know what to do with all of this celery, but celery season is coming to an end soon here!  Some of the celery were showing signs of decay in the centers of the hearts so we cut them off at the base to remove any decay we found in the center of the plant and then re-bunched them.  It was a shame to think about losing so many of those plants!  Check out a new, fun recipe for celery that one of our members shared with us this week!  

Pickling Cucumbers-  Five pickling cukes this week.  We're working on getting them picked a little smaller, but it sure is hard to keep up with the pickling cuke harvest demands with all of the other harvests going on.  Fun to stuff these guys in a jar.  Does anyone have a simple refrigerator pickle recipe they love and want to share?  Send that to me!  

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers-  One Hot Pepper per member this week.  The Hungarian Hot Wax pepper has a spicy name, but they are quite mild on the spectrum of hot peppers.  They can be a bit of a mixed bag.  One Hungarian Hot Wax pepper could be very mild with little to no spice, and the next one you try could have a surprising amount of kick.  Give them a little nibble before cooking with them to gage how much to use in your dish.  

Red Beets-  About three beets per member this week.  The red beets have truly been lovely to cook with this season.  The nice thing about beets is that they will keep for a fantastically long time if kept in the fridge in a plastic bag.  But, if you're like me, you won't be able to hold onto them that long without devouring them first.  DSC 0352

Zucchini and/or Summer Squash-  Two squash per member this week.  The squash production is waning a bit now.  We are finding that they squash are not keeping as well as they were at the start of the season when the plants were young and fresh.  Now that they plants are at the end of their life, the fruits are not keeping as well.  We recommend trying to maintian that 50 degree storage temp that they were kept at at the farm or eating them up asap!

Tomatoes-  1.8 lbs per member this week.  The tomato production is picking up a bit now, but we're still not swimming in them.  A little warm weather and sunshine would be helpful in getting those tmoatoes to ripen.  Now, you must know that we pick tomatoes in the early stages of 'blushing' and ripening.  We recommend leaving your tomatoes out on your countertop to ripen.  They will slowly ripen over the course of a week.  We need to pick them at this stage of ripeness if they are to survive the shipping and handeling.  We would much rather give you under-ripe tomatoes than smooshed tomatoes.  If you leave them out at room temperature, it will not affect their flavor, they will still be considered vine-ripened tomatoes.  We also recommend not putting your tomatoes in the fridge unless they are fully ripen and you need to refrigerate them to buy yourself some time before you are able to eat them.  Putting tomatoes in referigerators usually sucks the flavor out of them.  Enjoy!  We're hoping for a larger giving next week!

Onions-  Two smaller onions per member this week.  The onions were a little smaller this year as we had to harvest them earlier than usual.  Onions are partially cured, but they will keep well on your countertop or in your fridge.  

Green Beans-  Half Pound per member this week.  We're expecting a larger offering next week for sure!  

Eggplant-  You may have received either one standard Black Beauty Eggplant or you may have received one long and skinney Japanese Eggplant.  Eggplant prefers a 50 degree storage area which can be hard to come by.  They sometimes get a bit wilty in the fridge and the countertop is a tad too warm, so we recommend using these up sooner rather than later because they’re not awesome keepers.  More next week!

Red Cabbage-  A hearty, solid head of red cabbage per member this week.  We'll take a little break from offering cabbages for a week or two after this.  

Next Week's Best Guess-  Eggplant, onion, hot peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans, beets, kale, oregano

Recipes-

Marinated Celery Salad with Chickpeas and Parmesan

Swiss Chard and Tomato Fritatta

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Savory Zucchini Chard Muffins

Sweet Corn and Coconut Milk Chowder