FARM NEWSLETTER // WEEK 9
This is week 9 together this summer, which means we are just over half way (16 weeks total). I want you all to know that this does NOT mean that it’s all downhill from here! We love the farm season and all the fresh goodies it brings, and we still have a lot of new varieties coming in the second half of the season to look forward to!!
Everyone knows of the huge storm from yesterday. I took this right after the wind had passed and brought in these awesome clouds. There were tornadoes that touched down within 25 miles of us, and we were put under a tornado warning for a half hour only to be sent another alert 20 minutes later “EXTREME TORNADO THREAT; REACH SHELTER” in capital letters. Man were we relieved when we came out of the basement to find no field or structural damage; worst thing was some big trees dropped and we had garbage all over the yard. We did get a LOT of rain throughout the day though! So much that our rain gauge gave up after 3 inches (but to be fair we didn’t empty it after the morning storm either). Lots of strange weather patterns happening, but we are AOK. There is some standing water but as of now we don’t see any losses.
We are starting to get some ripe melons too, I’m thinking maybe as early as next week we could have those in our shares. When we grow as much as we do, the plants start producing pretty slowly at first. For example the first day with muskmelon we only picked 15, then the next day it was 40 and then the next day it got larger again. Watermelons are the same way, the ones that are ripe right now are the earliest in this patch, not the norm. A week or 2 from now we will have a ton of ripe melons though!
When we have melons in our CSAs they’re on the side of the boxes. We don’t put them into the share boxes because it would potentially crush the produce in there already and also take up so much space that you wouldn’t be getting the best value which is super important to us! So during the watermelon weeks both Ben and I actually have to deliver because the melons not being in the boxes means that we can’t fit everything in one vehicle. So. Many. Melons!!
A quick reminder about CSA pick up. If you put a reminder in your phone with the time frame included, you could set weekly notifications for yourself. I know I’ve had some jokesters tell me “but in coronavirus season, are there really days of the week?” and I think that this year some of us really are having a hard time with remembering the day of the week/ your CSA pick up. Just a helpful tip, I know I set myself reminders all the time and figured it was worth mentioning here.
I will be posting Kristen’s blog post today too! She wrote an awesome piece about eating local and how that benefits all of us. How there is actually dietary benefits also that many people don’t consider when supporting locally, on top of the many other factors.
In the Jumbo & Family Shares this week you can expect: Sweet Corn, Muskmelon, Spaghetti Squash, Bok Choy, Summer Squash, Cucumbers & Slicing Tomatoes!
In the Single Shares this week you can expect: Sweet Corn, Muskmelon, Spaghetti Squash, Bok Choy, Pickles & Roma Tomatoes!
The muskmelon are coming in hot and heavy- just like we expected. It’s something that once we start harvesting, we expect to harvest everyday until they’re gone. They turn that fast too- they’re underripe one day and the next day you go out there and they’ve ripened overnight. It’s strange how it happens! Tomatoes for example will take days to go from orange to a deep red, muskmelon don’t take their sweet time. Their whole existence is to reproduce their seeds, and the more sugar content the more successful germination will be the following year. So even on a biological level, the melons want to be as sweet as possible!
Sweet Corn is coming again this week! If you’re tired of having it traditionally on the cob, try cooking it and cutting it off the cob. I had a CSA Member tell me that they tried an awesome chilled corn zucchini chowder and she shared the recipe with me! I still have to try it but it looks sooo good! I'm adding it to the newsletter this week. Corn is also one of the varieties that is fairly easy to store for the winter. Just blanch it and get it into ice water, then cut the kernels off of the cob and place in a bag. Squish out as much air as you can and put a date on the bag before popping it into the freezer. When we talk about putting food up for winter, I don’t want anyone to think they need to go out and get canning jars. If you want to- great! But most people will not be canning produce like this (especially because you’d need a pressure canner for corn because of the low acid content). Freezing is super simple and it does preserve it well!
Bok Choy! This is traditionally a spring weather kind of crop. These are bigger than you’re probably used to seeing them but honestly it’s a bigger bang for your buck. This is like the Chinese stir fry veggie. They are long and grow upright & are basically 2 veggies in one! The leaves can be used like spinach, it can be eaten raw or cooked. The stems are thick and very comparable to celery, they have a nice texture and crunch. I know I mention how we add different things to our dishes at different times, but with bok choy this is VERY important! (You can’t just toss everything from a stir fry in a pan or some stuff will be undercooked and some will be soggy/ overcooked).
These are so delicate. We can’t even place a handful of them in a bin without damaging the outer leaves. It doesn’t affect it’s value in the kitchen but please just know that we will be handling these as carefully as possible. We try really hard to make sure everything looks nice, but this is one of those that is bound to be a challenge for us to handle it at all really.
Tomatoes! We need to mention that the plan is to stick to one kind of tomatoes for each of the sizes of shares. However, depending on the amount of ripe tomatoes we may end up giving you a combination of the two types of tomatoes. We do grow multiple varieties of both romas and larger tomatoes too (as a precaution for disease resistance), but we categorize them as the 2 general types. Do not refrigerate your tomatoes unless you’ve already cut into them, that will destroy the texture and flavor of the tomato.
**This recipe is in the newsletter & posted to the blog too!
Spaghetti squash is coming again this week and I can tell you with confidence this is the last time we’ll have it in large enough quantities to add to our CSA Shares so please enjoy it while it lasts! If you still haven’t tried it- please do :) Just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, rub some olive oil on the inside and add salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for about a half hour (more for larger squash) and then it’s done! You don’t even have to add anything to it. If you have a hard time cutting it in half (I do!) I put it in the microwave for a minute or 2 and the flesh softens enough though it’s still hard to cut a bit. Some people cook their squash from start to finish in the microwave, though I haven’t tried it that is another method to enjoying it.
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend,
~The Farmer’s Wife