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July 15, 2018

This Week's Share

Those baby eggplants I saw last week became big eggplants and we'll start to see them trickling in. The Asian type varieties are the first to ripen. They grow long and slender and are perfect for stir fries but also really good however you would like to use eggplants. They will be followed in a week or two by the Italian varieties which are the oblong plump ones. Hopefully, we will be flooded in them soon. Eggplants are a tricky crop in terms of storing them. Its really best to consume them as soon as possible because they don't like to be chilled by your fridge. Best to keep them as far away from the blower in your fridge as possible, perhaps in a crisper drawer. The cold will make them discolor, but they are still edible. They like to be 50 degrees, so if you have AC they might do better on your counter, though they will start to soften with time. They'll still be tasty though!

The early tomatoes are in. This crop is beautiful this year and the plants are loaded. We have red slicers for now but once the field tomatoes kick in, we'll have all sorts.

Our white full size onions are here and you won't be dissapointed by these! These rank high in our favorite crops. They are so sweet and mild, every sandwich gets a thick slice in our house. They are also fantastic on the grill, or cooked in anything.

Basil downy mildew has been reported in western MA which unfortunatly means that the basil may not be around for much longer. The dry weather we have had should help keep it at bay, but it will eventually move into our area. There aren't many tools in the organic farming toolbox to stop it, so best to make your pesto now and enjoy the basil while it lasts.

It has been a super buggy spring, so our next planting of cooking greens is a little holey. But the early picks off a new kale crop are always tender and delicious so we can still enjoy them! The chard has been ravaged this year by leaf miner, so the next planting will just get mowed. We have another planting in the ground far away in a field where we haven't seen this pest, so it'll be back in a bit.

Recipe of the Week: 

Eggplant tomato stir-fry

Ingredients: 

1-2 Asian eggplants
1 onion
2-3 tomatoes
soy sauce
rice wine vinegar
sesame oil
2 tbs olive oil
a couple cloves of garlic

Directions: 

Chop onions and garlic. Slice eggplants into thin rounds and chop onions into small cubes. Heat oil in a pan or wok. Add onions and garlic and cook stirring until translucent. Add tomatoes and cook until soft. Add eggplants and cook until tender. Season with vinegar and soy sauce. Turn heat off and add sesame oil. Serve over rice.

Credit: 
Kerry's coworker at Brookfield used to make it for breakfast

The one shot crop

Garlic galore!
Garlic galore!

Dear friends,

This was a week of major farm milestones. There are certain events that happen every season that mark pivotal points of transition. The first time we get the plow in the ground marks the true beginning of spring, and the winter squash harvest signifies the end of the summer and start of the fall. Well, this week we had not one significant event occur, but two!

The garlic harvest is one of my favorite harvests of the season. Of all the crops we grow, garlic is in the ground by far the longest. Since we plant it in October, it spends over 9 months in the ground. Garlic is also one of the crops I feel like we have the least control over during the growing season. We can weed it and watch it, and that’s basically it. We plant multiple successions of other crops throughout the season, but with garlic, we only get one shot a year. One chance for an amazing success or an abysmal failure. The garlic harvest happens one time a year, and while it doesn’t usher in the change of a season, I do tend to view the world differently when we’re post garlic harvest rather than when it’s still in the ground.

While harvesting garlic is always an exciting time, this year was especially so since our crop looks absolutely amazing. After a few years of really lackluster garlic crops, we finally hit a home run. The bulbs are large, consistent and abundant. While I would like to take credit for their success, the real credit should go to our friends from Fort Hill Farm in New Milford who we got the seed from. If you want to grow great crops you need great seed and the seed we got last year was top notch. Ever the modest folk, when we notified them of our great success, they turned the credit to the folks in the old country who developed this strain of garlic over hundreds of years.

The other pivotal, life altering moment this past week came when we went out and found beautiful red tomatoes in our high tunnel. Tomatoes make everything better. Its a great feeling when you go out to see if you have one or two fruit changing from green to red and come back with over 200! I love the way the tomatoes trickle in at first. It really forces us to savor the first picks. Eventually (if things go according to plan) we will be swimming in maters, but for the time being they are few and precious. The sauce will come later but for right now there are tomatoes sandwiches slathered with mayo, or paired with basil and fresh mozzarella to savor over the kitchen sink.

Usually, the farm owns us. But for one or two sweet moments this week, we owned the farm.

Update to calf story: Lots of you have been asking, and there really isn't too much more to report. My final conclusion is that probably the most logical explanation is that Kerry misidentified the calf, though that seams nearly impossible, since at this point, we are all competent in that aspect of things. Still, we've been short on sleep lately, so I suppose its possible. There are also very rare circumstances where a cow can be bred twice, in which case Vixon could have had two calves at different times, but its rare and contested in the cattle world. I guess it'll just remain a mystery!


Your farmers,

Anthony, Chris, Erica, Hannah, Holly, Kerry and Max

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