CSA distribution #14 & newsletter

The next CSA distribution will be Monday August 5 and Thursday August 8. Pleasant weather, happy crops, few pests…we have to keep reminding ourselves to enjoy this time because farming is rarely this stable.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE
The cool, cloudy weather last week inhibited growth on certain items like tomatoes & okra; as a result Thursday shares got less okra than Monday. They also received fewer cherry tomatoes, but we were able to make up the difference with regular tomatoes. Also, edamame yields were much higher by mid-week, so Thursday received twice as much. This week, our plan is for Monday to get the same higher amount of edamame, and Thursday less, to balance things out again. With the stormy forecast for the coming week, yields will again be uncertain on many items that need sun to ripen efficiently.

NEW! Garlic No onions this week, so we’ll give out some rare garlic instead. The allium content of the shares is going to be a bit sparser than we would like through the late summer and fall, largely due to the low yield of the garlic crop. Not everyone will get the same variety, but each head will be labeled by variety. Follow the garlic link to learn more about the variety you receive.
NEW! Green peppers This share seemed a little weak, so we decided to throw in a few green peppers for those who want something new. Overall we’d rather let the peppers continue to mature, but the plants are so loaded we can handle a few greens.
BACK! Swiss chard Normally we just let the chard planting hang out and do its own thing through the summer heat, then renovate the beds for fall harvest. However, the same cool weather that is keeping yields down on the hot weather crops is helping the chard to look quite beautiful (and it still tastes fine), so we’re going to harvest some to help fill out the share this week. There’s plenty, so feel free to ask for extras.
Okra Yields will depend on weather; could be low with the upcoming rainy forecast. May be for full shares only again.
Eggplant Quantities are likely to continue at a low-ish level, especially as long as rain, clouds, and cool weather prevail. Likely for full shares only again.
Jalapenos
Slicer tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes
Edamame
Cucumbers

Basil

Coming soon: The pepper plants are loaded; we’re waiting for some more ripening to occur. Tomatillo plants look great, and the fruits are starting to fill out in the husks. A new planting of summer squash is growing nicely with some baby squash just appearing; probably another week or two to get up to distribution quantities of those. Filet beans are flowering, so the first of those could maybe be ready as soon as week 15. And there’s a very slight chance that the sweet corn will decide to cooperate either this week or next and mature enough ears at once to get a taste into the shares; germination in the patch was terrible due to the late May rains, and we had more or less written off the possibility of distributing some. But, there has been no sign of coon activity to date, so maybe we’ll end up with enough after all. No promises.

HERBS
Due to standard basil in shares,  will again do 3 other bundles per full share and 1 other bundle per single share from the following list. Joanna has been spending some time in the herb gardens, cutting back old growth to allow a fresh pulse on a number of perennials. Lemon balm, oregano, chives, and more should be back online within a few weeks.

BACK! Garlic chives These have perked up a bit with the cooler/moister weather, and they seem to be of sufficient quality to harvest.
BACK! Thyme Not a lot available right now, but it is such a nice addition to Greek salad dressing. Bundles will likely be on the small side.
BACK! Sage
The plants have put on enough fresh growth to allow for some gentle harvesting.
Dill heads
Last chance on these; the dill needs to be turned in to make way for planting of more fall brassicas.
Green coriander
Coriander

Lime basil
We made a lime basil sorbet this past week that we’ve been serving with local peaches. Oh, so yummy! We brought sugar & water to a boil (~1 cup sugar and ~1.5 cups water), let it cool just a bit, then put half a dozen or so sprigs of lime basil in to infuse flavor while the liquid cooled. We refrigerated the syrup, then just before freezing in an ice cream maker, we added some minced lime basil leaves along with ~1 Tbl citrus juice. This came out intensely sweet if eaten on its own, but it is heavenly with peaches.
Thai basil
Parsley Finally growing nicely; should be plenty to go around.
Mint (harvester’s choice) The mint is slow to harvest at this time of year because the ugly stems outnumber the pretty ones. For a while, we’re going to offer “generic” mint and harvest whatever is easiest.
Tarragon
Papalo
Green shiso
Best stored flower-bouquet style in a jar of water on the counter (as for basil); refrigeration causes chilling injury and will make it turn brown.

MENU SUGGESTIONS
With okra, tomatoes, and green peppers all in the share, this might be the week for some Cajun cooking. Try a nice gumbo, with cucumber salad on the side. Salsa is an obvious choice, as well. Cucumber slices are a great alternative to chips for dips such as salsa or baba ghanooj.

FRESH EGGS
Laying is still on the slow side, so we’re probably only going to have enough for regular egg buyers with home delivery.

RECENTLY ON THE FARM
It’s been a pretty quiet week, really nothing unusual happening worth reporting. We’re about to start having some work done on the house, which will change all that in a jiffy.

WHAT’S GOING RIGHT
A delightful week of weather, even if it slowed down all the hot-weather crops. Things are just going smoothly at the moment. We’re on schedule with fall planting, and summer crops look great. We’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, but will take it while it lasts.

WHAT’S NOT SO GREAT
Seems that there’s been a surge in chigger population in some areas of the farm, so we’re back to being pretty itchy again. Ugh. 

WEATHER NOTES
A pleasant week with some rain. What’s not to like? We’re starting to notice the days getting shorter, which means that even a late season hot spell won’t be as brutal if it happens.

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