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