CSA distribution #18 & newsletter

The next CSA distribution will be Monday September 2 (Labor Day) and Thursday September 5. Just a reminder that there won’t be a share next Monday, as discussed in last week’s newsletter. We’re looking forward to the break in the heat that is expected next week.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

It’s more of the same this week, a good thing as far as we’re concerned, since this is some of our favorite food of the year. Once again, if you can make use of extras, please feel free to ask for them. We can’t always predict/guarantee an abundance of any particular item, but we expect that collectively the harvest totals will continue to be high next week.

Tomatillos Hoping to up the quantities a bit. Always a bit hard to predict yields on these.
Pole beans
The filet beans will be succeeded this week by Rattlesnake Snap beans, a variety of pole bean with a bit of purple striping. The beans are promising to provide a bumper crop this year.
Cucumbers

Sweet peppers
Serrano/jalapeno pepper mix
Anaheim peppers
Summer squash Slowed down dramatically mid-week, and may continue to be a little slow while the heat lasts.
Okra Loving the heat, and it is showing in the yields. We finally made a batch of fermented okra pickles this summer, and we’ll be doing more. See details below in the Menu Suggestions section.
Eggplant
Slicer tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes

HERBS

Four bundles for full shares; two for single shares this week. Parsley & basil remain abundant. Chives need some recovery time; should be back for the next distribution.

Curly parsley 
Flat-leaf parsley
Genovese/regular basil
Thai basil
Garlic chives Probably the last week of good quality for the pretty blossoms. Bundles will be generously sized, because one way or another these need to get chopped back before the blossoms set seed.
Thyme Bundles will continue to be on the small side, given the popularity.
Sage

Mint (harvester’s choice)
Tarragon
Lemon balm
Green shiso
Borage blossoms

Squash blossoms
Can’t believe how few cucumber beetles are bothering these. As long as the quality is good, we’ll keep offering them.

MENU SUGGESTIONS

Feeling overwhelmed in okra? Try making fermented okra pickles. We did a very simple version using nothing but okra and a 5% salt brine (what we had on hand; might do a lower % next time). Cram the okra in a jar, pour the brine over, put a lid on (but not too tight; you want air to be able to escape), let sit on the counter for a day or two or three, and refrigerate when the flavor is to your liking. We found that the sliminess dissipated considerably over time. This fermentation process relies on naturally occurring good microbes; you’ll see bubbles within a day if all is going as planned. Columbia water may not be suitable because the chloramine used to treat the water will kill the microbes that are responsible for fermentation; bottled water may be a better choice.

FRESH EGGS

Laying is slowing again in the heat, so eggs will be available only for home delivery this week.

RECENTLY ON THE FARM

CSA18_1 Last Saturday’s member potluck went very well. Thanks to all those who made it for the delicious food and excellent company. We really appreciate members who take part in farm events and get the most of the CSA experience. We are still planning a harvest celebration on November 2, which will feature farm-raised food…though exactly what depends on the fall harvest.CSA18_2

WHAT’S GOING RIGHT

Collectively, yields are excellent right now. Full shares who asked for lots of extras last week received bags that were bursting at the seams. We weighed a bag for a household that asked for extras across the board, and that came out to ~22 lbs. A straight up standard full share was ~13 lbs. Even after filling all extra requests, we still have an abundance, so have begun restaurant sales for the first time this year.

Many fall crops had a chance to get established before this heat wave, so they should be able to ride it out, and we have hopes for a continuation of the bounty this fall. So far, this year is shaping up to be the second excellent production year in a row.

WHAT’S NOT SO GREAT

This website got hacked or otherwise compromised earlier this week, forcing Joanna into an emergency session of restoration, password changes, backups, and software upgrades that lasted ~8 hours. We’re not sure exactly what happened, but the webhost tech support person we contacted made it clear that we weren’t the only ones affected; the fact that it took an hour to get a response via chat is indicative of this. We think all is clean now on the site, but we lost a good part of a day, and we’re just a little grumpier about the rest of the world.

Also, horseflies are still bad. Joanna swatted & killed 42 in one evening. Sure wish we could send the hacker a box full of hungry horseflies.

WEATHER NOTES

Hot is the word of the week, with drought coming in a close second. The Drought Monitor now has us officially classified as being in moderate drought, a point that un-irrigated vegetation is attesting to through crispness & droopiness. The ground is also becoming very hard, to the point that it’s hard to move and re-set the electric net fences we use to rotate animals on pasture.

3 thoughts on “CSA distribution #18 & newsletter

  1. The squash blossoms have been such a treat. The first week I stuffed them with goat cheese and herbs, battered and fried them. Also fried up some okra while I was at it. then this past week I added them at the end of a saute of peppers and onion and made quesadillas topped with homemade roasted tomato salsa. The only downside is that they really have to be used immediately, but I guess that’s what makes them such a treat. Thanks.

  2. Squash blossoms make a great risotto (or probably pasta) too. Incorporate some zuke into the risotto and at the end gently mix in the blossoms.

    They also are great fritters. Mix with a bit of veg, fave spices/herbs and whatever fritter dough you prefer (flour/water etc). Similar to the stuffed method mentioned above, just not explicitly stuffed. There’s a traditional southern Italian recipe out there but we modify it to be Indian or to suit what’s in the backyard or in a CSA.