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June Twenty-Fourth

As a child I remember feeling excited by a thunderstorm. I loved the rush and thrill that I felt from lightening and thunder and heavy rain. I loved lying safe and snug in my bed falling asleep to the sound of rain and wind. I know that some children are freightened by thunderstorms, but I guess I was one of those odd children that reveled in the feeling of the powerful force of nature. I think there was a longing for a connection to nature that was amiss in my city-girl up bringing. I also think I had no real risk present to me in my safe home in the city that I was aware of.

Now I view thunderstorms through the lense of a homeowner and a farmer. I now know that high winds and heavy rain cause power outages, fallen trees, damage to property and clean up. The farmer in me worries more than I have ever worried before. I am no longer comforted and soothed by the sound of heavy rain, but I lie awake worried about the damage I will assess the next morning. I worry the pounding rain will shred our greens we are ready to harvest.   I worry the high winds will snap off pepper and squash plants that are newly uncovered. I worry about soil loss and muddy fields. I worry we will be working in slippery and muddy conditions with soil-covered plants. I worry the wash times on harvest days will be longer than usual as we try to wash away the splattered soil on our harvest. I worry about the tender and young plants that are being pounded on and whipped around in the storm.

Our farm has survived three flood years and one major drought season. I know we’ll get through it and at the end of the day we will have beautiful boxes of produce to present to you on delivery day. But I do worry, the way a mother worries for her children, as they are hardened off to the harsh and cruel realities of the big, bad world out there. Worrying is a specialty of farmer Adam’s. He worries ten times the amount that I do to the point that I worry for his health. I guess we’re just a bunch of Worry Warts out here.

Mother Nature is a powerful force. She demands respect and earns awe at her spectacular shows. But even as we are humbled by her force, she does not show mercy, even to those of us who honor her tremendous power. As organic farmers we do what we can to create resilience to the storms. We cover crop between our rows of peppers and tomatoes to hold the soil and limit erosion. We contour our fields to that water flows along the ridgelines, again limiting erosion. We add organic matter to our soils so they can absorb rainwater and feed the roots of our plants in a healthy soil medium. We use remay to protect young transplants from insect pressure, wind and heavy rain. We certainly have plenty of hedgerows for beneficial insects to overwinter and thrive on our organic farm.

Being organic is good, but we’ll never be immune to the immense power of nature and her storms. All we can do is use our experiences to learn how to better plan for them, as we do with our children. I feel thankful to be farming on a ridgetop instead of a valley. I feel thankful for rain, even when it’s a bit more than needed. I also feel thankful to be a CSA farmer that can share the risks and blessings of a growing season with our informed and compassionate CSA members.

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

Green Curly Kale-  Gorgeous bunches of curly green kale.  The bunches were mostly large with perfect looking leaves.  This kale is great for kale chips, added to soups, casseroles or any other of your favorite ways to use kale!  

Cilantro-  Nice bunches of cilantro for all.  Cilantro doesn't necessarily love to have wet leaves and we did have to wash the bunches this week because of the heavy rain splattering soil on the leaves.  Your cilantro my not keep as long as you might hope.  We encourage you to use it up quickly for maximum freshness!  Taco salads!  

Hakurai Salad Turnips-  This is likely the last week of turnips.  We were seeing more damage on the roots this week.  We allowed for some of this damage in the bunches because there was so much of it on amost all of the roots.  We're hoping you can just spot-peel the roots to look presentable for your salads, dips or stir fries.  Remember that turnip greens are perfectly edible and are even wonderful added to your stir fries.  Salad turnips are such a fun Spring treat!  Enjoy their unique flavor and texture this week while they last!

Kohlrabi x 2-  You may have received two green kohlrabi, a purple and a green or two purple kohlrabi. We tried to give everyone one of each color.  The purple and green kohlrabi have the same flavor and texture on the insides.  You do need to peel kohlrabi anyways, so it really does't matter which colors you received.  Kohlrabi are alse called ground apples.  Their textrue if very similar to that of an apple, but they have the flavor of a broccoli stalk resembling a little of cabbage or even turnips or radishes wihtout the spice.  The greens on kohlrabi can also be eaten like kale, don't toss those out!  

Romain Lettuce-  Beautiful heads of romain lettuce.  Romaine is also a Spring treat.  We love to make home-made cesar salads with crutons and a cesar dressing.  Romain leaves are also a fun gluten-free wrap alternative.  Fill the leaves with rice, hummus, meat, cheese or whatever you like!  

Red Oakleaf Lettuce-  Some of these heads were very small.  The red oakleaf lettuce is very tender and soft.  It has all the tenderness of a lovely spring lettuce, lacking some of the crunch.  It is very smooth and colorful and nutritious and a fun variety to try out for the foodie in us all!  

Green Buttercup Lettuce-  Some of these heads were also very small.  They ranged in size quite a bit.  Lucky for us all, the heart of a buttercup lettuce is the best part.  Enjoy the tenderness of buttercup lettuce and you'll understand why it's called 'butter"cup lettuce.  

Garlic Scapes-  These are actually the garlic plant's efforts at making a seed nodule.  The plant sends out these scapes in mid June and it is the garlic farmer's responsibility to snap these off so that the garlic plants invest more of thier energy into making larger bulbs under the ground rather than sending its energy up to make a big seed head.  Lucky for us all, these scapes are delicious to eat and a satisfactory supplement to garlic while we wait for garlic harvest in about a month.  They're a very rare seasonal treat.  While you can eat the entire scape, the part of the scape that is most commonly eaten is from the blunt end where it was snapped off of the plant all the way up to the little nodule.  Above the nodule the texture changes a little and it's a bit more chewy.  Garlic scapes will keep for a while, but we recommend using them up in your cooking anywhere that you woudl normally use garlic.  They have a much more mild flavor without all of the heat and intensity of actual garlic.  Enjoy!

Strawberries-  Strawberries are just beginning on the farm.  Unfortunately, we had to pick many of the strawberries this week in wet conditions.  The number one rule of harvesting berries is NOT to pick them wet.  We had to pick them wet in order to get them to you this week.  We danced around the rain storms all week and weekend trying not to pick wet berries, but it was unavoidable.  These berries will have little to no shelflife.  We recommend eating them up as soon as possible!  We know this won't be hard for you to accomplish!  We're also experiencing a lower than average production on strawberries this year on the farm due to deer pressure.  The deer were really hitting our fresh patch of strawberries hard this spring.  They really like to just eat the leaves of the plants in the early spring when there isn't much else to eat.  We're hoping to have next years strawberries inside deer fencing.  

Bunching Onions-  Lovely, lovely bunching onions.  Smaller bunches of green onions this week.  You can eat everything here.  You don't have to toss out the greens.  Begin cutting them up just above the roots and even use the green parts in your cooking.  Green onions are good raw in salads of all kinds.  They can also be cooked and added to stir fries, soups or however you like!  

Next Week's Best Guess-  Broccoli, snap peas, Lettuce, collard greens, zucchini, kohlrabi, bunching onions, scapes, dill, strawberries, maybe fennel

Recipes

Nacho Kale Chips

Strawberry and Cream Cheese Pie (no bake)

Kohlrabi Oven Fries

Oriental Salad Dressing (for all of your salads you're going to eat this week!)

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