Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

September Sixth

A Worker Share Perspective Article by Helen Jones.  

My name is Helen and I am an official Tuesday morning, worker share/ unofficial, part-time worker. Basically, other than Tuesdays, I come in whenever someone can't make it, or when just extra help is needed. Which has been really fun! I've been able to see more of how the farm runs and more of the people who are apart of it as well!DSC 0369

~How did I come to find out about Small Family, you might ask?

Well, its a long, romantic story. I'll give you the short version for now. (; My sister met her husband there, about four years ago. Since I moved in with them (just over 3 miles from the farm), in May, from Illinois, they signed me up for a worker share, as part of my rent. Woo hoo!

~How long have I been helping at this lovely farm?

This is my first year and I hope it's not my last!

~What is my favorite kind of work to do at the farm?

Like anything in my life, it changes! Variety is key for me, and that's what we do at the farm. Today we harvested carrots, weeded the cabbage and picked tomatoes! But my favorite kind of work? Usually working in the field with everyone. We can get some good, interesting and funny conversations going! Which leads me to my next question..

~What keeps me coming back?

The people! I would definitely consider myself an introvert, but I do really enjoy the work crew. I love learning and hearing new perspectives and about other people's life experiences. Being an eighteen year old, I'll take all the advice I can get!

And not to mention, just the good ol' fashioned, hard work that is extremely satisfying at the end of the day! And hey, the bosses are pretty terrific too!

~What's the most surprising thing about working at Small Family Farm?

How effortless Adam and Jill make, leading a work crew, of various people, look! I know, (to a very, very small degree), it's hard work to keep a CSA going, but as far as I can see, things run quite smoothly! They both are such great sports, about our learning curves and teach very patiently. Adam can usually make me laugh or smile every time I am there and Jill always has such a great attitude everyday about anything!

~What is the hardest part about working on the farm?DSC 0374

Working in rain or shine (hot and humid shine) because oregano won't weed itself! Oh and cauliflower. Is. Heavy.

~What do I do when I am not at the farm?

You can usually find me enjoying a book, on a bike ride, coddiwompling through the woods, daydreaming about seeing the world and living in a hobbit house, or hanging out with my family. I am recently exploring the idea of making handmade paper!

~What does a day at the farm look like?

We usually get a good harvest in during the morning hours (mainly lettuce on Tuesday mornings). After lunch, someone washes what we harvested earlier, and the rest go out to harvest more or get some weeding done. Sometimes we break into groups and go do different things. Unless its garlic harvest. Everyone does that, and its all day. (I was happy when that was over with.) Really, it depends on the day and what needs to get done! It varies, and that is what keeps it interesting!

Soooo….What’s in the Box?

Tomatoes-  Another week with a hefty and hearty giving of tomatoes.  1 full bag weighing about 8-9lbs.  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 handling.  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 ripe and you need to refrigerate them to buy yourself some time before you are able to eat them.  Putting tomatoes in refrigerators usually sucks the flavor out of them.  Enjoy!

Tomatillos-  These are at the top of your tomato bag.  Just a few of these in each bag.  They have the paper wrapping around each one.  Tomatillos are great chopped into your fresh salsas or cooked in with a salsa verda or cooked tomato sauce of many different kinds to add a unique tomato flavor.  Tomatillos are sometimes green and sometimes a little yellow when fully ripe, but they can be eaten both ways.  

Potatoes-  A 2lb bag of Carola potatoes.  We were hoping for a larger giving of this variety of potatoes, but these were low-yielding and we had to cull out a large percentage of them with green spots or sun spots.  Many of them were also small.  They are like a delicacy! 

Sweet Bell Pepper-  1-2 Sweet Bell Peppers per member.  If you only received one bell pepper, you also got a small clamshell with some mini-sweet peppers in it.  The mini-sweet peppers are small and could easly be mistaken for a hot pepper, but they are in fact, sweet!  The mini-sweets come in yellow, red and orange. 

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  These are also called bananna peppers.  Sometimes hot, sometimes not!  They are also sometime red or orange as they 'ripen'.  These are tucked in the top of your tomato bag.  

Jalapeno Pepper-  These are the small green pepper in your tomato bag.  They're hot!

 Melon-  A bit of a mix of melon varieties this week.  You may have received a watermelon, a cantelope or a honeydew.  Watermelons do not ripen off the vine once they have been picked.  So if you got a watermelon, go ahead and cut into that baby as soon as you like!  If you received a cantelope or honeydew, we recommend leaving it sit on your counter until it starts to smell like a delicious melon that is ready to eat.  We are learning to harvest our cantelopes and honeydews a little under-ripe because we have had so many issues with rotting of melons from leaving them in the fields too long to become ‘ripe’ on the vine. 

Napa Cabbage-  These are also called chineese cabbage sometimes.  They are the very large heads of cabbage at the bottom of your box.  Such a fun, fall treat!  Napa cabbage make a delicious Asian salad. 

Lettuce-  I immediately felt inclined to make BLT’s again this week with fresh lettuce again.  Lettuce keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge. 

Onion-  A white onion for everyone because you simply can’t make dinner without onion! 

Carrot-  A one-pound bag of delicious, sweet carrots for your salads and everyday cooking!  We have been very impressed with out sweet the carrots are this year. 

Eggplant-  We were harvesting three different varieties of eggplants this week.  So you may have received a standard eggplant, a Japanese eggplant (the more slender, long eggplant), or the Barbarella which are a more softball sized eggplant with ripples in the skin and irregularly shaped. 

Beans-  1.3lbs of beans per member this week.  We are still mixing the green, yellow and dragon tongue beans all together in the same bag so that everyone can have a little of each variety.  I have loved cooking up pots of different colors of beans all tossed in butter with cherry tomatoes!  Yum!  

Next Week's Best Guess:  Tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno, hungarian hot wax, onion, melons, edamame, beets, chard, dill

Recipes

Peanut Pasta Napa Cabbage Salad

Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad

Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic

Grilled Eggplant Ratatouille Muffaletta

Homemade Tomatillo and Tomato Salsa