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August Twenty-Eighth

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The day length is becoming noticeably shorter now.   Misty mornings with the sounds of crickets singing in the haze set a reflective and contemplative tone. A general feeling of awareness around us as we pick tomatoes and realize that summer is finite, school is starting and the seasons are shifting. The walnuts are dropping, the apples are ripening and the air feels warm but thin and dry. I am drawn to observe the horizon as if I’ll find some kind of wisdom there.

This time of year feels both sad and happy to me. I feel sad because I sense my own mortality and that there is no way to make the summer come back or last any longer. Like the feeling you get at the end of your favorite song when it plays on the radio or at the end of a movie you so thoroughly enjoyed. A feeling of revelry and calmness sweeps the landscape. By now the fledglings have all flown from their nests. The butterflies have emerged from their chrysalises. The farmers have given their best efforts and now we wait for nature to play her cards while we finish out the season.

I also said that I feel happy this time of year. I feel happy because now is when we harvest our richest foods. There is something of a celebratory feeling that will arise in the coming weeks. Our work will shift to mostly harvesting the warmer, the heartier and the heavier of our crops. Soon our homes will be filled with the warmth of simmering soups, apple pies and roasting roots. We will accept the determinate season and our own limitations and succumb to the absolute with a rosy-cheeked cheerfulness.

The once overwhelmingly prolific landscape will shift to a scarcer scene. Only on a very well prepared farms like these will there be fresh greens, florettes, fruits and crispy roots that will take us into late fall where we will enjoy the luxury of eating locally and seasonally to the highest standards.

As there is a young season and a late season, there is are also young and aged structures on a farm. I have become aware of the wearing that a farm takes after so many seasons. Ever so slowly the stairs to the barn have rotted out. Trees are reforesting the north slope of the farm that is no longer grazed. Once functioning sliding doors on the machine shed are rusty, rickety and in need of repair. The spade shovels on the digging machine get rusty and wear quite quickly over the seasons. The farm itself is a timeline that shows age.

Farms and their buildings are another measurement of the passage of time as is the season. I observe the busted fense posts and the flat tire on the movable chicken tractor behind the scene of solar panels and a reconstructed Packing Shed. We give our best human efforts at preservation, maintenance, health and estetics within a season, within a farm, and within ourselves. Yet time continues to pass to the sounds of crickets singing people laughing and carrots hitting the bottom of a harvest bin.

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

Tomatoes- 8lbs  We pick tomatoes with a "blush".  A blush is anything with any early signs of color.  We need to pick tomatoes this way because the plants need to be picked every two days to keep the fruits from ripening too quickly on the vine.  If the fruits become too ripe, we won't be able to ship them without them turning into tomato sauce in your box!  Leave your tomatoes sitting on your counter outside of the plastic bag we ship them in to ripen.  When tomatoes are put into the fridge the ripening process stops.  Refrigerators (and I don't understand the science behind this completely) deminish the flavor out of tomatoes.  Your tomatoes will be more flavorful if left on the counter to ripen.  We only recommend putting tomatoes in the fridge this summer if you need to buy yourself some time and you have too many tomatoes getting too ripe on you.  Use these guys up!  Another generous giving coming up next week!

Melons x 2-  Either Cantelope and Honedew or two Cantelope.  The cantelope varieties will usally look and smell ripe when they are ripe.  We're having a great melon year!  You may have received a honedew type which has a white rind on the ouside and a green flesh on the inside.  

Sweet Corn- 3 ears per member this week.  Some of the ears did not fill out all the way, so some ears may look a little funny if they are not a fullly filled out ear, but this is what the harvest looked like this week!  Sweet corn needs to be refrigerated unti you are ready to use it.  Sweet corn is best eaten as soon after harvest as you can.  We recommned using it up right away for best flavor!  This was the final giving of sweet corn for the season.  

Cucumbers-  2 per member this week.  We expect that we may have one more week of cucubers before the cucumber season is over.  Enjoy them while they last!

Broccoli-  Big and beautiful heads of broccoli for all this week!  We were very pleased with this late summer broccoli harvest.  Remember that broccoli really needs to be kept cold.  Shortly after you pick up your veggies from your dropsite, be sure to get your broccoli home and into your fridge to keep it looking green and fresh!  

Beans-  A whopping 2 lbs per member this week!  I believe this sets a new record!  I'm not sure that we have ever shared a green bean harvest quite like this before!  Green beans are surely a classic summer favorite!  Enjoy them while they goodies last!  

Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-  1 Quart per member again this week!  

Sweet Peppers-  2 Colored sweet peppers per member.  We pick our sweet peppers when they are about 80% or more turned in color.  We are growing sweet red bell peppers, long and skinney red and yellow carmen type sweet peppers, and also yellow and orange bells.  You will likely receive a mix of varieties througout the season.  Sweet peppers are just getting started.  We're hoping for a nice harvest this Fall!  

Lacinato Kale-  Because we wanted to include something green in the boxes this week we are sharing wtih you this lovely lacinato kale.  The bunches aren't huge, but greens are always welcome!  

White Onion-  One onion for everyday use!

Garlic-  The garlic is a little more well cured now.  We have been taking our time with the garlic and really making it look nice for you!  Garlic will keep just fine on our counter for another month or two.  But it also stores nice in the fridge, especially for long term storage.  But my guess is that you'll have this garlic eaten up in no time!

Jalapeno-  The Jalapenos are the smaller, green pepper in your tomato bag.  Jalapenos will 'ripen' red, so a lucky few may have received a red Jalapeno.  Red ones can be a bit sweeter.

Hungarian Hot Wax-  These peppers are one of the most mild on the spectrum of hot tomatoes.  Technically, they are a hot pepper.  I have cut into many hungarian hot wax peppers and some have been surprisingly spicy, and some have been hardly spicy at all.  They are usualy a lime green color and are also called 'bananna peppers'.  But these peppers 'ripen' orange to red, so you may have received one that was orange or red as well.  They would be in your bag with your tomatoes.  

Next Week's Best Guess-  Melons x 2, tomatoes, broccoli, onion, garlic, beans, brussels sprouts tops, sweet peppers, eggplant?  hungarian hot wax peppers, cherry tomatoes, cuumber, 

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Recipes

Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

Roasted Cherry Tomato Salsa

Gazpacho

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli