Week 11; August 17, 2017

What's in the box?  

Sweet corn
Beans
tomatoes
cilantro
fennel
carrots
cucumbers
Yukon gold potatoes - medium and large
Broccoli - medium and large
Summer squash/Zukes - large
peppers - large

Notes on the box.  

The weather has been more like fall than summer. Its been over a week without high temps in the 80s. This has pumped the brakes on the melons.  Melons next week! 
First sweet corn of the season!  Try to eat it ASAP as it's best fresh.  Store it in the crisper of the fridge.  Boil some water, shuck the corn, put it in the water for a few minutes, then butter and salt.   If you want to freeze it, just cut it off the cob and put it in a freezer bag and then into the freezer.  We blanched it first for many years and then one year froze some without blanching.  We didn't label the bags as to which was which and we couldn't tell the difference.  Since then we don't bother with blanching.  
Nice big bulbs of fennel!  Try them grilled, roasted, or raw sliced thin and made into a salad.  

Cosmic Wheel Creamery Cheese Shares.

Wonderful Ricotta and a firm, drier aged cheese called Tarazed.  You can grate it on top of finished food or into salad, or it's also good on a pizza, but it's not the best melter so maybe no grilled cheese with this one.  I lovingly refer to this cheese as my 'potato chip cheese' because it's salty and dry and once I have a little taste, I want to keep eating it!  This is a popular one for me to grate up when I'm making dinner and then turn around to witness little hands grabbing fistfuls and shoving them into their mouths while laughing and running away.  Don't turn your back on this cheese.  
Ricotta is great for favorites like lasagna.  It's also really nice with some honey and nuts for a snack.  If you don't think you will eat it in the next week or 2, you can freeze it for later.  

Recipes.

Sausage, Fennel, Ricotta Pizza

Lemon, Ricotta, Fennel and Chili Oil Linguine

Roasted Beet Salad with Fennel, Orange, and Whipped Ricotta in case you have some beets from last week

Easiest French Fries - we tried this and it really worked!  You must use the Yukon Gold potatoes, though. 

On the Farm.  

Morning around here starts like most other working households I'd imagine. We get up around 6, find our way to the coffee pot, clean up a bit, make some breakfast and get the kids up for day care.  The kids are off by 7;30 and the vegetable crew clocks in at 8. Milking starts aroud 6:00. Our livestock manager, Liberty, does a great job milking, moving the cows, feeding pigs, sheep. calves, yearling (last years calves) steers and heifers. That allows me the mental space to make lists of what needs to be weeded, harvested, covered, tarped, seeded, planted, mowed, tilled, etc.  Really, one cotter pin out of place can throw a wrench in the day. But we hold it together with the help of our amazing crew, friends, family, and loyal customers.  

       Small farms live in a place where we are small enough to be human scale, but not large enough to be as 'efficient' as larger farms which are more mechanized. Most everything here is done by hand here. We pick up potatoes and harvest all other vegetables by hand, we move cattle by foot.  People milk the cows, not robots (yes that really happens).  We drag hoes through the dirt and push seeders with our feet. We bend over countless times everyday. I'm mostly happy to and we make great strides every year in becoming more effecient without being larger or more mechanized. It's an old way. But I ask this question often. What makes a farm and how is it different than land?  Our farm is a personal expression of our values. You can see a farmers' personal values in their farmscape, diversity, barn colors, tidyness etc. A farm is a synthesis of land, people, and animals.  In a landscape that seems to value the commodification of food production, we hold down an idea from years gone by where one could be small and still exist.  We strive to be good stewards, to nourish community and honor people, soil, animals, and the balance that allows us to be here.  

Wet conditions have cause some serious foliar diseases in the tomatoes. Its hard to predict how many more weeks of tomatoes, but statistically we are only about 4 weeks from first frost. and 8-10 from hard frost. I see some of the first signs of yellowing in the weaker trees. And only 7 more deliveries of the main season CSA then 4 of the season extension. That puts our last Main season delivery ending the first week in October. 

