Small Family Farm CSA

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July Third, 2019

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The farm is a beehive. It is a hustle and bustle of people, warmth, harvest and activity. The season is young, the energy is high and everyone is excited to be working together! It has been a wet beehive, but a humming, strumming buzzing hive between storms none-the less. If the sun is out, so are we. If a storm rolls in, we run for cover and look for work in the packing shed or greenhouse.

Our work crew this year consists of 8 employees. Some of them working two days a week and a few of them working full time.   We also have a vibrant Worker Share crew of about 17 people who come out to the farm and work a 3.5 hour shift each week on their designated day in exchange for a CSA Share. Adam and I are the constants that are here all the time-in the know and on the ball. The worker share members make it fun for those of us who are here every day. They bring fresh conversation topics and fresh enthusiasm for the days work.

The beehive this time of year is full and a little crowded and we sometimes are bumping into one another. We go out into the fields and harvest as much as our little legs can carry and then we haul it back to the hive again, unload and then repeat. The harvest is getting heavy and full. Soon the zucchini and summer squash harvest will be every other day. Soon thereafter the cucumber harvest will be every other day. We are currently harvesting broccoli every other day as well.

The strawberry patch harvesting adds an element sweetness and also intensity to the farm. The strawberry patch would ideally be picked every other day if we could keep up with it! Strawberries are highly perishable when they are ready to be picked, should be put into the cooler immediately and should never be picked wet. Strawberry season is one of my favorites, but it is also one of the busiest times of year! We fell behind a bit on picking over the weekend because it was so wet and we had our Strawberry Picking event that kept us busy. Several families made it out to the farm and each family picked a few quarts of strawberries to take home.

I will speak for myself when I say that the busier I am and the harder I work, the happier I am. At times the stress will feel heavy and burdensome, but when it passes, it always feels like it was worth it when the purpose for the work is meaningful and fulfilling. Relaxing never feels relaxing unless you’re tired and you’ve put in a good days work. Like the worker bees, we get to snack on sweet peas, strawberries and succulent greens to keep us fueled. We are also fueled buy the buzz of the community. Doing this work together, coming and going, playing and resting like a grand symphony feels beautiful. It feels sustaining. It feels like the community I longed for and dreamed of and aspire to. The workers are paid and fed. The subscribers are paying and fed. The farmers are both paid and paying-happy. No one is getting rich except in what we feel when we realize what we are all a part of. No matter your roll in the hive, you are part of it.   And it is buzzing.

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

 Sugar Snap Peas-  .66lbs per member this week.  We had to share a little of the harvest with the deer this season, but we thought that .66lbs per member was a decent first picking.  We're hoping for a few more weeks of offering snap peas!  Such a wonderful, healthy snack food!  A great addition to salad too!

Broccoli or Cauliflower-  Broccoli and Cauliflower are tricky to grow in the heat of the summer, so let's call this harvest a success!  We're so happy to share this harvest with you.  Hang tight, we'll show you what wonderful, large broccoli we're capable of growing in the Fall when the cooler weather returns!  

Strawberry Quarts-  We weren't sure if there would be pints or quarts this week, but we had enough to offer quarts for everyone this week!  They were picked between rain storms, so we hope they hold up okay. We recommend eating up your strawberries quickly.  They are so very perishable and won't keep long in the fridge.  They should be refirgerated until you've had a chanc to eat them up.  Check out my all time favorite strawberry cream pie recipe below.  Save every berry for this pie and you won't be sorry!

Garlic Scapes-  These adorable scapes are actually the garlic plant's attempt at making a seed head.  The garlic plant sends up a little nodule that would grow and swell into a bulbous roud head with small garlic 'seeds' inside.  But we snap them off early to tell the garlic plant to put more of it's energy into making a larger garlic bulb below ground and not to bother putting energy into making a seed head.  It just so happens that they are delicious to eat!  We chop up the scape from the base of each stalk up to the tiny little nodule.  Everythig above the nodule is just a little tougher and chewier to eat, so not as ideal for cooking.  Use garlic scapes in your cooking like you would garlic in almost any dish!  

Lettuce Heads x 2-  Still a very nice lettuce season is under way!  We hope you're eating as much salad these days as we are!  Tis the season!  Taco salads, egg salads, tuna salads, chicken salads, layerd salads.  It's salad season!  During all of these heavy rains that we have been getting, a lot of soil is splashed up inside the heads.  We recommend cutting out the core of the head from the bottom and then washing your lettuce one leaf at a time to make sure there isn't any grit hiding down in the crevaces of the lettuce leaves.  I do not loving a gritty salad, myself!  Salad spinner the leaves for a nice, clean and dry bowl of succulent greens!  

Green Bunching Onions-  Bunching onions are only available on our farm for about 5 weeks in the early summer like this.  They are such a nice treat to hold us over until true onions are ready for harvest.  Remember that you can use these guys from the bottom of the white part all the way up to the very last tip of the green onion if you like!  The greens make a nice garnish or sprinkle on top of almost any dish!  

Fennel-  Fennel is such a fun early summer treat!  Fennel has a mild licorice flavor when eaten raw.  It is lovely shaved very thinly onto a green salad or featured in it's own raw fennel salad.  Or, if you don't love the licorice flavor, just sautee up your fennel like it's an onion and add it to any stir fry, italian dish of pasta or even soup or egg bake.  You can sneak these guys into almost anything!  They're in the celery/carrot/parsley (umbelliferae) family, but they don't taste anything like celery, carrots or parsley. They have their very own unique flavor and texture!  Enjoy this treat!  

Hakurai Salad Turnips-  These salad turnips are sizing up nicely!  Continue to use your salad turnips in a stir fry, on salads or caramelized to your liking.  Remeber to use their greens as well-they're very mild and neutral once cooked.  

Kohlrabi-  Another kohlrabi per member again this week!  The Kohlrabi greens can be used like kale!  We recommend peeling off the tougher, outer layer of the kohlrabi and slicing up the inner bulb like you would an apple wedge for snacking, match-sticks for a salad or grated into a slaw!  Germans put it in soup.  The possibilities are endless!  Kohlrabi is very neutral and easy to get along with;)  

Green Cabbage-  Wow!  This variety is called Quickstart.  It earns it's name well.  Quickstart early cabbages are a lighter, airier, fluffier head of cabbage.  They aren't as dense as the storage varieties, but they get us through just!  You can make egg rolls, coleslaw, cabbage rolls or sauerkraut.  Check out the unstuffed cabbage rolls recipe that's much easier than rolling up the cabbage rolls but still contains all of the same ingredients!  

Next Week's Best Guess:  Peas, strawberries, fennel, garlic scapes, lettuce, summer squash and/or zucchini, green onions, broccoli and/or cauliflower, cabbage?, swiss chard, kohlrabi, hakurai salad turnips?

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Recipes

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Pie (No bake)-  Jillian's all-time Favorite!  You GOTTA make this!  

Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole-

Shaved Fennel Salad with Snow Peas and Mint

Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage and Fennel

Home Made French Dressing for Salads

Miso Glazed Hakurei Turnips

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(We thought it was the deer eating our carrot and beets, but then we discovered it was actually the Children!)