Small Family Farm CSA

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July Twenty-Seventh

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I felt a slight shift on the farm this week when I heard the cicadas sing for the first time.  Their whining, buzzing sound that only comes on the hottest of summer days to begin with.  I am also noticing more monarch butterflies and flys!  The cool nights and the shadowy evenings reminded me of fall for a brief moment as I took notice of the shortening days.  We revel in our summer nights wearing tank tops and running barefoot, but I was briefly made aware of their scarcity in the shadowy, cool Sunday night.  Suddenly the dark by 8:50pm feels early! 

Summer cannot be called a summer until we have tasted sweet corn and melons and tomatoes.  Our favorite summer crops are yet to come, but as we are so ready for them, they cannot arrive soon enough!  We noticed that our farm dog/puppy, Leche, has been harvesting melons out of our melon patch.  He hunts for the biggest, sweetest melons and then picked one right in front of us while we were harvesting kale this morning.  I had to take it as a training opportunity and scold him for his stolen melon.  It looked like he got the message with his lowered head and sunken posture.  Later we had to repeat the same training when he picked an unripe tomato right off the vine.  Thief!  We also noticed that the racoons or other wild animals have discovered our melon patch and are sampling as well.  I guess it’s time to start picking melons soon!

Farmer Adam finished putting up the sweet corn fence this week as well.  We need to keep four lines of electric wire put up around the sweet corn patch to keep the racoons out.  They have already been in sampling unripe ears.  Historically, the electric fence does a very good jop at keeping the out as long as the wires aren’t shorted out by grass or tipped over corn on the electric wire. 

We’re also very excited about our tomatoes this year.  The tomato patch looks amazing, y’all!  The plants look big and healthy.  We also are experimenting with putting landscaping fabric down between the rows.  Farmer Adam has been spraying an Omri approved organic fungicide called Copper that will prevent the tomatoes from getting blight.  Tomato Blights have been a huge problem for us in previous years that cut our yields significantly.  With such a healthy tomato patch, we’re in for a pretty bountiful tomato harvest here in a few weeks!

The packing shed smelled of cucumbers, carrots and basil this afternoon as we were washing up the morning’s harvest.  These nostalgic smells instill a seasonal rhythm that I experience with my senses.  I smell the carrots and cucumbers and basil and corn pollen and melons and experience Summer.  I hear the cicadas and the sounds of the children playing in the yards and I experience summer.  I see the Monarchs and the big blue skies with the high, puffy, storybook clouds and I experience summer.  How I long to taste all of summer’s sweet, juicy offerings to feel that summer has completely washed over me. 

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What’s in the Box?

Celery-  Gorgeous Celery by my standards!  I have to tell you that local celery is difficult to grow!  It’s also much different than store-bought celery which mostly comes out of California.  Local celery is generally much greener and has a stronger celery flavor.  We leave much of their greens on for you to use in your stocks, soups, or juice them up if you’re a juicing person!  Local celery generally is less succulent and juicy than Cali celery which is heavily irrigated.  We do our best on this unusual local item and are happy to share it with you today! 

Red or Green Cabbage-  We tried hard to have a red cabbage for everyone, but they were smaller and we had to pick some green cabbages to fill in.  I hope you got the color you love most! 

Onion- We were happy to harvest the first of our white onions this week!  So fresh we left their stems attached. 

Carrots-  1lb bags of carrots for all this week.  We wanted to harvest them with their greens on again this week, but we had a short crew so went with the quicker method this week.  Still lovely and ready to eat! 

Cucumbers-  2-3 cucumbers per member this week.  Cucumbers will continue to crank for it while yet.  We hope you’re loving them as much as we do!  Did you know that cucumbers prefer a 50 degree storage temp?  A fridge is too cold and the countertop is too warm, so we recommend eating them up so you don’t have to worry about storing them! 

Zucchini and Summer Squash-  3-4.  Yep, the zucchini and summer squash are still coming!  We hope you’re finding ways to sneak them into your meals each week!  It’s no problem at our house! 

Red Curly Kale-  Gorgeous bunches of red curly kale for your cooking delight! 

Green Leaf Lettuce-  Smaller heads of lettuce this week, but lettuce is difficult to grow in high summer at all, so we’re thrilled to have it to share with you!  Lettuce this time of year can get a little more bitter, especially if it has been very hot, but we’re finding it’s not as bitter as we have experienced some years, possibly because of the cooler temps and plenty of rain. 

Cauliflower and/or Broccoli-  Everyone received a cauliflower this week, and some people also received a broccoli if the cauliflower was smaller.  We didn’t have quite enough broccoli for everyone this week.  Prefers to be kept very cold, so will need to get in the fridge right away! 

Basil-  Small, cute little bunches of basil.  Basil can be stored like cut flowers in a vase of water to keep it fresh until you’re ready to use it.  Basil will turn black if kept in a fridge. 

Next Weeks Best Guess:  Zucchini and Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Onion, Carrots or beets, Chard, Asian Eggplant, Lettuce, Maybe Cabbage

Recipes

Asian Peanut Slaw from Veggie Society

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Everything But The....Cream Cheese Celery Snacks by The Skinny Fork

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Zucchini Parmesan by Alexandra Cooks

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Lemon Basil Gnochi with Zucchini by Gimme Some Oven

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