Small Family Farm CSA

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August Twenty-Fifth

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In August, I feel tired. If August was a person, it would be a wild-eyed, red haired voluptuous woman, the kind of person that excites you and dances the night away with you and leaves you feeling strewn out on the floor. While there are no festivities and late summer evening fires burning the midnight oil in my life, I am the dedicated farm wife and mother of three small children burning with the desire to grow, nurture, preserve food and ride the exhilarating wave of the August workload and bounty on a small family farm.  

I remind myself that August is not the month to make any final decisions about my life. August is the month of unsustainable energy exertion. We are pushing through these weeks with grit and perseverance and determination. We pulled over 1500lbs of carrots out of the ground last week that needed to be harvested with a little extra help on the farm. We also had our largest green bean harvest of the season that our farm has ever had last week with over 570lbs coming out of the field with loads more that went unpicked!

Tomato harvest is coming to a peak this week. The colorful, soft, juicy fruits are the very essence of summer itself. The tomatoes are both watery and acidic. They’re heavenly and heavy. They’re the long-awaited for and sought after icon of the season. Tomatoes will dominate the space in the CSA box, your counter tops, your cooking and your hearts for the next few weeks. They will satisfy your cravings and will eventually have you crying for mercy before it’s all over. Folks, get ready for tomatoes.

This week on the farm we will continue tomato harvest every two days. We will pick green beans until time runs out and begin to pull in the winter squash harvest. Many of the winter squash vines are beginning to die back exposing many of the fruits. We have begun to harvest some fruits that were showing signs of sun scald and looking fully mature. We are excited to share acorn squash, buttercup squash, red kuri squash, butternut squash, pie pumpkins and spaghetti squash. It’s hard to believe it’s time to start harvesting some of these fall favorites! Fall is just around the corner!

Farmer Adam replanted our fall Spinach last week. We had seeded our fall Spinach before we got all of that pounding 6 inches of rain a couple weeks ago. We suspect that the hammering rain actually compacted the soil so much that the seeds were not able to push through. There was no lack of moisture and the seeds were not washed away, just too compacted in from the heavy rains to be able to germinate. Fingers crossed that we got enough rain this weekend to germinate the second seeding and that they will be ready in time for the last couple CSA boxes to have hefty bags of spinach in them!

Good news is that our Fall carrots and beets are looking great! The Brussels sprouts are looking better than ever before on our farm this year! With a cool breeze and a good nights sleep your farmers will catch their second wind to carry us through the last third of the summer season feeling joyful and strong.

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Sooo….What’s in the Box????

Tomatoes- Hefty 7lb Bags of tomatoes for all. We pick any tomato with a 'blush'. This means any tomato with any beginning of color at the time of harvest as tomatoest ripen nicely off the vine. They are still considered 'vine ripened' tomatoes. We grow a wide variety of tomatoes. You may have received a pink brandywine heirloom tomato, roma tomatoes, red slicers, black velvet heirloom or even Chef's choice which is a yellow tomato. We offer a nice mix of heirlooms and standard slicing varieties. Do not refrigerate tomatoes unless you need to buy yourself some time before you are able to process them. Refrigerators will suck flavor out of your tomatoes. Allow your unripe tomatoes to sit out on the counter until fully ripe.

Melons- 1-2 Melons per member. If you only received one melon, it was a larger melon. We did ship out some Canary melons that had a spots on the outside. These melons looked a little rough on the outside, but we knew they were the sweetest melons of the lot, so we decided to give them anyways. They are a bit like a deliciously ripe mango that is a little shrively and rough looking on the outside, but deliciously sweet on the inside. Consider yourself lucky if you got one of these! The melons were a bit of a mixed lot, you may have received either a Canary melon (with the yellow rind), a cantelope and/or a small yellow watermelon. Melons are coming to an end, but we’re thrilled to still be able to put two in each box.

Cucumbers- 1-2 cukes per member. This may have been the final giving of cucumbers for the season. They’re less cosmetically beautiful at the tail end of the season like this, but still have all the flavor and freshness of a cucumber. We like to peel off some of the outer skin with a potato peeler before we slice them up for snacking and salads.

Green Beans- 1.43lbs per member. A generous giving of green beans this week! The crew spent a lot of hours working on these beans this week. There is a mix of the Dragon Tongue Beans mixed in with the standard green beans this week. The drangon tongue beans have beautiful purple markings on the beans when they are raw but fade away once cooked. These are our kids favorite beans.

Sweet Corn- 4-5 ears per member. This is the final giving of sweet corn for the season. It was a nice run of corn and we successfully kept the raccoons out for the most part. Remember that sweet corn is best when eaten as soon after harvest as possible. Keep cool until you cook it up.

Red Curly Kale- Nice bunches of kale to keep you stocked in greens this week. Have you found a favorite way to eat kale this summer? Have you tried any new ways of preparing it? This nutrient rich veggie is so versatile and delicious, we hope you have found ways to love it as much as we do!

Onion- One white onion per member.

Garlic- This white skinned porcelain variety is called Music.

Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes- About a pint of cherry tomatoes per member this week. We put them in brown paper bags for three reasons: 1) They fit in the box a little nicer this way in the bag as the plastic clamshell containers take up more room, 2) To reduce the plastic usage on the farm by NOT using the clamshell containers, 3) The plastic clamshells are costly and are also PLASTIC which does not biodegrade.

Sweet Pepper- Almost everyone received one sweet pepper this week. The sweet peppers are just beginning. There were a few people at the end of packing who did not receive a sweet pepper as we ran out of them. Sweet peppers may include red, yellow or orange bell peppers. We grow many different varieties of peppers. It’s looking like it’s going to be a great pepper year!   Many more of these to come!

Eggplant- 1-2 per member. You may have received a standard eggplant that is round-ish and looks like a normal eggplant or you may have received an Asian eggplant that is long and slender. Asian eggplant varieties are slightly sweeter and generally have smaller seeds and cook up quicker. Eggplant isn’t a great keeper. It stores like zucchini which prefers a 50 degree storage temp. The fridge is a little too cold and the counter is a little too warm, so dust off your eggplant recipes and have fun!

Beets- 2 medium to large beets per member. The beets this year have been fabulous! We’re thrilled to finally be able to keep the deer off of them and have beets in our CSA boxes! Sweet, earthy and nutritious. Keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Hot Peppers- You may have received both a Hungarian Hot Wax pepper and a Jalapeno pepper or you may have received only a Jalapeno pepper. We put the hot peppers in the top of the tomato bags.

Mini Sweet Pepper- One little mini sweet pepper per member stuck in your cherry tomato bag.

Next Week's Best Guess-  Tomatoes, sweet peppers, green beans, honeydew melons?, beets, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, lacinato kale or swiss chard, onion, garlic, parsley, 

Recipes:

Grilled Eggplant Ratatouille Muffaletta

Tomato Tart (this is the delicious Cherry Tomato Tart recipe I forgot to post last week!  Do it!)

Beet and Kale Salad

Gluten Free Chocolate Beet Cupcakes

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