CSA distribution #17 & newsletter

The next CSA distribution will be Monday August 26 and Thursday August 29. The following Monday (Sept. 2) is Labor Day, and we WILL be delivering as usual that day & week. As noted on our web calendar, we have a break built into the schedule in mid-September. To avoid the build-up of too much produce, we are staggering the days that won’t have shares. There will be NO share on Monday September 9 or Thursday September 19. Deliveries will be normal on Thursday the 12th and Monday the 16th. We skipped the break that we had hoped to take in June due to the weather-induced late start to the season, but at this point we are on track (barring catastrophe) to have 26 or 27 distribution weeks by Thanksgiving, so we think we’re justified in taking a breather.

Don’t forget this Saturday’s CSA potluck & farm tour, your best chance to see the farm in mid-season, meet other members, and explore their culinary skills. Leave a comment, or email us, to let us know you’re coming.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Last week’s share was bulging at the seams, particularly for full shares who requested extras; even the standard shares seemed quite nice to us. That was probably the peak of tomato (cherry and slicer) production, which we expect to start dropping off again. Cucumbers, squash, and okra will still be going strong. We’re giving chard another break after several weeks of hard picking, particularly with hotter temperatures coming up.

NEW! Tomatillos These sour green Mexican fruits are excellent roasted and made into salsa verde. Probably a small initial amount, still enough for a single-serving of sauce.
Filet beans

Cucumbers

Sweet peppers
Serrano/jalapeno pepper mix
Anaheim peppers
Summer squash
Okra
Eggplant Looks like it is slowing down a little. Hopefully there will be enough to go around.
Slicer tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes

HERBS
Four bundles for full shares; two for single shares this week. Parsley & basil remain abundant, so we’re counting on lots of requests for these.

Curly parsley Continues to be abundant. Offering curly & flat leaf separately this week to assess preferences. Flat-leaf was always the better market seller, but curly tends to grow more reliably & healthily (& is currently more abundant) than flat-leaf. Honestly, we don’t notice a meaningful flavor difference. 
Flat-leaf parsley
Genovese/regular basil
Bundles are likely to be generously sized.
Thai basil
Plenty available.
Chives
Garlic chives The pretty white blossoms are edible and make a nice garnish.
Thyme Bundles will continue to be on the small side, given the popularity.
Sage

Coriander
Mint (harvester’s choice)
Tarragon
Green shiso There’s currently an abundance; try making a shiso pesto.
Borage blossoms

Squash blossoms
We hope these delicate blossoms made it to their destinations okay last week in the context of some rather full bags. We might switch to packing them in quart containers next week for slightly more protection.
BACK! Lemon balm Fresh growth is just getting big enough for harvest.

MENU SUGGESTIONS
To make a nice salsa verde from tomatillos, remove the papery husk, roast them as you would tomatoes, and blend with roasted garlic, peppers, and onion for a great sauce. If it’s too sour, add a bit of honey. You can also include roasted tomatoes to either balance the flavor or increase the volume. This goes great with so many things, including potatoes, rice, eggs, and more.

FRESH EGGS
All delivery options available again this week.

RECENTLY ON THE FARM
We’re back into full irrigation mode. At least the dry & stable forecast has made it pretty easy to schedule & track what, when, & how much to irrigate. Though irrigation quickly inflates the water bill, the dry conditions are overall great for crop health. The preceding cool & damp spell definitely caused some disease, especially in the tomatoes & asparagus. With tomatoes, favorable conditions can sometimes result in a nice pulse of healthy new growth and fruit set.

WHAT’S GOING RIGHT
The past week has been extra-busy, with a lot of personal food preservation thrown into the mix along with everything else. Tomatoes, melons, sweet corn, and more all hit their peaks together, so we’ve been powering through lots of canning, freezing, dehydration, and other handling methods (in all our free time). Though this has made for some very long days, the budgetary and culinary rewards for the rest of the year are significant. This year has been the most efficient summer food preservation that we can remember.

WHAT’S NOT SO GREAT
Horseflies! These have been really active in the evening lately, during some of the most comfortable hours for field work. There’s nothing like trying to handle fragile fall transplants, or balance trays of delicate cherry tomatoes, while multiple horseflies hover in your face or attack your shoulder blades when you can’t spare hands to swat them. They’re also a hazard during okra picking (remembering not to flail at things near your face while holding sharp cutting implements). Joanna used to joke darkly about taking a jar of horseflies to market to release on people who complained about produce prices.
WEATHER NOTES
More stable, dry weather. After around a month of below-average temperatures, we’re getting an extended stretch of hotter weather, which will temporarily benefit many summer crops. However, with a current forecast for next week in the high 90s with little chance of rain, this could quickly become a significant concern. We’ve only received about 1/4 average rainfall for August and it doesn’t look like that will change soon.

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