Small Family Farm CSA

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August Twenty-Second

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The farm entered a new chapter this week. We are beginning to feel a seasonal shift. Maybe it was brought in with the rain we had or maybe it is because the sweet corn ended or because the zucchinis and cucumbers are ending. We also got a reprieve from the heat the last few days which has felt like a blessing.

We are continuing to harvest tomatoes which are producing heavily right now. We are filling the bags of tomatoes up this week as full as we can possibly fill them with hopes that they survive the transport okay. Tomatoes can be tricky to figure out how to share a large quantity in a box with so many other veggies to squeeze in there! We are in peak tomato season now and are enjoying all of the lovely abundance. The harvest is heavy and the rows of tomatoes are long! We do see that the plants won’t continue to produce quite the way they have been as we have been picking so heavily now for a few weeks.

We will begin harvesting winter squash this week. Some shorter-day verities like acorn, spaghetti squash and kubocha squash will be the first varieties to harvest. Winter squash is harvested and then taken to the greenhouse which is a dry environment for ‘curing’. All winter squash varieties should cure for up to two weeks to dry the stem down so the squash will not rot in storage. We will give winter squash the last 5 or so weeks of deliveries as well as in the Fall Shares and Thanksgiving boxes.

We have been catching up with some of the most important weeding projects on the farm and are turning our attention to almost exclusively harvesting. We will continue to keep up with some weeding projects on the farm, but harvesting becomes the main priority in the second half of the season here.

We transplanted out the last of the crops that we will transplant this week such as fall lettuce.   A couple weeks ago we finished transplanting the last of our Fall Brassicas such as broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrai, rutabaga and napa cabbage. We also seeded fall Spinach, daikon radish, cilantro and dill and parsley.

I am also excited to start harvesting potatoes. We will begin harvesting potatoes soon. Kohlrabi, broccoli and an early napa cabbage harvest are also around the corner. Sweet Pepper production is expected to pick up. We can hope for 5-6 sweet peppers in each CSA box in the weeks to come. Green bean harvest will also continue the next couple weeks with dragon tongue (a mulit-colored bean) coming into season soon. There is nothing that beats a good green bean.

We are also very excited about our second Annual Summer Evening Farm Dinner scheduled for this Saturday, August 25th here at the farm. There are just a handful of tickets left if you would like to dine with us outdoors on the farm and enjoy some of the best seasonal goodies with other foodies like yourself. This event was to create an opportunity for you, our CSA members, to come to the farm and have a beautiful evening here that creates a lovely, lasting memory from the place where your food is grown.

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

****Due the rains this week, some of the produce is a little wetter and a little dirtier than usual. Some produce we wash customarily, but some items we do not wash because we are limited by time, they don’t handle washing well or because under normal conditions we do not need to wash certain things (like tomatoes or melons for example). Please excuse any extra dirt or wetness this week and give your melon or your zucchini a quick rinse!

Pepper- Some people received two peppers, and some people received one. It depended on wether or not you received one or two pints of cherry tomatoes. We’re still expecting sweet pepper production to pick up in the next few weeks.

Cherry Tomatoes- The cherry tomatoes are the Sun Gold variety. Sun Gold’s ripen orange. Don’t wait for them to turn red because they won’t! We love this cherry tomato variety because of how wonderfully sweet they are!   Some people received two pints this week if you only received one sweet pepper.

Green Beans- 1.25lbs of green beans per member this week. Beans are best eaten fresh! Don’t try to keep them long! This week we washed the green beans because they were so muddy at harvest-something we had never done before. A nice hearty helping of beans for all this week!

Summer Squash and Zucchini- 1 squash per member. They were a little dirty this week because of the early week rains. Summer Squash are the yellow ones and zucchini are the green ones. Zucchini 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. This was likely the final zucchini and summer squash harvest week.

Celery- Likely the final giving of celery this week. Local celery usually has a stronger celery flavor that what we’re all used to-California celery grown in more mild temperatures with high water inputs. With the diversity of crops we are growing on this farm, this is about the best celery we can offer. Celery is great in soups, egg salad, or even cold summer pasta or potato salad dishes.

Cucumbers- 3-4 Cucumbers per member! Cucumbers are finally slowing down. We will be lucky if we are able to give one or two cucumbers next week, so enjoy them while they are lasting as they are quickly going out of season! Maybe one more cucumber week?

White Onion- One nice and big white onion for everyone. Will keep just fine on your countertop.

Cabbage- You may have received either a green or a red cabbage. These are the last of our summer cabbage pickings.

Tomatoes- 8 lbs. We grow a wide variety of tomatoes each year. About 12-15 different varieties. Some are romas (the longer more pear-shaped varieties with less water that are good for making sauce), yellow slicers, red slicers, tie-dye slicers, and the infamous herilooms that are slowly coming into season. Heirlooms usually ripen a little later in the season since they are a larger tomatoes and are not hybridized for early production. You are likely to receive a very wide selection of tomatoes over the tomato-growing season with a wide variety of colors. We recommend leaving tomatoes out at room temperature to ripen naturally. Remove them from their plastic bag and set them out on your counter or windowsill so they don’t get funky in the plastic bag and mold or rot on you. We pick tomatoes with a ‘blush’. This means that we pick anything that has any early signs of red or pink or color. Once a tomato begins to blush it will ripen fully off the vine and this still qualifies as a vine-ripened tomato. Their flavor will be much better if you just let them sit on the counter to ripen. We do not recommend putting tomatoes in the refrigerator at all, ever, unless they are nearly over-ripe and you need to buy yourself some time before you get a chance to use them up before they go bad. Refrigerators seem to suck flavor out of tomatoes as well. For the full experience, let them ripen on the counter!

Beets- Three large beets per member this week! Beets will keep very well for months in a plastic bag in the fridge. But I’m sure you can find a fun summer dish to use them up in! Try roasting them!

Melons- This week everyone received two melons, but we gave three varieties of melons so not everyone received the same variety. We shipped some Cantelopes, some Canary melons and some Honeydew melons. The canary melons are unusual in that they are bright yellow on the outside and are still firm and crispy when fully ripe. The canary melons have a flesh like a cucumber but taste sweet (sometimes even like bubble gum when perfectly ripe). The cantelope are orange on the inside and usually a cream color on the outside on the rind. Cantelope and Honeydew will ripen off the vine. Be patient and let your melon sit on the counter until it starts to smell like a melon. Don’t put it in your fridge unless you’re sure it is ready to cut up. You will know that a cantelope or honeydew is ready when they have a strong melon smell.

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper- These were tucked inside your tomato bags. Hungarian Hot wax are amongst the most mild of hot peppers, but they may surprise you!

Next Week's Best Guess: watermelon, French melon, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, broccoli?, onion, garlic, carrots, potatoes?, chard or kale, cucumbers, green beans

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