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July Thirteenth

The pilgrimage has begun.  I'm something of a spoiled 'northerner' and temperatures above 80 tend to bring a new challenge to the harvest, planting and weeding routines on the farm that are normally enjoyable, smooth and comfortable jobs to manage.  It feels like we haven't had a summer with this consistency in warmth for several years now.  With more heat and humidity in the forecast and temperatures in the 90's, the pilgrimage to inner fortitude begins. kale_harvestWorker Shares having fun harvesting Lacinato Kale

Over the course of Sunday morning and Monday morning we received a much needed 3/4 inch of rain that fell upon freshly planted beds of carrots, beets, green beans and transplanted lettuce.  The rain turned our field of hardened clay soil that was turning as hard as concrete on the top layer into a soft, enlivened dark brown again.  We have noticed, just in one day of warmth, rain and sunshine an incredible growth spirt in many of our plants.  The rain caused our second successions of broccoli to mature, our carrots to start bulbing out and our beets to take more shape.  We also noticed that our green beans grew what seemed like several inches over night. 

The rain also caused your farmers to be able to breathe again.  Our chests constrict with each passing day that the clay soil hardens and cracks.   I know that what you really want to hear about is how the tomatoes and potatoes are progressing.  What's with our addiction to night shades?  No one has sent any e-mails wondering about peppers and eggplants yet, but I know you're wondering.  The truth is they're doing wonderful.  We're trellising the tomatoes and the plants look beautifuly healthy.  Possibly tomato and potato harvest will begin in mid August, but both are revelling in the heat and humidity.  Enduring the heat and humidity seems like an honorable sacrifice if what we get in return are thousands of pounds of shiny, red globes of sunshine.   

Sooo, What's in the Box?  

Green Cabbage-  A very nice and fresh head of green cabbage to beef up the boxes quite a bit this week.  Cabbage can keep for months in cool storage, but you'll be getting more cabbages this summer, so eat up!  

Kohlrabi-  Either a purple or green kohlrabi this week.  These guys are great in stir fry or eaten raw.  If you're craving extra greens, you can eat the leaves on kohlrabi like they are kale.  shiori_lettuce_harvestShiori, our Japanese ag student who is staying with us for 10 days helping with lettuce harvest!

Broccoli-  Absolutely beautiful heads of broccoli this week and lots of it!  Another big week of broccoli coming up!  

and/or Cauliflower-  Cauliflowers have been coming on much more spuradically than the broccoli, so you may have received the cauliflower or maybe not, depending on how much we had to go around.  If not, you probably got extra broccoli!  

Peas-  Finally our last week of picking peas!  I can't say that I'm very sad about this, but I will miss the sweet flavor of spring peas, hello Summer!   

Summer Squash and Zucchini-  Oh boy, the summer squash and zucchini harvest is just beginning and we're totally "squashed with squash".  This is just  the beginning folks, go ahead and look for all the zucchini recipes that your little heart can handle to keep up with the flow.  We made a delicious curry on Monday night!  Summer squashes will keep best at around 50 degrees.  Sometimes they store a bit better on your counter top than they do in the fridge.  They can become wilty in the fridge from the refrigeration.  

Garlic Scapes-  The final giving of garlic scapes.  Pretty soon we'll be able to harvest the real deal!  Fresh 'green' garlic will be coming up soon!  Use your scapes like you would cook with garlic in any dish.  

Lacinato Kale-  The prize variety of kale.  This variety of kale wins as being the best variety of all and loved deeply among kale conniseurs.  Strip leafy part from chewy stem and stir fry kale in oil with your garlic scapes.  Add a bit of tamari and you have a wonderful green dish to eat!

Basil-  Fresh basil leaves for your italian delight.  Basil does not like refrigeration and will keep best if placed in a glass of water standing up on your counter.  Basil will turn black if refrigerated.  

Lettuce-  Holy Lettuce!  A pretty massive lettuce harvest this morning.  We tried to give everyone a red and green leaf variety.  Eat lettuce with every meal!  Remember that lettuce will keep best if stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to preserve moisture and it won't wilt.  basil_harvestCraig and Chris, worker shares harvesting basil bunches!


Pan-Fried Tofu and Green with Almond Ginger Drizzle-Thank you Mary Ender Stutesman! - La Crosse Member

Green Smoothies-Thank you Mary Ender Stutesman!  - La Crosse Member

Southern Style Collard Greens - Thank you Elizabeth Stine - La Crosse Member

Chris Davidson from Dubuque says they learned that their family loves to eat a bit of raw swiss chard torn into salads!  

Kate Schachter from Madison says she found a bit of folklore in her 'African Cooking in America' Book that says:

For headache, place a fresh collard green on your forehead.
To keep away evil spirits, hang a collard green over the doorway.

Oven Fried Zucchini Spears