Small Family Farm CSA

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July Second

Farming is really mothering.  It is a short-term life cycle of germination, birth, and infancy.  You nurture your little family along by watering them and feeding them and protecting them from the harsh realities of the big bad word until they are ready to be transplanted into a field wide open to the impressions of the sky.  Eventually you set them free at 12 or 18 inch spacing and you wish them the best.  You check in on them from time to time and help pull some of the weeds out of their way, but really they’re their leaves and branches are spreading wide and they’re competing for sunlight and water and nutrients amidst the rest of the patch.  They’re now preparing to make seed and propagate. bikersOver 115 Bikers biked to our barn on the first Annual Bike the Barns West event held last Sunday.

It is really amazing that all in one year, one season, one month even, all of this can happen with a plant.  It feels so fast.  It feels a little frightening to me as a mother of a human to watch this passing of time with plants and to use it as perspective with our daughter.  Even as new parents, we know that a lot can be learned about parenting from farming.  We aren’t allowed to forget to close the chickens in or else something will eat them.  We aren’t allowed to forget to water the greenhouse or else the plants will shrivel and wilt.  We aren’t allowed to skip a harvest day because we have people who need food.  We aren’t allowed to forget to put our child to bed. 

The comparative is in the discipline it takes to raise something.  In order to do it well, you must be attentive and sensitive and present.  We aren’t allowed as parents or as farmers to drop the ball or let it roll out of our court.  Both are hard to do.

I understand now why a growing percentage of women are drawn to farming.  We are all farmers at heart.  We are the motherly, nurturing and compassionate.  We are drawn to it, but are we meant for it?  I am one of the non-traditional, fiercely independent, and foolishly strong willed women in society who have chosen to go against the grain and to do something that women in the history of farming as an occupation have not done.  I have chosen to be a mother and a farmer.  I sometimes question now if I can do them both well. 

Can there be a season for family and friends in my life as there is a season for work?  My hope is that with the help of my husband and my mother and sister and my friends-they will help me be good at both.  They will help me to be a good mother and to be a good farmer.  To be both is terrifically challenging.  For now I will hope that one day, when I have perspective on this subject, I will find that it was a good path to take and that my children turned out to be good people with a wholesome childhood.  I hope that every CSA box will have been filled to the top with gorgeous looking vegetables.  

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

Kohlrabi-  We had some white kohlrabi and some purple kohlrabi.  They're all the same white flesh on the inside, just peel them and enjoy like apples!  Remember that you can cook with the leaves and use them just like kale if you are wishing for more greens!

Snap Peas-  We had a very peasful expereince picking these lovely peas at standing height this week.  Many hands made light work and we were able to give our largest giving of peas ever, a whopping .41lbs per member.  Yummy!  

Broccoli-  A little nicer giving of broccoli this week with a little larger heads.  The greens are edible on these and are actually more nutritious than the broccoli itself.  Yum!

Garlic Scapes-  Chop these up and use them just like you would use garlic.  Typically you would only use the round, lower part of the garlic scape that is below the light green nodule.  So much fun to use in the kitchen!

Green Onions-  What a nice treat to hold us over until the bulbing onions begin to mature.  We plan to give bunching onions the next few weeks while we wait for the bulbing oinion to bulb out.  The greens on these look so nice you can use them all the way to the tops!

Lacinato Kale-  Stunningly gorgeous bunches of lacinato kale!  Very little insect damage on these leaves and they are very tender and a good size too.  We were able to give generous bunches of lacinato this week.  The most favorite variety of kale of all!  This is actually an heriloom variety that is most popular at market.  Strip the leaves from the chewy stems and prepare in your favorite way.  lettuce_harvestTodd and Joe are troopers. They're holding onto a truck fulla lettuce that is only half of our lettuce harvest this morning.

Head Lettuce x 3!!!-  Another redicu-lettuce share of lettuce.  We're not sure if we just planted too much, or if everything is doing so we well this summer that we aren't loosing the percentages of lettuce that we normally loose.  One member says he likes to make lettuce smoothies mixed with apple juice.  Maybe something to try?!?!  Salads for every meal!

Fennel-  Even more beautiful bulbs of fennel this week.  Use it like you would cook with celery.  You can also shave it thinly onto a green salad, a pasta salad, or just a raw fennel salad with your favorite dressing.  

Summer Squash and/or Zucchini Squash-  Let the games begin.  The flood gates are opening up and the sqash is pouring forth.  Our first giving of squash and we were able to give on average of 2 per member.  Get our your favorite squash recipes because we're all about to get squashed.  The plants are looking so tall and beautiful and healthy and like the really want to show us what they're made of.  

Cilantro-  The cilantro wasn't looking as perfect as it did a couple weeks ago, but we love cilantro so much that we still like to eat it even when it's getting a little overmature.  


Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage and Fennel

Italian Kale Soup-Zuppa Tuscano

Kale and Red Beans with Cilantro and Feta Cheese