Small Family Farm CSA

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July Fifth

With the frequent rains and very warm temperatures, many of our summer crops are loving the heat and moisture and are growing quite well. We are predicting an earlier year for some heat-loving summer crops like sweet corn, melons, tomatoes and cucumbers. Already we have strung three lines of trellising on our tomatoes that are standing waist-high and flowering and setting fruits. The melons were bursting out of their row-covering and are laying out looking beautiful, healthy and very happy! We are so excited to share these bountiful harvests with you once they begin!DSC 0050

But not everything loves a hot summer. While we are usually harvesting large and beautiful broccoli heads this time of year, we are noticing that our broccolis this summer and smaller and wanting to bolt from the intense heat we have been having. Our lettuce successions are maturing earlier than expected and the sugar snap peas which usually are thriving and still flowering and setting fruits this time of year are looking like they’re ready to tucker out.

Generally speaking, we would say this has been a great growing season. It was looking like it was going to be a late year because of the very cold and late Spring we had, but many of the crops have caught up and are doing well. We have not had to do any irrigating yet this year because everything has been getting plenty of water. The frequent rains have made it harder than usual to put up a good fight against the weeds, but we are mostly staying on top of the weeding and the fields look clean and picturesque.

But the farm is like a hungry and tired toddler that needs lots of attention and good governance. It is fussy and a bit wild and gets cranky when it is not lovingly cared for. Vegetable farm is intensive and needs constant care and attention. Anyone who has kept a garden of their own knows that if you turn your back on it, it can be unruly and unmanageable. The summer squash and zucchini must be harvested every two days so they don’t turn into baseball bats. The broccoli also needs to be harvested from every two days and put on ice in the cooler so that they don’t get over-mature and begin to flower. And soon the cucumbers will begin and will also need to be harvested every two days.DSC 0046 1

But I love to watch the carrots grow. I love their wispy tops. They’re so low profile and unpretentious.   And beneath their frawny tops lies a sweet, crisp and colorful root that has won the world over with its flavor, durability, crispiness. We might still be a couple weeks away from carrots, but they’re looking great and worth the wait! There simply is no comparison to a fresh, locally grown carrot.

If the rains stay somewhat consistent and the temperatures remain below 90, we should have a great growing season in which to share a rich, bountiful harvest with you, our first love, the CSA membership family.DSC 0052 1

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

Greem Cabbage-  This variety is called Quickstart.  It's a looser head of cabbage than the really dense of storage varieties you can buy in the Fall.  Quickstart will satisfy all of our desires for the cabbage flavor and texture and is a Summer favorite on the farm..

Broccoli-  Small to medium heads of broccoli again this week.  The Broccoli plants do not love the intense heat like we have been having.  We're still getting a nice harvest, but they're not as nice as some of the Spring/Summer Broccoli we have grown.  Broccoli likes to be kept very cold.  Some dropsites are outside, so please plan to arrive at your dropsite as soon as you are able to rush your broccoli home and get it in the fridge to keep it green!

Kohlrabi x 2- We tried to give everyone a Purple and a White Kohlrabi, but some folks got two white kohlrabis.  Remember to peel your kohlrabi!  The leaves on the kohlrabi are also edible just like kale!  It is in the same family of plants as kale.  A reminder that for some strange reason, kohlrabi is best if you eat the whole thing once you cut it open.  It seems to develope a bitter flavor if you save the other half in the fridge for another day.  

Fennel-  When eaten raw, fennel has a prominent licorice flavor.  Typically the bulb of the fennel plant is eaten.  The green stalks and frawns are perfectly edible, but usually used for broths or garnishing.  To cut-up the fennle you need to cut off the bottom with a sharp knife, half it, and cut out the core near the base of the fennel which is sometimes too chewy to eat.  Once it is cooked, it looses much of it's licorice flavor and your friends will never know it's in your dish! 

Summer Squash and Zucchini-  Summer Squash are the yellow ones and zucchini are the green ones.  Zucchin and summer squash actually keep best at 50 degrees.  Some people will set them out at room temp and some will keep them in their fridge since most of us don't have the luxury of a 50 degree storage area.  Wherever you decide to keep them, don't try to keep them long, because if zucchini is known for anything, it is it's generousity!  Plenty more zucchini and summer squash to come.  

Lettuce x 2-  We tried to give everyone a Romaine Lettuce and a butter-type.  You may have received a red oakleaf, a green buttercup (these were small) or a standard green leaf lettuce.  Lettuce keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Garlic Scapes-  Each garlic plant produces 1 garlic scape per year.  It is the plants effort at producing a seed head.  If left on the plant, the small nodule you see towards the top of the scape would swell and develope into seed pod.  But we snap them off to tell the plant to put more of it's energy into producing a larger garlic bulb and not to put energy into making seed heads.  Lucky for us, the garlic scapes are scrumptious and edible!  The best part to eat is the blunt end up to the little nodule.  The tip is usually a little more chewy, although still edible!  

Sugar Snap Peas-  A .61 lb bag of peas this week.  If you don't eat these all up raw and just the way they come, they are wonderful in stir fry, with a veggie dip or cut up onto a salad!  They're very versatile and good in anything!

Bunhcing Onions-  A cute little bunch of green onions.  These are actually just small, immature standard oinons that are planted very close to eachother so they stay small and tender.  They don't have all the bit that a storage onion might have.  Edible from root to tip!

Curly Red Kale-  Gorgeous bunches of curly red kale this week.  We try to give a cooking green every week, and we knew that the odd week members have only gotten kale once already.  Next week we're going to try to give collards.

Next Week's Best Guess:  broccoli, kohlrabi, fennel, summer squash and zucchini, lettuce, garlic scapes, sugar snap peas, bunching onions, collards, cucumber, cilantro, beets


Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls 

Zucchini Breakfast Casserole

Cream of Broccoli and Fennel Soup

Spring Salad with Fennle and Orange