CSA distribution #9 & newsletter

The next CSA distribution will be Monday July 1 and Thursday July 4. We will be delivering shares on July 4 as early as possible, hopefully by mid-late morning, to facilitate members’ holiday plans. It’s been the hottest week of the year so far, and we’ve been hard at work finishing off many spring items and transitioning to summer crops, while hosting a family visit.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE
NEW! Beets Small-medium roots, greens are also edible
NEW! Cabbage Nice, sweet heads great for cooking or slaw.
Kale
Snap peas Last week for these, yields are plunging with the heat. We’re going to have to hold some in storage to make sure we have enough to go out to everyone for one more week, but we’ve found that these maintain their quality quite well when refrigerated. Just don’t delay too long before eating them.
Turnips Holding these from last week’s harvest (as winter squash are now growing in their space). Roots only; we removed the tops for best storage. Last of the spring.
Scallions
Carrots
Summer squash
Head lettuce
Last week for these, if they even make it through the heat. Flavor may be on the strong side. Time to move along to cabbage slaw season.
UPDATE Fennel
After harvest, we think we can get one head to those who want it 
Snow peas
Crop failure, will not happen this year, see below
Swiss chard
Skipping a week, but probably more the following week.

HERBS
We’ll do the usual number of total bundles (4/full share, 2/single share).

Genovese basil Liking the heat & growing fast. Do not refrigerate; basil does best if you treat it like a flower bouquet and put the stems in a jar of water on the counter.
Lime basil
Good amount of this right now. Tends to set flowers quickly, but holds flavor better than most even when it does.
Green coriander
Plenty available. Give it a try!
Parsley (limited quantity) Several of the most mature plants collapsed suddenly; these are growing in a spot that got really wet in late May, and that plus the recent heat may have been enough to bring on disease/rot. More young plants will be coming online, but in the meantime bundles will be sparse &/or we may not be able to fill all requests, so please plan accordingly.
Garlic chives

Chives
Orange mint

Kentucky Colonel mint
Oregano Starting to flower, and needs a break.
Tarragon
Lemon balm
Catnip
Sage Plants are looking a little sad after putting on their big show of flowering, so we’re going to let the plants rest & recover for a while.
Lavender blossoms: Pretty certainly the last chance for the year.
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
Slaw season is here. Shred cabbage, beets, carrots, and herbs with a delicate vinegar dressing for a delightful summer salad. Here’s our favorite way to do this. If you can’t eat all the peas straight-up, try blending them with olive oil and garlic into a tasty pesto for pasta or spreading on bread; we call this peasto and it freezes really well if you make too much.

FRESH EGGS
Eggs available only for regular egg customers with home/work delivery this week. Between hosting family this week and a vegetarian WWOOF volunteer all of next week, we need a lot on hand here. We hope to resume full availability in another week.

RECENTLY ON THE FARM
We’ve been enjoying a visit from Eric’s family, who of course picked the hottest week of the year (so far) to visit from the cool shores of Lake Ontario. The longest days of the year, combined with this heat wave, combined with lots of itchy bug bites, make for some tired farmers. (And we’ve learned that we can predict that fireworks will compound our sleep deprivation in the next week or so.) Most crops are looking great, though; these conditions are really helping the heat-loving summer crops take off. With cooler weather forecast this week, this pulse of heat is quite reasonable even though it’s less than comfortable.

WHAT’S GOING RIGHT
Most crops look good right now. Tomatoes & peppers are forming, and the first tomatoes are starting to blush. Potatoes look glorious, cukes are off to a very respectable start, edamame are flowering, onions are bulbing, and eggplants have buds forming. (Yes, that’s right, we’re growing eggplant this year.) The dry weather, though becoming a small concern, is also great for keeping up with weeds. Some gentle, soaking rain would make things ideal.

WHAT’S NOT SO GREAT
We have a snow pea crop failure. It appears that we received bad/wrong seed from our supplier, as 95% of the peas maturing on these plants are not snow peas, but some form of small, snow-pea shaped but tough-podded peas that aren’t great for eating or shelling & that aren’t worth our time to harvest. This is really frustrating, as the plants themselves are healthy and loaded with peas, but they’re fit only for goat food. This kind of event is one reason we focus heavily on diversity in our crop plantings; there’s always something else to take up the slack of a crop failure. Hidden silver lining, this means we’ll get green beans planted in these beds sooner.

WEATHER NOTES
It’s been a hot and muggy week, but nothing unreasonable for late June. This month has been quite dry (about a third average rainfall), and we’re beginning to need a decent soaking, but it’s also been really nice to have stable seasonal weather lately. We’re grateful to not be experiencing last year’s record-breaking heat. Remember 107ºF on June 28, 2012?

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