We made it half way through with only blessings abound remaining.  The weather looks promising with plenty of bearable temperatures, plenty of rain, and harvests flourishing.  I probably couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful summer if I had planned it myself.  I’m feeling a bit better about things this week as we are catching up on a number of projects that have been looming, lingering and waiting to be completed.

My sister, Julie and her boyfriend, Drew were here for a few days this week to help out on the farm and offer a couple extra pairs of hands that were much needed for us to catch up.  This week we got the rest of our garlic harvested, bunched and beautifully hung in the barn to dry and cure.  This was a major feat to accomplish.  We planted well over half of our fall planting of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi and rutabagas.  There’s still another chunk of plantings that have yet to make it into the ground, including some of our fall lettuce, pac choi and nappa cabbage and more green and red cabbage.

Momma Jane, Julie and Drew worked on getting our pea trellising down this week from our old spring pea plantings.  There’s still some clean up work to do there, but we’re making way!  Adam and I had fun with our first potato harvest this season.  The red potatoes mature earlier than the rest of the varieties, so we’re excited to offer beautiful red potatoes this week!  We hardly even made a dent in the potato patch.  There’s still plenty more to last us through the rest of the season and then some.

We made it almost half way through our shallot harvesting this week with the help of Julie, Drew and Jesse.  Jesse is one of our neighbors that comes over to work for his families CSA share.  The shallots will sit in the greenhouse for a few weeks to dry and cure before they can be cleaned up and distributed to the CSA members.  We also managed to get the solar-electric fencing set up around the sweet corn on Tuesday night.  We noticed that the raccoons have been getting into the sweet corn already and have been taste-testing, eating a few of the early ears.  I’m thinking that we will probably have sweet corn next week!  We’ll see!

Our tomatoes are finally starting to show signs of promise!  We picked one large bowl of tomatoes this week, but it’s hardly enough to start sending them out.  Maybe next week???  But by week 12, we should be sending tomatoes for definite, if not next week?  We’ll have to wait and see!  I also noticed, although I hardly like to notice, that the green beans are making beans!  Yes, this means that your dearly beloved will be on her knees most of next week picking beans!  This week also marks the end of the broccoli harvesting.  We might have some trickling in of cauliflower yet, but I’m not expecting anything spectacular with what we have remaining. 

We harvested the rest of our spring batch of chickens this week also.  But we are raising up some baby chicks for our fall batch.  They’re still in the brooder and will be set out to fresh grass in two weeks to start their foraging lives outside.  Our pigs are getting huge too!  We’re really happy with these Berkshire pigs that seem to do really well on pasture, compared to the traditional pink pigs that most Americans raise because they grow big and fat quicker, but taste and quality usually lack.  The Berkshires are a black, heritage variety the traditionally do very well on pasture and foraging.

We are in the planning stages of a fall CSA potluck for all of the member to come to farm if it is convenient for them on the date we choose.  We are thinking that we would like to schedule this event while the CSA is still running.  Last year we had the CSA farm potluck the week after the CSA ended, and when the members came to the farm, there wasn’t much left to see because everything had been harvested, cover cropped and was fall-bitten and dieing back.  We’re thinking some time in late September.  But, please remember that you’re welcome to come to the farm now, any time you like, while the season is in full force and there is everything to see!  At least a day advance notice is helpful so we know to take some time out for you if you wish to do so.  Bring your work boots too, if you feel like offering a helping hand:)

So….WHAT’S in the BOX???

Red Potatoes-  Freshly dug!  Red potatoes are earlier maturing than the other varieties.  The skins do scuff a little when you dig them early like this.  The skins on potatoes are loaded with nutrients!  Does not need refrigeration.  Keep away from direct sunlight.  Store in a brown paper bag, or a basket with a towel over top.  They should be allowed to breath some.

Lettuce– Definitely the last week of lettuce for a little while. 

Parsley–Finally!  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Broccoli— Wow, the broccoli harvest this week surprised me.  Maybe just one more week, maybe. 

Cauliflower-  I wouldn’t exactly call it a bumper crop, but it gets  better every year.

Green Onions-  This is the last week of bunching onions for the season.  Smaller bunches also.  Fresh, real onions won’t be long before they’re ready.

Cabbage-  Green cabbage this week.  Keeps best in crisper in refrigerator.

Summer Squash, Zucchini, Patty Pan, and/or cucumbers-Plenty of summer squash, zucchini, and or patty pans to go around this week.  They all taste the same, pretty much, just shaped and colored differently.  I’m afraid the cucumbers aren’t looking so good, but some folks did receive one.  

Swiss Chard-  A leafy green to add some color and volume.  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Hungarian Hot wax peppers-A very mild hot pepper.  This pepper is more for fun and crisp than it is for heat.  Enjoy it anyways!

Next week!  A short list of items that we may have next week, but will not promise to have.  Due to the unexpectedness of the season, anything could pop up or go down hill in no time.

Kale, cauliflower, shallots, garlic, beets, sweet corn, summer squash, zucchini, patty pans, eggplant