If I were to write a spoof horror film based on my job, it would be called, “The Ripening.” It would be filmed Blair Witch Project style, first person, amateur camera work . . . from the perspective of a panicked farmer rushing around the farm trying desperately (on a hot, humid day) to harvest as much produce as possible before a looming rain storm.
I realize this might not totally make sense to all of you, but I just wanted to try and help you understand how much pressure there is to pick, pick, pick – especially when the weather is hot, and things are ripening (and potentially becoming over-ripe/splitting/being attacked by pests) at a rate barely within your capacity to manage.
Last Friday we rushed through the field tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, grabbing only the ripest ones, then rushed to the storage onions, a harvest project that went on all week. We wanted to get them out of the field before this epic stretch of wet weather which would have made harvest much harder and potentially reduced the storage life of the onions which we need to last until February. We tried to grow less onions this year, but somehow we grew more . . .
We did great. We didn’t get every tomato, there will be splits in the field this week, and about 100 bed feet of the healthiest, sturdiest onions got left at 7:00pm when Kevin and I bailed so he could put everything we picked into the greenhouse to cure and I could take Harvey home for a desperately needed bath and bedtime.
Harvey is only just able to be on the farm without completely detracting from one person’s productivity (unless of course he is sleeping). He is definitely not helpful (I mean come on, he’s a year and a half old . . . ) but we decided that both of us being there with Harvey was more productive than one of us going home with him, which is a big change. Just barely, but it was also nice to spend time together.
We picked a lot of tomatoes on Thursday and Friday, and more to pick tomorrow. This week and next will be the peak of tomato season for our farm this year, much earlier than last year. Get ready for large amounts.
This woman has some good advice for freezing tomatoes/cooked down tomatoes: Save Time Preserving Your Tomatoes
We also have a lot of cherry tomatoes, which are great cooked as well as raw. I made a fast pasta dish last night for supper.
1/2lb onion (sauteed on medium heat until translucent) + 1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (cut in half and cooked with onions, after the onions were almost done, for about 3 minutes on medium heat)
1.5lb zucchini (cut in half and roasted in oven at 400 for 25 minutes) then cut into bite-size pieces after cooling slightly.
10 basil leaves finely chopped, more would be better but I only had ten
cooked pasta (whatever you like) coated in olive oil
Put pasta on a plate, put veggies on top, but basil on top of veggies. Enjoy.
We also still have cucumber coming out of our ears. So if you want to make pickles now is the time. I strongly recommend this article on how to make your own fridge pickles.
I appreciate everyone continuing to eat fresh this week. The corn is still coming in but there are more bugs than before. The corn will be in a choice so if you don’t want more, no problem. If you do, it still tastes great but there will be more damage to remove this week. We will offer a few carrots/beets/onions/potatoes in the choice but we really need you to eat the produce that doesn’t hold, like tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, melons, cherry tomatoes, peppers and corn.
Olivia made excellent corn chowder that you can find the recipe for here.
We are going to start to see ripe peppers in the share. We leave at least 50% of all ripe peppers we grow in the field because of extreme blemishes, so we value them at a very high value (the same as grocery stores). We grow mini-ripe peppers because they are less likely to have bug damage/sun scald – so don’t be worried that a small pepper is a hot pepper, they are just mini sweet peppers.
What’s in the share:
Tomatoes (something like 4-5lbs in the small share and 7-8lbs in the large) Please handle these gently, we take great care not to damage them when harvesting/bringing to the stand. Treat vegetables like eggs.
Melons (2 per share)
Sweet Corn and Lettuce (in a choice with carrots/beets/onions/potatoes – read instructions carefully this week!)
Cherry tomatoes – try roasting them whole!
(The eggplants are going through their august slow-down, we should see more back in the share next week)