August Eighth

It's high tide at the Small Family Farm.  All systems are in peak production.  The ball that we've been pushing up hill all Spring and Early Summer has reached the top and is now beginning to roll back down the hill.  It is gaining momentum and there is no stopping it now.  The long-season favorites like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes, corn, beans and more all coming to fruition now.  It feels like tomatoes will never get here when you must eat your way through the entire first half of the summer anxiously awaiting their arrival and not even a cherry tomato appears on your kabob.  Week_10_2012The Week 10 Bounty

The games are on now, folks!  We are now routinely and faithfully picking tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, and broccoli every other day.  Green bean harvest, a notoriousely labor-intensive and time-consuming harvest, has begun.  We're actively defending the sweet corn, watering the heck out of our fall successsions of broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower and watching over the potato plants closely.  We expect we'll have red potatoes to send in next week's box.  Even the celery, another challenging crop to grow (especially in a dry year), is actually looking alright.  

We owe Thanks for the contents of this week's box to farmer Adam.  He has been running the irrigation lines for almost 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week during the times of heavy drought.  When we do get a little rain, Adam would get to take a day or two off from irrigating, but the process has been incredibly labor-intensive and requires close monitoring.  There are now hoses, drip lines, and irrigation head-lines laid all over our farm.  Adam has been in charge of closely watching which plants need water and how much they have gotten from either rain or irrigation.  So 'Thank You', to Adam, for silently working so hard to ensure our crops didn't shrivel up and die.  

We've heard from climatologists on the news that the drought is expected to contine through October.  Our spirits are dampened by this reality, which makes this one of the most challenging years we have had so far in our young years as farmers.  We are prepared to continue watering for the remainder of the season, or for at least as often as we need to to ensure that the crops we have worked so hard for will reach maturity to look and taste wonderful.  While we're in the mood for a good, old-fashioned rainy day, we know that just when it starts to feel like the summer will never end, the nights become cool, the pumpkins start turning orange and the leaves begin to fall from the trees.  It's all down hill from here.  

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

Red Cabbage-  We sent everyone a red cabbage this week.  Cabbage keeps best in the fridge with it's outer wrappers on to preserve it.  

Beets-  A golden beet mixed in with your Detroit Dark Red beets.  The greens are still looking pretty good to eat!

Sweet Corn-  Another week for sweet corn, but just 3 to four ears per member this week.  This is likely the final giving of sweet corn for the summer.  Thank you Ebon and Mugzie for guarding the patch so faithfully for us at night!

Tomatoes-  You will notice that we harvest our tomatoes "with a blush".  This means that we harvest anything that is showing any kind of ripening blush.  Once the tomatoes begin to blush, they will ripen off the vine just as nicely as they would ripen if they had been left on the vine.  We need to pick them before they are too ripe or too soft that they still have some amount of firmness to them so they can handle the shipping.  We don't want to try to ship fully ripe tomatoes and end up sending you tomato sauce instead.  LEAVE YOUR UNRIPE TOMATOES ON YOUR COUNTERTOP TO RIPEN.  If you put your unripe tomatoes in the fridge, they may not ripen at all.  Tomatoes prefer 50 degree storage temps as do the cucumbers, summer squashes, peppers, eggplants and more.  Some of the tomato varieties are yellow, pink, purple, orange and red when they are ripe.  If you want to know if your tomato is rully ripe, give it a very gentle squeeze.  You will find a nice mix of heirloom tomaotes this summer.  The funky shaped tomatoes are heirlooms.  They have a bit of a mind of their own at times.  1.5lbs per member.

Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-  A half pint of sun gold cherry tomatoes for everyone this week!  Remember that they are ripe when they are orange.  They will not turn red!  Possibly the most flavorful cherry tomato out there!

Eggplant-  The eggplants are really producing a lot of fruits this season.  Admittedly, I am not someone who craves eggplant, but I have been making nice friends with it this summer.  We've been getting along nicely so far.  

Broccoli or Cauliflower-  Still some of the broccoli heads are looking a little stressed from the heat and lack of rain.  Some of the broccoli looked just fine.  We tried to harvest the Cauliflowers that were still pretty white and looked appetizing.  

Jalapeno Pepper-  More hot peppers to spice up your life!

Swiss Chard or Collards-  The swiss chard was looking so beautiful this week, we couldn't resist.  We were short about 10 bunches, so we went over to clean up some of the collard plants.  

Lettuce X 2-  Possibly the final lettuce giving for at least four weeks until our fall successions start coming on.

Green Beans-  A nice bag of green beans at 1.12 lbs per member!  Think of all the hours it takes to pick 200 families 1.12 lbs of beans.  Plenty of good conversation going on in the bean patch!


Teriyaki Green Beans with Cashews

Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant Parmesan

Vinegared Beets Nested in their Greens