2014 CSA distribution #16

It’s hot. We’re glad we got a lot of the fall crops in the ground while the weather was cool, so now we can focus on harvest & maintenance in the fields. We’ve been using the hot afternoons to can, dry, freeze, & ferment the surplus while it is available. This is a good time to put in requests for extras & preserve some of your own as well.

PRODUCE

Sweet peppers If you haven’t followed the sweet pepper link & tried the sweet pepper salad recipe, this is a good time to do so; it’s delicious! Quantities are good, so ask for extras if you can use them. We’re starting to get some ripe small hot peppers, but they’re smaller than the sweets and will be in the herb bag if you request them, so they’re unlikely to be confused with the sweets.
Anaheim peppers Mildly hot green peppers.
Tomatoes We’re likely near the peak of tomato harvest. The wet conditions (both early in the year and recently) have resulted in plants that look terrible, though somehow they are still ripening lots of tomatoes. If you’re planning to preserve extras, don’t procrastinate in asking for them; there may not be a long, drawn out harvest of tomatoes this year. Some extra requests may be filled with a bag of the pink Amish Salad tomatoes, which we strongly recommend halving & roasting.  
Cherry tomatoes
Not sure what the yields will be; we’ve had lots of trouble with splitting following the previous rain. Not sure if we’re going to see recovery or decline. 
Okra
This hot spell may cause a surge in production. 
Eggplant 
Plants do not look happy & are not producing well. We’ll give them a nice side dressing of compost and hope for future improvement. 
Cucumbers New planting just starting to produce.
Garlic
Two varieties for full shares, a choice for singles. Georgian Fire is a spicy hardneck variety (cut with a long stem), and a favorite for raw use in salsa for those who like a kick. Chet’s Italian Red is a nicely flavored but milder softneck variety that we like to use in raw preparations from which we don’t desire a strong aftertaste (such as pesto & gazpacho).
Summer squash
Onions
We’ll skip onions this week, as we want to draw the supply out into the fall.
Musk melons  So far, conditions aren’t cooperating to get melons into shares. We’re getting a high percentage of 2nds due to sun scald & critter damage (some kind of rodent maybe?). If we get enough good ones, we may still surprise full share members with a melon, but we’re not going to get hopes up by putting it on the survey. Members who have put in time helping on the farm will get first priority. We have six varieties going as a part of the trial this year, and we are learning quite a bit about their relative productivity, flavor, & fragility.

HERBS

Full shares will receive up to 4 herbs & single shares up to 2.  If you want to maximize the number of herbs you receive, please follow the survey directions (no more than 2 “yes” request for full shares and no more than 1 “yes” request for singles, and enough “sure” responses to give us some flexibility in rounding out what you receive). Also, please remember to fill you your survey in order to receive herbs!

Here are the expected choices:

NEW! Thai Red Roselle This is the plant used to make hibiscus tea; follow the link for guidance on how to use these. Just starting to produce, a limited quantity this first week. 
NEW! Garlic chives with blossoms
Use the blossoms as a fun edible garnish.
NEW! Cayenne
These small red peppers can be hung & dried, or used to add nice flavor to sauces. Just starting to ripen, a limited quantity this first week.
NEW! Serrano peppers
Ditto cayenne. Nice fruity flavor.
Chives

Jalapeno peppers

Cutting celery

Dill heads
Green coriander
Parsley Bundles may be flat leaf, curly, or a mix.
Genovese/sweet basil Store all basil flower-bouquet style in a jar of water on the counter for longest life.
Thai basil The final planting of basil doesn’t include Thai basil because it tends to be less popular than the others. It will be disappearing from the list prior to the other basils, FYI.
Lime basil
Tarragon
Sage
Mint surprise Mint often looks a bit less beautiful in the summer, with insect holes & yellowing leaves , so we’ll be harvesting whatever variety looks best & is most efficient to harvest. If you’re really set on wanting one of the specific varieties, leave a comment and we can probably fulfill the request.

BULK

We’re going to put several produce items on the bulk list. We won’t know for sure until harvest has happened whether or not there will be enough to fill bulk requests, but we absolutely want a home for extra production if it happens. Keep the basil bulk requests coming, as well.

EGGS

No eggs to the Edgewood location this week. Supplies getting tighter, the hens don’t like this weather any more than we do.

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