Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

June Twentieth

The farm feels like a fully risen loaf of bread, like a full moon, like a swollen river. It feels full and alive and vibrant. It feels like a hive of bees busily flying in and out to collect nectar and pollen and water, returning home again and again with a humble harvest so that we may all work together and keep our family and community well-fed. It humms with the sound of birds and conversation and at times diesel engines and pick-up truck motors.DSC 0039 1

On Mondays, our largest crew arrives promptly at 8am to begin the harvest of the week. We aim for a one-hour kale harvest then a one-hour turnip harvest and then a 45 minute snap pea harvest and then finishing off the morning in the strawberry patch to complete the amount of pints we need for this weeks delivery. On Monday afternoon we wash and hydrocool and bag. We harvest again, but this time it is zucchini and summer squash and bunching onions with a smaller crew after some worker shares have gone home. We work until 6pm on Mondays because it is our biggest harvest day of the week.

Tuesday morning, we get up and do it all over again with the crew arriving promptly at 8 ready to start with a lettuce harvest, then a kohlrabi harvest. We’ll spend the rest of the morning in the packing shed washing lettuce and kohlrabi. The music plays on the old boom box behind sounds of conversation and laughter and the pallet jack getting wheeled around the garden hose spraying off kohlrabi bottoms and washing out used harvest bins. Tuesday afternoon is packing. We place the stations of vegetables along the roller tables so that we may smoothly and easily pack 290 CSA boxes within a 2 hour time frame. After packing, some of the crew stays behind to clean the packing shed while others head out to the field to do a little weeding before the day is over.

Wednesdays are delivery day, but there are still 4 bodies on the farm in the morning weeding or removing row-cover or harvesting. Wednesday afternoons are calm for a bit, but are the latest night of the week because we have a 4-7:30pm worker-share shift where several people who have full-time jobs come out to squeeze the worker-share shift into their evenings one night a week to earn themselves a box of veggies and to play in the dirt for a few hours on the farm with us.

Thursdays and Fridays could be called maintenance or catch-up days where we do anything from weed to harvest to mulching to transplanting. Thursdays and Fridays have a lower-stress feel than earlier in the week because we’re not under the same time limitations as we are on harvest days. There are a few crops that we grow that must be harvested every two days such as broccoli, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash. Inevitably, we still harvest on Thursdays and Fridays for some of the time, but we like to do as much weeding as we possibly can.DSC 0107

There is a Saturday morning worker-share on occasion, but there are no real crews on Saturday or Sunday. Your farmers enjoy a quieter couple days with a little more family time, but Farmer Adam simply cannot turn it off. He can be seen out walking the fields, cultivating, pruning tomatoes or harvesting something at all hours of the day on Saturdays and Sundays. He is fully consumed by the farm and it’s needs. He is mostly quite, although if you could live with him, you would know that he only thinks about and talks about the farm. I empathize with him because I was him. The children are my primary preoccupation with needs and demands just as real and heavy as those of the farm. The farm is also a freight train. It is traveling at top speed. Thankfully the tracks are in good working order and our conductor is competent and capable.DSC 0046

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

Kohlrabi x2-  We harvested 1 purple kohlrabi and 1 white kohlrabi per member this week.  I don't know that they have any difference in flavor, but the purple ones sure are pretty!  Remember to peel your kohlrabi!  The leaves on the kohlrabi are also edible just like kale!  It is in the same family of plants as kale.  A reminder that for some strange reason, kohlrabi is best if you eat the whole thing once you cut it open.  It seems to develope a bitter flavor if you save the other half in the fridge for another day.  

Lettuce x2-  It was our goal to give everyone a Red Oakleaf and a green buttercrunch lettuce.  But some folks got two red oakleafs and no green.  But 2 heads per member.  I'm still loving all of these amazing buttercrunch lettuce varieties that are only avilable in the Spring!  Lettuce wraps, taco salads, chicken salads!  Salad everything!  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Lacinato Kale-  Lacinato is probably the most popular variety of kale at present day.  This was an amazing harvest too!  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Hakurai Salad Turnips-  A medium bunch of these guys with 5 or so per bunch this week.  The quality of these seems to be down a bit this week since this was our last harvest from the Spring Turnip bed.  

Snap peas-  A .41 lb bag of peas this week.  We're hoping for a heftier giving of peas for next week.  Peas are always a Spring favorite.  We noticed that the deer like peas too!  We saw a modest amount of deer damage in the peas this week.  

Zucchini and/or Summer Squash-  The beginning of the Zucchini and Summer squash!  What a wonderful treat!  Zucchin and summer squash actually keep best at 50 degrees.  Some people will set them out at room temp and some will keep them in their fridge since most of us don't have the luxury of a 50 degree storage area.  Wherever you decide to keep them, don't try to keep them long, because if zucchini is known for anything, it is it's generousity!  Plenty more zucchini and summer squash to come.  They plants are just getting started!  

Broccoli-  Smaller heads of broccoli this week, but we did get some for everyone!  Because of all of the extreme heat we have had this Spring, the Broccoli will bolt pre-maturely or make funky shaped heads from a lot of heat.  We have had fantastic looking Spring Broccoli before, so this is a little sad to see, but we can hope for better coming up so long as the heat doesn't get too intense.  Broccoli favors more mild to cooler temps.  

Garlic Scapes-  Each garlic plant produces 1 garlic scape per year.  It is the plants effort at producing a seed head.  If left on the plant, the small nodule you see towards the top of the scape would swell and develope into seed pod.  But we snap them off to tell the plant to put more of it's energy into producing a larger garlic bulb and not to put energy into making seed heads.  Lucky for us, the garlic scapes are scrumptious and edible!  The best part to eat is the blunt end up to the little nodule.  The tip is usually a little more chewy, although still edible!  

Dill Weed-  How often do we get to eat fresh dill?  This is a great addition to your salmon, egg salad or potato salad (sorry, no potatoes yet!).  But if you can't use up all that dill in one week, lay the bunch out on a dehydrator and dry your dill to be used in the winter.  Keep dried dil sealed tight in a mason jar!

Strawberries-  One pint per member this week!  The strawberries weren't quite as productive this year as they have been in some years.  This was an older patch.  Next year we will have a fresh to patch to pick off of and will hopefully be giving quarts instead of pints!  Strawberries are extremely perishable, so we don't recommend trying to keep them long!  Eat them up while they're still fresh!  

Bunching onions (green onions)-  One small bunch of green onions.  Every part is edible from the white stalks to the green tips.  Use like you would cook with onions, but these are also wonderful raw on salads!  

Recipes

Crunchy Spring Salad with Dill Dressing

Kale, Mushroom and Dill Triangles

Kohlrabi Oven Fries

 

Local Thyme Recipes:

COMFORTING CLASSICS

Braised Lentils with Kohlrabi and Smoked Sausage

Kale with Smoked Paprika

OUTSIDE THE BOX

Curried Kohlrabi Cakes

Kale Caesar Salad