Small Family Farm CSA

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September Seventh

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On Week 15 out of 20 Summer Share deliveries, your farmers are aware of their bodies.  It is interesting to watch how a farm-worker’s body changes throughout the season.  When a season is young and new our bodies are rested and seem to contain a storage reservoir of energy and agility that will carry us far into a growing season.  As a growing season wears on, so does the toll taken on a body that has been well-used and worked for an extended harvest period. 

I have noticed that when I go stand up after sitting for a bit, the legs feel stiff and tired.  When I go to lift a bin of tomatoes, they feel heavier than a bin of kohlrabi felt in the Spring.  When I think about walking out to field 9 to join the crew, I think about driving out now instead to conserve my energy.  Our shoulders and wrists and elbows feel tired and used from the continual weeding, pulling, lifting, scraping and pushing of plants, fruits, earth and machines. 

Farming is athletic in nature which is something I have always loved about it.  My body thrives when it is used.  On an organic vegetable farm a body is often in motion.  We do bending, kneeling, crawling, reaching, twisting, lifting, squatting and even a little standing and sitting at times.  Our hearts receive a steady and consistent, but not strenuous and intense workout.  And while the use and exercise felt welcome and nourishing in the Spring, a decline in the sheer weight of it all would be welcome at this point.  But the vegetables in the Fall usually get heavier and not lighter. 

A farmer needs to pace themselves the way a marathon runner needs to pace themselves when thinking about finishing the race.  The key is to put one foot in front of the other and maintain a steady and consistent pace.  The body will receive a rest once we cross the finish line in November, but for now we need to stay nourished, rested and strong.  A part of me loves this mental and physical stamina challenge while part of me wants to simply lie down.  The fruits of our labors are rich and worthwhile.   It feels good to not have to worry about consuming too many calories, but to worry about consuming enough.    

As the season wanes and we enter the last few months of farm work, I feel thankful for the waning sunlight and that our working hours are limited.  I feel thankful for the waning surge that the plant-life contains.  While I will soak up every hour of the sun’s rays on my face and hands as I can, I will honor the dark side of the day and the rest it encourages.  The weeds grow slower, the grass grows slower, the planting is done.  Now we focus on the harvest. 

This week we will dig potatoes for the Fall CSA boxes and begin to harvest our winter squashes.  All heavy and dense fruits and tubers that offer a festive sort of feel in their reaping.  Somehow we forget that we’re working and that our bodies are tired and a little sore among the chatter and laughter in the fields.  We forget how hard we’ve worked to get to this point and even though it was hard work, it was purposeful and we will joyfully get up and do it again each day until the work is done. 

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What’s in the Box?

Melons-  You may have received either a cantaloupe, watermelon, lambkin, or canary.  This is the final melon giving of the season where we shared a mix of the melons that we had left to share.  We had a great melon run and will miss them dearly until next summer! 

Tomatoes-  Tomatoes are hitting hard these days taking up a lot of our crew time for harvest.  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! 

Purple Cabbage-  A nice purple cabbage to add color to your box.  These guys usually store nicely in the fridge. 

Onion-  Either a yellow or a white onion this week. 

Garlic-  One bulb of garlic per member.  Stores nicely in the fridge for long term.  Is also fine on the counter until the new year. 

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  Also called a banana pepper.  They are technically a hot pepper,

Green Beans-  .75lbs green beans.  This is also the final green bean giving of the season.  It takes a lot of people a lot of hours to pick this many green beans!  We are offering that any CSA member who likes is welcome to come to the farm and pick more green beans if they like.  There are still a lot of green beans out there to pick, we just need to use our crew time for other harvests now. 

Cherry Tomatoes-  1.1lbs cherry tomatoes.  We’re so happy to be able to give this many cherry tomatoes per member this year.  These are also a very time-consuming harvest but since these little Sun Golds are so flavorful and delicious, we figure they’re worth the time!  We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! 

Brussels Sprouts Tops-  This time of year we ‘top’ the brussels sprout plants.  This process tells the plant that it’s time to stop growing upwards, but to begin sending their energy towards the sprouts so that the sprouts grow larger and we don’t just get a really tall plant with tiny brussels sprouts.  It just so happens that the leaves on the top of the plant are edible.  They cook up much like kale or cabbage or collards as they are in the brassica family also.  Do you think they have a ‘brussels sprouts flavor’? 

Next Week's Best Guess:  Green Cabbage, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, cherry tomatoes, onion, sweet peppers, carrots, kale?


Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Apples, Walnuts, Balsamic and Goad Cheese by 

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Gaspacho Cold Tomato Soup with Bruchetta by Family Food on the Table

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Baked Ratatoulli by Everyday Delicious

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Green Beans with Tomatoes by Pioneer Woman

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