Small Family Farm CSA

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August Twenty-Fourth

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I would like to take a moment to speak of gratitude.  A subject I like to touch on throughout the season from time to time.  I am reminded of it at meal times when my family sits together around the table and we allow a moment for us each to recall something that we are thankful for that day.  I believe that meals are an especially convenient time to express our gratitude, and as we are community of eaters cooking, sharing and celebrating this season together, perhaps it is appropriate to dedicate a newsletter to it! 

I believe that meal time is sacred in a way.  Meals are fuel for our bodies, but also our spirits.  They nourish our bellies and also our hearts if we have the patience and the self-control enough to keep our forks laying on the table a moment longer.  When we can establish a routine of expressing gratitude to our family and to ourselves by announcing to the world what we assume to be obvious and which could go without saying at all.  But if it goes without saying at all, the deepening of the expression is limited.  If we cultivate the meal time routine as a sacred (in a casual sort of way, not a levitating and kumba-yah sort of a way) we cultivate gratitude which the effects thereof resonate far beyond the dinner table. 

As a mother of three small children, I am attempting to teach gratitude.  In a world of privilege and expectations and luxury, we have endless lists of that which we aught to be grateful for.  Warm, running water.  Our safe, dry homes.  Our opposable thumbs which make life so much easier.  Our health.  The bowls of cherry tomatoes, melons, plumbs and pears that fill our countertops and satisfy the children’s snacking needs.  The warm food in front of us and the loving person who prepared it.  I wonder what the world would look and feel like if gratitude at meal time was taught in the way we teach our children to talk, walk, use the restroom or ride a bike.  Do we not owe it to them and each other to recognize all that we have been given?  I believe that we owe it to our communities and to teach gratitude as it is an act of humility and compassion which there is a deficit of in our culture. 

In this season of bounty and fruitful harvest, I am reminded of gratitude at every turn.  I am grateful that there are still people who are willing to work on farms like our and show up to help us get the work done.  I am grateful for you, the CSA member who values where their food comes from.  I am grateful for the season with timely rain so we did not have to irrigate at all this year.  I am grateful for sweet corn, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers and the ripening pumpkins laying in the field looking like little balls of warmth and sunshine that make me feel happy.  I am thankful for my health and my hardworking and devoted husband.  I am thankful for my children and their health and Grandma Jane who feeds us so well.  I am thankful for my little house and my little farm and my little life. 

If expressing gratitude out loud to your friends and family is already a common practice in your life, HIGH FIVE!  I challenge you now to teach it to others.  Express gratitude for the little things too (which are actually the big things).  In doing so you enact an invisible act of power and small miracles are created.  So open your little box of goodies from the farm this week and know that you are so, so blessed!  How lucky we are to experience this bounty and to get to share it in the form of delicious meals with the ones we love the most around a table!

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What’s in the Box:

Napa Cabbage- How wonderful are these precious gems?  Napa cabbage typically does better in the cooler temps, but these guys fared the summer heat just fine.  Wonderful eaten raw or cooked, however you like it! 

Melons x 2-  Any combination of melons.  You may have received a yellow watermelon, cantelope, canary melon (yellow rind) , or a lambkin melon (green, stripy rind).  The canary melons have the yellow rind with a crispy, sweet, green inner flesh that are one of our favorite melons for flavor!  The Lamkin melon is a new melon we tried this year with a stripy, green rind and a greenish, crispy, sweet inner flesh similar to the canary melon.    

Sweet Corn x 5-  5 ears per member.  Sweet corn is best eaten fresh!  The longer the ears are off the plant, the less sweet they are.  We recommend eating them up right away or keeping them in the fridge till you get a chance to enjoy them! 

Cucumbers 2-3-  Getting late in to the cucumber season on the farm here.  The cucumbers may be slowing down a bit after this week.  But we still had a nice harvest to share this week! 

Onions 1-2-  White onions. We gave 1-2 this week as their sizes were getting a little smaller. 

Tomatoes- 2.7lb bags per member.  We pick any tomato with a ‘blush’. This means we pick anything with any early signs of ripening.  We need to pick them this way or they become too soft for handling and shipping.  Tomatoes prefer a 50 degree storage temp.  But once you receive them we recommend taking them out of the plastic bag and allowing the to ripen at room temperature.  Never put a tomato in the fridge unless it’s in danger of spoiling from being too ripe.  Refrigerators take the flavor out of tomatoes.  A mixture of romas, yellow heirlooms, pink heirlooms, yellow heirlooms, red slicers and yellow slicers.  You’ll receive a mix of varieties this season from all the different kinds we grow! See images above of funky heirloom behavoir.  If your tomato is shaped funny, it's probably an heirloom!  But their flavor is superior!  

Cherry Tomatoes-  A pint per member.  These are the sun gold cherry tomato that ripen orange.  Please don’t wait for them to turn red as they will not!  The most flavorful tomato we grow!  Enjoy! 

Parsley-  Most members received flat leaf parsley.  But we had to harvest a few bunches of the curly leaf parsley at the end.  If this is too much parsley for you, you can dehydrate and store your remaining parsley!  We recommend a dehydrator or a warm oven for dehydrating and now letting it sit and dry out or it will yellow and loose most of it’s green color. 

Green Beans-  .47lbs bags.  A smaller giving this week, but still a decent giving for this week! 

Broccoli-  1 head of broccoli per member.  Should go right into the fridge for best storage in a plastic bag. 


 Grilled Shrimp Salad with Melons and Feta (A New York Times recipe contributed by a long-time CSA member!)

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Zucchini and Ciabatta Fritatta by Sargento (Contributed and Modified by the same long-time CSA Members)

Sub the Sargento Cheese for 3 oz Parmesan, finely grated

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Creamy Cucumber Tomato Salsa from Together as Family

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Asian Ramen Noodle Salad with Napa Cabbage by Bare Feet in the Kitchen.  One of my personal favorite all-time favorite salads!  

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