Small Family Farm CSA

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September Fourth

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There is a component to being a to being a lover of food that I feel is relevant to cover. Without this important aspect, one cannot truly enjoy the experience of being a CSA member, a locavore or an eater, I feel. Food is consumable and perishable and an expense in our lives. It is exploited and conveniently available everywhere and in so many different forms, from varying distances and in varying qualities. But without gratitude for our food, it is merely fuel rather than something that nourishes our souls as well as our bodies.

We have had a long standing tradition in our home to hold hands and say at least one thing we are thankful for before we share a meal. This moment of pause allows us all convene at the table and begin eating after prayer at the same time and together. Even when we’re in a bit of a rush at the lunch hour, we still manage to make it happen. I always enjoy hearing the different things that people are thankful for. It can be something as common as family and the food before us, or something immediate as the beautiful weather we’ve been having or for the morning activity.

What comes to mind most often for me is all of the people who have come together to make this farm possible. I feel thankful for our health and that we are strong and capable. I feel thankful for the helpers on the farm who drive out here every day and share in the vision of this landscape and community. I feel thankful for the hardworking hands and bodies that value this work and the community behind it.

A favorite author of mine, Wendel Berry says that “ A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one’s accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes.” Berry was a whole-hearted believer in the neighborliness, the small-ness, the low-tech, and community-minded farm. He saw farming as a folk-art form with virtues like respect (for the land and for the people) and gratitude (for the land, the people and the harvest) foundational.

Life has become too fast, too hurried, too spread out. We no longer live in villages and farming communities and in homes with large families with grandparents and nieces and nephues coming and going and helping with dinner and sitting with us at our tables regularly. It might be easy to forget to share gratitude. It might feel awkward at first. It might be an expression of empathy and spirituality that is uncustomary in our quickening culture. But I encourage you, no matter how strange it may feel, to express your gratitude. Be thankful for your home, your car that starts, your bike with tires that hold air, your health, my goodness, be thankful for your health.

And on a day when you’re feeling especially open and when you might want to honor someone like Wendel Berry, feel thankful for the hands that picked your beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. Be thankful that there are people out there that still value this kind of work enough that they are willing to put their back into it. Be thankful that small farming communities still exist. And while you’re holding hands with your family being thankful for us, know I will be holding hands with my family being thankful for you at the very same time.

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

Melons x 3-  You may have received a Yellow Watermelon, Canteolope, Honeydew or Canary Melon.  Watermelons are the most obvious to decipher.  The cantelops are probably the second easiest to decipher looking and smelling like a cantelope should;)  The honeydew melons have a more white rind with a green flesh.  The Canary Melons are yellow on the outside (not to be confused with a spaghetti Squash;) and they have a crispy white flesh.  All melons are very ripe at this stage and we encourage you to keep them refrigerated until you get them eaten up!  

Tomatoes- 8lbs-  Anothee hefty bag of tomatoes again this week!  A reminder that 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!  Likely another generous giving coming up next week!

Cherry Tomato Pints-  Sun Gold Cherry tomatoes in pint containers this week.  Sun gold ripen orange and are probably the worlds best flavored tomato!  The seem to be waning in production now, enjoy them while they last!

Sweet Bell Peppers-  2-3 Sweet bell peppers per member this week.  We try to pick peppers with 80% color.  They will ripen just slightly off the vine.  All peppers start out green and 'ripen' to either red, yellow or orange depending on the variety grown.  We grow a very wide selection of sweet peppers ranging from the pointed tip carmen types to the blocky red, orange and yellow bells to the rounded three-lobers of all colors as well.  We hope you enjoy the sweet, crispy flavors of summer!  

White Onion x 2-  Two smaller/medium sized onions this week.  The white onions don't keep as well as the yellows and reds so we wanted to ship the last of these.  Yellow and red onions coming up!  

Garlic-  One bulb for keeping you healthy as the seasons change!  

Broccoli-  Our late summer/early Fall broccoli is looking very nice!  We're very happy with this broccoli harvest.  Get your broccoli home and into the fridge as soon as possible.  Broccoli likes to stay cold until it is eaten up or it can yellow if it gets warm for too long.  Store it in a plast bag in the fridge.  

Eggplant-  Either a standard eggplant or two of the longer and skinnier Asian Eggplants.

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  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.  

Curly Green Kale-  Because we wanted to give something green to go with all of these fruiting crops.  Keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Mini Sweet Pepper Pints-  These little peppers in the pint clamshell are sweet!  These are great for snacking.  They are also called 'lunchbox peppers'.  Keep them in the fridge until you get them eaten up!  

Curly Green Parsley-  Very healthy and delicious bunches of parsley this week that will make a great addition to your fresh salsas, sauces or salads!  Parsley is one of the healthiest foods to eat, did you know?  It is loaded with vitamin C, regulates blood pressure, and soothes the nervous system.  In addition, it improves circulation, relieves problems with the bladder and urethra, cleanses the body from toxins, improves blood flow, removes fever and inflammation of the eyes, heals the kidneys, skin and liver, prevents irritation as a consequence of insect stings (https://www.myhappyandhealthyliving.com/health/why-is-parsley-so-healthy/)

Next Week's Best Guess-  Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, napa cabbage, honeydew melon, broccoli, onion, kohlrabi, brussels spout tops, spaghetti squash, fennel?

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Recipes

Watermelon Salsa

Honeydew Melon Sorbet

Chicken Fajita Quesadilla

Kale Olive and Chickpea Salad