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July Twenty-Seventh

Because I know that only on very rare occasions will he read the newsletter, I’ll go ahead and spotlight my husband, Adam.  I’ll have to admit that he’s turning into a full-fledged, totally obsessed, genuine farmer.  We like to joke about how when we met he couldn’t tell the difference between a cucumber and zucchini, and now he’s the one telling me which varieties of cucumbers and zucchinis to grow, when to plant them, when to spray (only our organic sprays) for cucumber beetles and squash bugs, and how to identify and tackle powdery mildew that is a fungal disease that grows on cucurbit plants.  I used to think I was the boss around here, but I’m not so sure anymore.Week_8This week's offerings!

Like the healthy functioning farm couple that we are, we make all of the big financial decisions together, manage day to day chores with quality communication and support each other’s needs in a loving way, but when it comes to when and how we’ll be harvesting celery, I've no say in the matter.  Luckily I find it all a little humorous.  I’m stunned, usually, that when I decide to listen to him and follow his farming advice I discover that he’s almost always right.  What woman wants to admit that?

I’ll remind you that Adam has a full time job off the farm.  I am currently the full-time farmer of the family, so to know that he’s coming home from work and paying attention to details and specifics of the crops that I miss while my face is stuffed in the celery plants all day long-is impressive to me.  He works for Organic Valley in the Produce Department where his job is to visit farms, talk with farmers about their crops and address the innumerable issues that arise to help the new growers make sure they’ll have crops to sell to the company.  He gets paid to consult with farmers about their crops and then he comes home to me, and in my self-righteous nature, I don’t want to listen to a word he has to say or accept any authority or insight that he might have about our cabbage.  He tells his farmers that he works with that there is only one farmer who won't listen to his advice on vegetable crop production, and it's his wife.  

On Sunday night when we were finishing up chores together a little past dusk, with Adam in the drivers seat of the truck, we had to make a really quick run out to the onions to check for some kind of blight he thought he might have seen on the onions.  As I watched him from the passenger’s seat of the truck bent over in the onion rows I had to smile and shake my head at him (leaf samples are a common specimen to be found sitting next to the computer in the office).  He's become quite interested in disease and plant pathology.  He know the life cycles of most of the insects that attach our crops and spends his spare time researching the effects that mineral defeciencies can have on the outcome of the crops.  Because I’m so much more the face of the farm, I thought it would only be fair if you knew that if it weren't for Adam, there simply would not be so much beautiful food. Garlic_harvest2Adam, Julie and Drew after garlic harvest with a truck fulla garlic!

Sooo, What's in the Box???  

Red Express Cabbage-  We've got more cabbage than you can shake a stick at on this farm.  These beautiful cabbages will keep for over a month in your fridge in a plastic bag, but I wouldn't let them sit that long because in a couple weeks you'll be getting more!  

Marketmore and Tasty Jade Asian Cucumbers-  Finally a cooling food to help us beat the heat!  Cucumber harvest is starting to really pick up now!  Some of the long and skinny cucumbers are an asian variety that often times gets more chewed up than your normal slicing cucumber.  I would recommend peeling the Asian cukes if they're more chewed up than you like.  We think their flavor is better than the 'marketmore' cukes.  We also shipped out a few lemon cucumbers.  They're a small, yellow, and round cuke with a cucumber flavor.  

Zucchini, Summer Squash and Patty Pans-  More soft summer squashes to fill the grill up with.  Marinade them in your favorite oils, vinegars, herbs or condiments and then grill them up.  They're fabulous on skewers also!  

Tango Celery-  Adam says we have to keep harvesting the celery or it will go bad!  We're finding quite a bit of some kind of rot in the hearts of the celery.  We've taken to cutting their bottoms off, ripping out the centers and bunching them the way they are.  A bit more unusual of a style to receive celery, but still really awesome tasting celery none the less.  A bit stronger celery flavor and a darker green color than you're used to seeing from California celery.   Love the local flavor!  

Lettuce- This is among one of the last lettuce givings for a while.  The heat is claiming a large portion of the lettuce beds and we'll have to hold off until fall again for more lettuce.  It's flavor is also more bitter in this heat.  This is the nature of peak-summer, locally-grown lettuce.   

Curly Leaf Parsley-  More cooling foods to help us through the heat.  If you can't use the parsley while it's fresh, you can dehydrate this one also and then crumble it into a jar with a tight lid for storage.  Parsley is a great addition to almost any dish if added in small quantities or in large quantities in Tabouli!  

Swiss Chard-  More of your favorite cooking greens to sautee up!  

Broccoli-  Probably the last giving of broccoli until Fall again.  You'll notice that the broccoli is really odd shaped, in my opinion.  It really behaves quite odd in this intense heat.  The plants are wanting to bolt before they reach maturity.  Broccoli is a cool-weather loving plant.  I guess it was good while it lasted.  garlic_harvestJillian, Adrianne and the neighbor boy Tommy with another truck fulla garlic!

Green Garlic-  Garlic harvest!  Our garlic was planted last fall in mid November.  We got it in and got it mulched just before the ground was frozen and the snow started to fly.  Garlic spends a long hibernation under the mulch and emerges for growth, after 9 months spent under ground they're finally un-earthed!  Ta-DA!  You can hang your garlic to cure in a well ventilated place for up to 3 weeks or you can cut it up and use it fresh.  Notice that there is a tough membrane around each clove that needs to be peeled away.  It's a bit more difficult to notice in the fresh garlic, but that membrane turns into a tough papery layer in the curing process that we always peel away before eating.  

Green Onions-  Each week they should get a bit bigger.  We still have a couple more weeks of green onion harvest to go.  Don't forget to use the green tops as well in your cooking!  

Next Week's Guess:  Carrots, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Patty Pans, Green Garlic, Green Onions, Cilantro, Lettuce, rainbow lacinato kale, green beans


Quinoa Tabbouleh (Tabouli) Recipe

Cucumber Salad-Yum Yum!  

Sauteed Zucchini with Walnuts