Monday, August 4, 2014

Birch Point CSA News Week 7: Still no rain :( Veggies still growing :)

What's in Your Share This Week

Lettuce: Most of you will be getting the wonderful red and green butterhead variety

called Skyphos. Not only is it one of our favorites for looks and taste, it has been

handling the warm, dry conditions remarkably well. Some people may get crisp green romaine or green butterhead.

Cherry Toms: Thank goodness these summer delights like these conditions. The

Sungolds are really producing and the other cherries are starting to ripen as well.

Salad mix: Still going strong but there may be a lull for a couple weeks as the next

crop grows out.

Rutabaga greens: Kind of a new crop for us, but a fun surprise. They are very

similar to turnip greens but with a little more substance. They are great prepared

the same way as any braising green.

Summer Squash: So many great kinds of squash this time of year and not your

grandma’s baseball bats either (though we’ll have those for you zucchini bread

lovers). We harvest squash and zukes when they are small and tender. Many of you

may be familiar with the Pattypan type shaped like a flying saucer, but for those of

you uninitiated, this is another type of summer squash. The name comes from the

French word for a kind of baking pan or patisson.

Peppers OR Eggplant: These crops don’t mind the dryness so much, but they really

want heat, which it seems we’re finally getting after so many chilly nights. There

is a mix of eggplant varieties this season including the standard black elongated

type. Don’t be intimidated by any green ones you might see. This is a variety called

Applegreen and it’s one of my favorites. I was actually quoted in the Fedco seed

catalogue this year singing its praises. I think it holds its texture really well, which is

nice if you don’t like your eggplant mushy. I’ve been sautéing it by itself lately to put

on sandwiches. You may get a smattering of green or colored bell peppers, Feherezon paprika peppers in yellow-green stage (shaped like a frying pepper, mostly sweet with a touch of heat sometimes), and/or Hungarian Hot Wax-- long, lime green, sweet-hot.

Beans: Both our bush beans and pole beans are producing now. I like all kinds

of fresh beans, but am especially fond of the flat poded Romano type. They get

nice and big, which makes them fast and easy to pick, but have a nice juicy crunch.

Everyone will have a chance this type, but we also have green, yellow and purple

podded round beans.

Herbs, Dill, Parsley or Cilantro

Mini Cabbage: Either compact green heads (Early Jersey OR Gonzales) or tiny reds. These little guys are a baby variety called Red Express that has been

grown for European markets for a while now. It can be prepared any way you

would cook cabbage, but these might be fun cut in half and either roasted in the

oven or grilled. Have fun!

In some boxes depending on the day of pickup:

Slicing Tomatoes: Yay! Tomatoes are in. These are mainly from the hoop house,

but the flavor has been really great. The field tomatoes are starting to produce as

well. Those who don’t get slicers this week will get more cherries.

Cucumbers: We’re starting to get more cukes, but aren’t at the green avalanche

stage. Hopefully we’ll get there soon. Rain wouldn’t hurt.


1. A-Z Cookbooks are in, come and get your copies! $15 each.

2. We are putting out a request for plastic grocery bags- if you have a stash of clean plastic handle bags, we are accepting donations to use at farmers' market AND if folks forget their bag/cooler when picking up CSA shares Tuesday at the farm.

3. We are missing a good number of CSA boxes, take a look around to see if you've squirreled one (or more!) away.  Each TC share (Sat, Mon, and Wed. pickups) are allocated two boxes for the season-- please remember to bring back the previous week's empty box when you pick up the full one!  Thanks.

Field Notes

First off we want to thank all of you for your support in our decision to suspend the

CSA boxes for a week. We received so many kind words of hope and encouragement

from many of you as we struggle through this drought. The diversity and quantity

in the boxes this week are fruits of that rest time. Unfortunately there is no real end

in sight and it has become a real 24-hour a day job to keep the irrigation going. We

got our hopes up a couple days ago when the forecast was predicting a long period

of 80% precipitation this weekend, but that has dwindled to a few hours at 30% or

less. Not very encouraging. At this point all we can do is keep on keeping on. Lots

of new crops have been planted and seeded and are surviving the harsh conditions.

Hopefully they’ll get a good soaker one of these days soon. On a bright note, the land

we are farming south of town (in Grawn) has been receiving more moisture (also a little bit

of hail) and are looking very healthy. There are also little things to be grateful for

in the midst of a huge challenge. Last night I went out late to change the irrigation

zones and while I was listening to make sure the drip lines were filling properly, I

got to watch the deep orange slice of the moon sink towards the hills and listen to

the sounds of the frogs, insects and coyotes. It was so beautiful I forgot about all the

worries and consternation over the lack of water.

Our dear visitors Holly and Kelsey have headed out on the next leg of their journey

to the sorrow of everyone on the farm. They brought so much fun and hard work

to the farm. They also got the farm crew out for a fun social event that we’ve been

hoping to do all summer. As part of their traditional half-birthday celebration we

went sailing on the bay. It wasn’t much of a windy day but a good time was had by

all as we tried to stay out of the way of all the fancy racing boats.


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