Summer CSA – Week6

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Killing weeds as fast as we can. This is one of our two cultivating tractors. 

Reminder, tasting tours this week.  Come walk the fields with us and taste some fresh produce and other goodies.  It’s a great chance to see where you food comes from.

Tuesday and Thursday 4:45-5:30/5:45.  No need to RSVP.  Tours leave from the stand.  Kids more than welcome. Free for CSA members, $10 per non-CSA member family. We will cancel if there is a thunderstorm.

It’s still so hot.  A few cool nights and reasonable days and somehow I forgot that is it the middle of summer and the planet is warming. What a different season from last year.  We’ll have eggplant in the share this week, and the first tomatoes next week.  We have harvested a few pounds of tomatoes already, but with 240 share members, we need to wait just a little longer to have enough for everyone.

This heat has made life for our leafy greens a little tough.  We’ll have a little lettuce mix in the share this week, but there will be a gap in the lettuce for next week (unless I can work some farmer trade magic, but it’s this hot all over eastern MA).  There is new lettuce that should be ready in two weeks.  We hate to have a gap, but we know it happens.  For those of you who are happy for a break from salads, next week is for you!

We are happy about the forecast tomorrow evening.  We’ve got a big crew tomorrow AM to get some massive projects done before the rain.  11 of us are going to work from 7-12 to pick the Tuesday shares, weed the edges of the cherry tomato beds, hoe the weeds in the pathways of the winter squash, pull the big weeds from the potato beds, lay the mulch to suppress weeds in the third planting of cucumber and zucchini . . . the list goes on, but as you can see, its a long one. Kevin, Erin and I will round out the afternoon.

We’ve still got plenty of planting to do – by Friday we will plant more: beets, carrots, basil, sunflowers, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, zucchini, arugula and kale.

Wednesday we get to spot-weed the beans (the first will hopefully be in your share next week) and finally, finally do a perfect hand weed in the flower area. YAY. The weeds are magnificently vigorous on our farm, even in a hot dry year, and it take a lot of cultivation to keep them at bay.

We are busy taking care of summer crops but also planting and tending to our fall and winter CSA crops as well.  We could not afford to be in business without our fall and winter CSA.  We have late land that can’t be planted until June, making it ideal for winter squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, fall broccoli etc.  We also double-crop our Spring CSA and early summer CSA beds to make the most of our space. (e.g., popcorn is now waist high where the spring CSA vegetables grew.)

If you haven’t signed up for your Fall or Winter CSA yet, now is your chance to lock in the early bird discount.  Yes, it is supposed to be over but I have been so caught up in growing vegetables I haven’t been able to focus on selling vegetables and I’ve done a terrible job promoting the end of the early bird discount, so I am extending it!  Sign up by July 31st to lock in the early bird discount for Fall and Winter vegetables.

SIGN UP HERE For Fall and Winter CSA Shares

We are growing you a few treats that are loving this hot weather.

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Yep.  Sweet corn.  We grow organically, as most of you know, although we don’t carry the certification, and we will never spray chemicals (most sweet corn gets sprayed a lot).  We seem to be in-between flights of the corn earworm so . . . lucky us!).  It probably wont’ be perfect, you might have to cut the tips off some of the ears but the flavor will be awesome.  Just giving you a heads up about what’s to come. We are hoping for 3-4 weeks with some sweet corn in the shares.

This is an “I love you” crop for the CSA.  Everyone is surprised when I tell them sweet corn is one of the least profitable crops we can grow.  The important economic principal is: just because you can sell it, doesn’t mean you are making money.  Sweet corn takes up a lot of space and time in the field.  In the same amount of space and time it takes to grow two ears of corn I could grow 2-3 bunches of radishes and 2-3 heads of lettuce. Even if I charge $1/ear (what our peers charge for certified organic sweet corn) and even if radish and lettuce yields were low (just two each, retailing at 2.5/bunch or head) that’s $2 for corn vs. $10 for radish and lettuce. Yes you can take into account reduced labor for the corn, but it’s not $8 worth. But we all love sweet corn, and I love you, so we are growing it.  If we have extra we might sell some, but this is our extra special, “thanks for being in our CSA” crop. Two weeks and you should start to see some ears in your share.  We don’t have enough early land to get an early crop in, so we did two later plantings.

We’ve got a lot of weight coming in this week’s share.  We are doing our first mix and match weight option.  The choice will be: cucumber, zucchini, beets, kohlrabi and onions (with a potential smattering of other veggies).  Small and large share can mix and match these veggies up to a certain weight limit. Get ready for more weighty, less leafy shares for the next month or so – we are entering the height of the summer season!

What’s in the share:

Cabbage
Celery/Kale Choice
Carrots
Lettuce Mix

Weight Choice:

Cucumber
Zucchini/Squash
Beets
Kohlrabi
Fresh Onions

What to make.

Kevin made me a killer tuna salad with chopped carrots and celery and fresh onion.  I don’t know the details but I don’t think there was much more than that and salt and pepper.  You could do the same with chicken or tempeh if you aren’t into Tuna.

Beet and Cucumber Salad (1lb beets, 1lb cucumber) My favorite chilled and enjoyed with grilled veggies

Don’t forget to grill.  You can even grill cabbage. Our nextdoor neighbor is the cooking instructor at Keefe Tech (amazing coincidence, huh?) and he LOVES when we send a cabbage his way for the grill.

25 refreshing summer coleslaw recipes.

Eggplant should just get brushed with oil and grilled or baked (so good). Or you can try this recipe: Eggplant Caponata.

I can’t imagine wanting to eat stew right now, but we don’t have air conditioning . . .however, this recipe sounds delish: Sausage stew with eggplant and celery.

Use carrot tops and celery greens to make your own veggie stock (one of my favorite things to do).  This DIY veggie stock post has great ideas for what scraps you can used for stock.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

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