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The dinner table is fine place to be thankful.  In our ever-quickening lives with so much to do, so much to remember, and so many commitments to meet, it is a short and brief pause in our day that gives us an opportunity to be present with the ones we love the most.  The dinner table is our daily gift of peace and center and home to share a meal with the person or people we value most in our lives.  In the clearing of the mail and the art projects and the remnants of our day off of the table, we make room for each other and a meal prepared with love.DSCN0749Waiting on all of these beautiful peppers to start turning colors!

In our home, mealtime is the glue that keeps us together.  There is argueably no busier home than a farm family’s home in peak season.  The days are so long and the chores are so many that we could easily eat on the run or snack heavily to keep our bodies fuled, but no matter the craziness of the day, I feel very protective of the dinner table.  I defend the family meal with the loyalty of family itself.  No matter what, everyone comes into to eat together for dinner. 

At our house we give thanks.  We take turns saying something that we’re thankful for before we begin eating.  Sometimes it is as simple as the rain or a nice carrot harvest or the food in front of us, and sometimes it is for eachother and for our health, but there is always something to be thankful for.  I imagine every family has their prayer or their moment of silence or a pause of some kind before their meal and I see great value in this. 

I would also say that people who show gratitude are probably happier people.  Simply taking a moment to awknowledge a person or a job or the beautifully prepared food in front of you will help you count your blessings as a practice making you a more present, thankful and content person to be around.  I’m feeling especially joyful this time of year when you would expect it least from me at the peak of the season with shortening nights of sleep and lengthening lists of things to do.  But who wouldn’t be extatic at the promise of ripening tomatoes on the vine?  Wouldn’t it bring an extra bounce to your step knowing that sweet corn and cantelope are soon to come into season?  Doesn’t the sound of red, sweet peppers just make you giddy?

I really wish I could just stand in the kitchen and cook all day.  I wish I could handle these fresh vegetables all day in the kitchen and compliment their flavors with herbs and flame and oils and nuts and locally raised meats.  Just cooking brings me joy, much less feeding my family the fruits of our labors.  And in sitting down together amidst the chaos of our lives I find a calmness at supper that fills something more than my belly, but I think also my heart.  Consuming these vegetables and watching our children consume them bring me wholesome gratitude and unbounding happiness that justifies, reinforces and strengthens our decision to become farmers. 

Sooo...What's in the Box???IMG_0725Amy and Kelsey sporting Fennel Frawns after Fennel Harvest

Broccoli x2-  Two beautiful heads of broccoli for all!  We're still so amazed at how nice our summer broccoli is looking at peak season.  The cool nights are allowing them to grow nice and big out there and reducing the stress on them.

Cauliflower-  Nice tight heads of white globes.

Celery-  We love growing celery!  Celery is a notoriously difficult crop to grow with it's high water needs.  Local celery usually has a stronger celery flavor, a little more fiberous with more of the greens still attached.  This is a difficult vegetable to compare to California grown celery that is paler in color with a higher water content.  Use your local celery for soups, salads, stocks or for eating fresh with ants on a log;)  You can also add some to your egg salad, tuna salad casseroles or whatever you're making!

Cucumbers-  A hefty 5 cucumbers per member this week!  We're expecting a much smaller cucumber giving next week.  Most of our cucumbers came in one big flush these last couple weeks, we're expecting them to pick up again and we also have another succession of cucumbers coming up!  Make cucumber salad!

Green Top Carrots-  The carrots this week have their greens still attached!  You know a carrot is fresh when it still has it's greens attached.  You can cook with your carrot greens like you would parsley.  Parsley and carrots are in the same family.  The umbeliffera family that also includes dill, fennel, celery and parsnips.  It's fun to learn the relatives of your favorite vegetables!  

Zucchini, Summer Squash and Patty Pans-  Four nice squash per member this week!  One of our members told us about the Food Networks "50 Zucchini Recipes" linked below if you're looking for fresh ideas!

Fennel-  A nice fennel for everyone this week.  We have a really wonderful recipe for cream of Broccoli Fennel Soup recipe listed below, one of our favorites!

Cilantro-  For the cilantro lovers out there, this is for you!  We harvested cilantro on Monday morning after plenty of rain over the weekend.  Cilantro really doesn't like to be harvested wet because the leaves get slimy.  Usually we don't wash cilantro because it doesn't like to get wet, but we did have to wash it this week because it was so muddy at harvest.  Try to use your cilantro quickly if you can!  

Curly Green Kale-  The green curly kale is looking stunning as ever.  Have you found your favorite Kale recipe yet?

Lettuce-  One head of either red or green leaf lettuce.  This is another vegetable that we are so thrilled to still have in the peak of the summer like this.  Usually lettuce gets tougher and bitter in the summer heat, but not this year!  So nice to still have greens in late July!

Green Onions-  Another nice bunch of scallions for your everyday cooking!IMG_0730Green onions and their beautiful greens freshly cut!

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  This is the longer, lime-green colored hot pepper.  Hungarian Hot Wax are also called "bananna peppers".  Despite it's big name, these are among the most mild of all hot peppers.  Technically they are considered a hot pepper, but they are not usually hot.  Although sometimes they are!  

Jalapeno Pepper-  These are the smaller of the two hot pepper.  The jalapenos are a darker green hot pepper with a bit more kick than the Hungarian Hot wax.  

Japanese Eggplant-  We harvested 200 Japanese Eggplants and we pack 300 boxes, so cross your fingers and hope you get one if you were hoping you would!  

NEW!  Adam's Best Guess for Next Week!  

Disclaimer:  This is only our best guess from what we see up and coming from field walks.  Next week's actual box may look slightly different from this projection.
Broccoli or Cauliflower, red cabbage, celery, beets, garlic, swiss chard, lettuce, basil, summer squash, zucchini, patty pans, cucumbers, jalapeno pepper


50 Zucchini Recipes!  (Food Network)