Week 8 ~ July 12 – July 17 CSA Newsletter

This Weeks Share: Head Lettuce, Big Green (kale or collards), A Brassica (cauliflower, broccoli or cabbage), Carrots, Onions, Fennel, Summer Squash and a Farmer’s Choice Item.

  • Lettuce:  This week we have more lettuce for you.  In all likelihood you will get to enjoy fresh lettuce until all the spring lettuce is harvested unless it bolts. So far so good (for lettuce). It’s been a crazy spring! Have some more fresh salads.
  • A Big Green: We will have Kale or Collards as the ‘big green’ for you this week. Your big, braising green is the green most palettes prefer cooked as opposed to the mild raw lettuces. In the heat, we don’t even cook the big greens. I have the family pretty used to the addition of other greens in fresh salads. Just tear them from the stalks first and then they’re nice and lettuce like. If you have other strong and interesting flavors in your salads, such as sunflower seeds, feta or goat cheese, green olives, eggs, fennel, raisins, apples, etc….then the mildly bitter (deliciously different!) flavors of the big greens are barely noticeable. Eating farm fresh and local involves greens other than lettuce and we hope to make some new fans out of some of you yet!
  • Onions: More onion bulbs for folks this week. I finally have Ava used to taking at least one bite of mom’s raw onion snack. Remarkably, no heartburn or acid stomach has been felt by us from eating these raw. How about you?
  • Brassica: The Brassica this week will be either broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage again. You may get a mixed bag of broccoli and cauliflower florets. We have grown a few heirloom varieties this year which have more open heads than conventional broccoli or cauliflower, and some have different colors in them.  I have found this http://motherrimmy.com/wordpress/?p=5849 yummy looking broccoli and cauliflower salad recipe that doesn’t look to drown your vegetables in mayonnaise. I like mayo okay, but am not a huge fan of gobs of it! This recipe looks really nice and light. I’m trying it tonight as I happen to have cran-raisins and pumpkin seeds. I think our sweet, fresh cabbage would be great in it as well. Let me know if you try it.
  • Fennel: Once again, we have fennel for you. I am a little shocked that we are still harvesting  fennel. It looked like some wasn’t going to take this season, but I guess I’m biting my tongue….we have a bunch that looks great! Hopefully you are all still enjoying it. I have never eaten fennel as much as this year and am getting very used to it’s delicate flavor and hearty crunch in our salads. I for one will be sorry when it’s gone. We have had several contributed recipes for fennel so scroll back in weeks passed for more recipes if you haven’t already tried them. I have been telling some of you about putting the greens on pizza as I find they pair so well with melted cheese. This recipe for fennel pizza  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/health/nutrition/27recipehealth.html from May in the Times uses both the fennel bulb and fronds. Yum!
  • Carrots: Glorious little sweet baby carrots are getting harvested for everyone this week. It’s not an easy thing to grow carrots organically in our clay thick soils. We are very pleased to have them to bring to you. They are examples of what we are better becoming capable of, as we slowly build up these heavy soil beds to more loamy, light but high organic matter beds. Every year, our root crops look better. However, we did have some phenomenal beets last year! We are nursing along some nice beets now….probably in a couple weeks you’ll get those.
  • Summer Squash: The zucchini’s, crooknecks and paddy pans are finally making it into your share. The heat does very well for growing squash  plants. Some of the babies are still being harvested, but some are coming on of respectable size. We have several types of zucchini – yellow ones, traditional elongated greens, elongated light and striped, and round Italian ones. They all taste about the same. However, the round Italian ones are fabulous for stuffing … http://rkitchen.blogspot.com/2009/06/stuffed-round-zucchini.html . Also, any of the summer squash are lovely in sweet and savory recipes such as breads and muffins. I have tried yellow paddy-pans in a zucchini-bread recipe before and they were great! However, don’t underestimate the simple light sauté of summer squash, with olive oil or butter. We had this with kale and a couple tomatoes with a light melting of Asiago alongside a steak this weekend. Just a fabulous summer collection of flavors! I am so anxious for OUR farm fresh tomatoes, I can taste them now! They have a ways to go yet…..
  • Farmer’s Choice: The surprise item in your share this week will likely be some Cilantro, the last of the Peas, or some Kholrabi. We have smaller than for all amounts left of these items out in the fields and needing final harvests. Last week I said you may get radish, but we ended up having turnips. There will be no more spring radish or turnips now. Hopefully you enjoyed your turnips. In case you are not familiar, Kholrabi is like a little cabbage and tastes like broccoli stems or kinda like cabbage. I like this write up at Simply Recipes and lots of links as well… http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/kohlrabi/

BERRY SHARE: This is week 5 for the berry-share. We only really have black-raspberries ripe now, and so we have these little flavor gems again for berry-share holders this week. We wanted to have them for everyone but picking them is not yielding enough for large harvests in little time. Actually it appears as though the entire black-raspberry season, state-wide will be over after this week! The fruits are already starting to seem slightly crumbly. That was the work of too much heat too fast. At least the other black berries and Marion-berries seem to be gradually ripening. This is true of the blueberries as well.

FARM NEWS: Well this week is starting with a nice cooler couple days and we welcome it! Irrigation scrambling during the heat isn’t the most enjoyable part of farming, but we get through it. Most plants saw a nice push in growth in the heat. So did the weeds. I have been pulling lots of weeds lately. Pepper’s, tomatoes and eggplant all looking good. Beans are doing okay. Corn is finally growing.

The weather ‘movie-stars’ as my father likes to call them, have been slightly vacillating with the temperatures for the week ahead. I’ve seen high 80’s, low 80’s and now high 70’s. Any of those will be nice, don’t you think? This cooler, cloud covered morning is rather nice. The milder warmth is very nice for gradually ripening berries, rather than having them burn out quickly in the heat.

Our bees swarmed and left us a while back. We are bummed, but considering they simply arrived on their own it is completely synchronistic that after a year and already one swarm they move on entirely. We were admittedly absent-minded bee-keepers this go round. However, in the future we hope to devote  more time and energy to the bee’s and their keeping.  There are so many possibilities on the farm…..so little time…..now anyway. We are instead pretty involved in the keeping of our little ones now. As it should be. Growing your food and growing our girls are the priorities. Success in those is what matters today.

We are officially going to open for pick-your-own berries this weekend. We can only offer it on the weekends due to harvesting for the CSA all week. If you want to come out to the farm for berries for jam or the freezer, just call me Friday’s to set up a time. Hope everyone has a great week. See you soon!

Your farmers

Enjoy the cold day of the week!

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