Howdy CSA Comrades!
Delivery is on Wednesday this week, today! Please note we will do Wednesday delivery next week as well! September 8th we will go back to our usual Thursday pick-up. Thanks to everyone for their flexibility towards scheduling.
The weather, well, I forgot to include that thrilling information in the last newsletter. Rookie move. The weather has been something to talk about lately, with temperatures consistently in the low 80’s during the day and much cooler nights. What a treat it is when it’s not 80 degrees by 8am! The crisp early mornings are energizing after the warm blanket we’ve had wrapped around us. Fall weather is just around the bend. In the field the tomato plants are preparing for their new home in the compost pile, as well as the cukes, zukes and patty pans. The winter squash are still doing well, I look forward to next year when we plan to devote a half acre to winter squash and pumpkins! I am directly seeding radishes, turnips, and spinach into the field on Thursday with The Planet Jr. Walk behind-seeder. I will capture some photos and video to attach to the website to show off the essential, antique equipment we have.
In the greenhouse I seeded more kale and hope this planting does better than the last. The insects are taking a toll on my plants and my mind, as soon as I think I understand the culprit a new species enters the arena. Wabbits, worms, beatles oh my! Perhaps I can seek out an entomologist for guidance…..
As for the lil’ Russians they are struggling to understand that homework is constant and it must be completed, almost every day. Their busy 8 and 11 year old schedules make it hard to fit homework in. Far too many Legos to build and splashes to be made in the pond. Their “super helper” skills may be missing these days but the void is once again filled by someone who is rocking it out with me! My Mom! Now that she isn’t juggling the constant daily needs, wants and whines of the boys she is able to get in the field, get dirty and get er’ done. CSA harvest and packing days rely heavily on her presence. I’m thankful for a Mom that doesn’t hesitate to help even when the work may be challenging and often seemingly, endless. Thanks Mom!
****Confessions and Reflections from your Farmer****
This is my 3 rd year as a vegetable farmer, and 2 nd year as a CSA grower. I want to be humble and transparent with everyone about the experience so far. My first year I had “bumper” crops across the board and only a small-town, very slow, farmer’s market to sell my produce. Then last year with a full-time employee, we had abundance and wide variety as well as record rain and weeds. Looking back on that year, the historical rains in June were overshadowed by the excellent health and diversity throughout the field. This year, the third year in production on this field, (and in my life) has been a whirlwind of discovery, climbing, stumbling and getting back up again and hiking forth. Fellow farmers have voiced that actually this is a common sequence. 1st year bumper crops, 2nd year strong and steady, 3rd year the learning “curve” or what I call mountain, steepens. The plateaus are nonexistent in this biz and that’s okay. That’s great in fact, farming will always evolve, and it will challenge us, and we will grow. Discovering that I share similar experiences as other farmers reassures and motivates me. More immediately, I reflect on this year’s lack of Kale and Specialty greens, Carrots, and Beets. As well as the lack of diversity overall, for example last year we had unique offerings like fennel, chard and various herbs. Also, there’s a lot of repetition throughout this season.* I will note, when crops are bountiful in their season that is what we eat, we “eat in season.” Summer = tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, etc. CSA thrives on the collective commitment we have with each other as well as the commitment to eat in season. I can take accountability for the lack of more exciting items or even staple items available, as I continue to force tomatoes into everyone’s lives, week after week. Fennel, heat-tolerant Head Lettuce or Swiss Chard would have been ideal to accompany these items! All I am trying to convey throughout this confession/reflection is that I notice where I am falling short and will continue my commitment to learning and improving for the remainder of this year and beyond.
What to expect in the box on August 24, 2016:
Potatoes – Austrian Crescent Fingerlings and German Butterball
Peppers – Bell and Green Italian Frying Peppers – no hot peppers so don’t be scared
Patty Pan – I love these things! Grill them or get creative.
Tomatoes – Red slicing, small cherry tomatoes, San Marzano paste tomatoes (the long shaped variety)
Garlic – this will store well on the counter or the fridge
Basil – This herb goes well with all of the above in my opinion
Grilled Patty Pan Bruschetta - http://www.irenematys.com/#!grilled-pattypan/we270
Delicious Gratin variation - http://www.food.com/recipe/potato-green- pepper-tomato- gratin-101583
*I plan to be at Garden Ave. by 2pm, then Lunt, then campus between 3-3:30pm
*As always, we recommend washing the produce before indulging.
Have a blast swinging away on Thursday!
“Grow, inspire, repeat.”
Edgewood Farm Organics