CSA distribution #7 & newsletter

The next CSA distribution will be Monday June 17 and Thursday June 20. Another week of reasonable weather and lots of work getting done in these long early summer days. We enjoyed showing members around the farm on Sunday and are looking forward to the next event. Everything’s growing, and if the weather doesn’t throw us any more curve balls we’re set up for a reasonable summer.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE
NEW! Kohlrabi These unusual vegetables aren’t very space-efficient, but we love their flavor and so grow enough to give out for a week or two. These will be smallish, but nice and crunchy and a bit sweet. Cut them into chunks and put them on a salad or stir fry them, or grate them for a slaw. Also check out Fair Share Farm’s nice writeup on using these.
NEW! Swiss chard This planting turned out fairly spotty, but there’s enough to get some to everyone. It’s another useful cooking green like kale or mustard; the stems are edible too.
Hakurei turnips
Kale
Head lettuce
Strawberries Hoping to get one more nice pulse out, but probably the last week for these. Eric’s back hopes so!
Snap peas The first round of our main planting, these will be more plentiful than last week. Snow peas will be another week or two.
Garlic scapes Probably the last week for these; lower yields than usual this year.
Green onions
The overwintered onions are done. We’ll take a week break, then start in on the long beds of spring-planted scallions, which will supply basic alliums for weeks to come.

HERBS
Garlic chives

Chives
Orange mint

Kentucky Colonel mint
Thyme Flowering heavily & could use a little time off.
Oregano
Tarragon
Lemon balm
Catnip: In addition to making tea and entertaining felines, catnip makes a remarkably good mosquito repellant. We just pick it fresh as needed and crush it to release the juices, which we rub onto our skin. The only downside is it doesn’t last long; it seems that as soon as the juice dries it needs to be reapplied. Joanna has started sticking a wad of partly crushed catnip in her pocket for ready reapplication as needed. Just be prepared for extra attention from kitties…
Sage: Flowers are past their prime, so just leaves now.
Dill leaf: We never tire of putting this on salad. Yum!
Cilantro: Second planting has caught up with the first planting. Hopefully we can get a decent amount to everyone who wants it this week.
Lavender blossoms (limited): These have been a little slower to open than expected, but they’re very aromatic. May not know until the day before share packing how much will be available.
Anise hyssop (very limited): Can’t guarantee that we can fill all requests any given week, but we’ll try to make sure anyone who wants to try it gets a chance eventually. 

MENU SUGGESTIONS
CSA7_1
Above is one of our typical meals that demonstrates how to use product from recent shares, with fried rice using farm-sourced eggs, green onions, garlic scapes, turnips, kale, cilantro, and dried hot peppers, with a salad of lettuce and kohlrabi.

FRESH EGGS
Eggs will be back to their usual routine, with deliveries to home/work AND the Edgewood location this week.

RECENTLY ON THE FARM
A busy, tiring, but productive week in which both crops and weeds kept growing. In addition to the CSA member tour, we also hosted a worker-appreciation lunch in thanks to the wonderful folks who help keep us going, and had a great time feeding them and relaxing for an hour or so.

WHAT’S GOING RIGHT
We’re quite happy with the share contents lately; for all the struggles of spring, it seems to us that we’re getting decent produce out to people. We’d love to hear your thoughts on quantity, quality, diversity, member experience with deliveries/pickups, and anything else that’s worth passing along. Particularly with our drop-off methods, we interact with our members less than most CSAs and so depend on other means of communication to get feedback. We mostly assume no news is good news, but would love to hear from you!

Lots of crops are looking good. Cabbages, potatoes, onions, and pole peas all managing nicely. The summer squash are just starting to form. There earliest tomato plants have settled in contentedly, and some early tomatoes are starting to form. Peppers & baby okra plants are happy to get some heat.

WHAT’S NOT SO GREAT
Ticks and mosquitoes and deer flies, oh my! This farm is an ecosystem, and we personally are on the menu for a number of species. The ticks have been bad all spring, the mosquito population has boomed in the last week, and the deer flies are out in good numbers, especially during the pleasantly cool morning & evening hours. Of course, the irritation of deer flies is just a warm up for the true aggravation of horse flies yet to come.

The hot, windy Wednesday that we just survived is also a reminder that both people and plants need time to acclimate to warmer temperatures. For a day “just” in the 90s (cool by last summer’s standards), we and a lot of plants were looking kind of droopy thanks to the intense wind and sudden temperature increase.

Like last week, the downside of the long-day time of year is mostly the drain of working long hours 7 days a week. We’ve been trying to schedule our first day off since May 10 but haven’t been able to make it happen yet. There’s just too much to do and too many things that have to happen on a certain schedule or with certain weather conditions. This also is a side-effect of playing catch-up from the slow spring.

WEATHER NOTES
With the change in the calendar to June, the weather turned stable & dry, with consistently seasonal temperatures and only 0.33″ of rain through June 13. We actually could use a gentle 1″ or so of rain, or irrigation is going to rocket to the top of our already long to-do list. While the deep soil is still plenty moist, the shallow areas are starting to dry out, and that’s where a lot of biological activity happens that makes vegetables grow. We have high hopes for the storm system forecast for late this weekend, although its timing may also disrupt our main work-crew day.

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