Forecast for next week.

Beans
Melons! 
corn
tomatoes
peppers
onions
pac choi? 
dill 

Meat shares. 
We had  hoped to put a box out this week, but our butcher got too popular, and had to schedule a later date. We should see some meat coming early September. Then again November and again in December

 

Week 10; August 10, 2017

What's in the box?  

New Potatoes
Green Beans
Cucumber
Sweet onions
Green Peppers
Tomatoes
Broccoli
Salad Turnips (we ran out before all members received these)
Kale - Medium and Large
Beets - Medium and Large
Squash - Medium and Large

Notes on the box.  

The New Potatoes are unwashed.  They are "new" because they are uncured which means that their skin is very thin and fragile.  You can wash them more carefully at home and not have the skins peel off.  Yes!  The skin is very tender so no need to peel! Because they are uncured, they do not have the long shelf life of a storage potato.  Try to eat them within a week or 2.  They are best fresh.  Store in the bag in a cool place.  New potatoes are so nice and full of flavor.  It's a good time to cook them simply by steaming or boiling and then serving with salt and butter and a little bit of chopped fresh parsley.  They are also great roasted. And also great all dressed up in a potato salad.  
 

Cosmic Wheel Creamery Cheese Shares.

This week is Circle of the Sun again.  This batch was made in early November.  It's quite creamy and will make a nice melter.  Also is our plain quark.  Have you tried this on some baguette with cucumber and tomato?  Very Yummy!  

Recipes.

10 New Potato Recipes from the Guardian

I'll try to add some more recipes after I get done with cheese making today!

On the Farm.

Our wonderful hard working, sprinkle cookie making, perpetually smiling Jeanne is headed back to school this week.  This work is so hard and Jeanne has been a champion.  We will miss Jeanne and the amazing worker that she is and all the light that she adds to the day.  Pretty sure she could get the melons to ripen if she just stood next to them because of her warmth.  Otto and Sadie will miss her very much, too! Wishing Jeanne happiness and success in her endeavors!  Thank you for all that you added to the farm and the season, Jeanne!!  

Well,  we suddenly have 7 more cows in milk this week!  We had 4 calves this week and brought in 3 more milking cows.  It's quite a bit later than we usually want cows to calve, but we have to be a bit more flexible with calving than a conventional dairy.  A conventional dairy plans when they want cows to calve and they give to cows hormones to bring them into heat and then have them bred.  We don't use hormones, so we have to observe our cows for signs that they are in heat, which is an art to be sure.  Then we call the breeder, but sometimes the timing is a little off.  The cow might be in heat on Saturday and the breeder doesn't come until Monday, so we miss the window and have to wait another month.  So around this time last year we brought in our neighbor's bull who is the best at knowing when a cow is in heat and is able to breed them right away!  Sylvia is a great farmer who raises a heritage beef cow on 100% grass.  The calves that come from the bull and our cows are kept for meat instead of dairy.  We are happy to have so many more cows in milk, but it means adjusting our cheese making schedule!  We are now making cheese every day of the week except Saturday when we go to market.  That means we are in the 7 days a week schedule again.  We need to get more cheese aging and ready for next season and we will be able to do that now!

Some of you can celebrate the end of summer squash! Congrats, you made it through! Right on it's heels are the cucumbers. Cool damp conditions are not all good for cucurbits.  They succumb to powdery mildew and then it's the end for them. So make those pickles now! 

If we can get a stretch of some sunny weather we'll be seeing some of the first melons. And this year is footin to make up for the last three!

Fall crops are 80% planted and we are looking good for the next month. ! 

Enjoy the ride. 

 

Forecast for next week.

Corn! 
Beans
Carrots
Cucumber
Melons? Maybe, this cool weather is slowing them down
Cilantro
Broccoli
Tomatoes
Peppers
Onions
Potatoes