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August 1, 2015

This Week's Share

August brings much sweetness to the share. Watermelons are just starting to roll in. Our fridge sized melons are Sugar baby and Sunshine. Sugar babies are a deep rose colored flesh and sweet as ever. Sunshines are yellow fleshed and every bit as delicious (if not more) then red melons. Yum! We will also have some "Sun jewels", an Asian crisp type melon, crisp when ripe, similar to a pear in flavor.

After a brief hiatus, lettuce will be back. We also have some beautiful salad greens coming in from the field. Much arugula for summer salads. The cukes are rally winding down now, we'll get what we can (they might be a little funny looking, they tend to get pointy ends in older plantings). Our next planting is still sizing up, but really looking good.

Below is a recipe we rely on heavily in deep summer when cooking feels like a chore. Its so easy and you can really dump tons of vegetables into it. What are your go to easy vegetable recipes? I am always looking for more.

Recipe of the Week: 

Red coconut curry

Ingredients: 
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbs. thai red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. basil, chopped
  • 1-2 tbs. Thai fish sauce
  • 2 c. chopped vegetables
  • 1 chopped onions
  • 1 tbs. oil
Directions: 

Add oil to a pan and saute onion. Add chopped meat if you like and cook lightly. Add vegetables and saute lightly then add coconut milk, curry paste and sugar. Cook until vegetables are tender (don't overcook). Add beans and nuts if you like. Add fish sauce and basil. Serve with rice.

Credit: 
On bottle of our curry paste with some slight modifications.

August and everything after

A crew favorite, melons are so refreshing after a hot harvest day.
A crew favorite, melons are so refreshing after a hot harvest day.

Dear Friends,

Another July has come and gone. August offers it’s own particular challenges for us here on the farm, but getting through July in one piece(more or less) is an accomplishment not to be over looked. We have planted almost the entire farm at this point. We only have a few more beds of broccoli and cauliflower to put in and the fall brassicas will be finished. The storage roots are all but complete except for a couple beds of watermelon radishes and turnips scheduled for the middle of August. We will keep seeding salad greens and lettuce right up until October but after the thousands of plants we’ve put in the ground already, that seems like a walk in the park.

August marks a huge period of transition on the farm. The month begins as summery as summer can get, but by the end of the month we will be thinking about digging potatoes and winter squash. August is the month when the harvest really kicks into full throttle. As the melons and tomatoes really start to produce, we will be spending more and more of our time filling buckets, boxes and bins with lovely produce. It’s a good thing we’re almost done planting, since we don’t really have the time for it right now.

In addition to the daily harvest for the CSA we also need to start thinking about some bulk harvests. Last week we went through and picked all of the fresh onions from the field. These are the delicious white and red onions you have all been enjoying in the share. Unlike their storage crop cousins,these onions won’t cure and need to be kept in the fridge. They don’t hold very well in the field either, so we bring them in from the field to keep them safe in cold storage. We picked about 4,500 pounds of white and red onions last week, which is nothing to shake a stick at! This of course pales in comparisons to the 10,000 or so pounds of yellow storage onions that are still in the field. In about a week or so we will begin thinking about harvesting these pungent friends of ours. In order to harvest and cure storage onions, we will first pull the entire crop from the ground and than leave them in the field for a couple days. Once they have dried down a bit in the field we will bring them into our greenhouse to finish drying. This process allows their necks to seal so they will keep just fine on a countertop or in the cupboard. The onions mark the beginning of what we affectionately refer to as ‘heavy season’, that wonderful time of year when we can cancel the gym membership and eat as much as we want.

August also marks a period of transition for our farm crew. We will begin the month with our crew at its largest size of the year(as many as eight people harvested and packed Tuesdays share!) and end the month with a far more austere crew. As we transition to the September the weeds stop growing quite as fast and the focus switches almost exclusively to harvesting both for our immediate needs as well as the winter. We are able to survive with a smaller more intimate crew of folks. At times in the height of summer, there is almost no limit to the amount of hands we could use on the farm, however sometimes in the fall a smaller crew is really better. It allows us to be more agile in our activities and move quickly from task to task. Of course, on the days when we’re pulling in thousands of pounds of potatoes, beets or carrots we really miss the additional help from earlier in the summer.

August has got to be one of the best months for eating and enjoying the share. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons, kale, onions, squash, herbs, carrots, beets, really too many crops to name. The meal possibilities are endless. The options for experimentation are abundant. Sometimes the results are amazing and may make it into the newsletter, other times the results are less than stellar and may find their way into the compost, mostly intact. The only limit is your imagination. Peanut butter and cantaloupe? Is it good? Bad? I suppose we’re just going to have to wait for the cantaloupes to get here so we can find out.

Hannah, Mary, Marycia, Michelle, Erica and Larry

Your Farmers

Max and Kerry

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