Friday, July 22, 2011

Eight Weeks!

Hi all:
I'm going to try to make this quick because the garden exploded and your share bags reflect that. This means we finished bagging and packing right at 3 today, which is when our first members come to pick up and the absolute latest we can be packing. Usually I don't hit that deadline until well into August! A good problem to have!
Here is a shot I couldn't resist this morning. I'm so happy to finally have grapes after planting these two years ago. I didn't think the plants were going to make it as I planted them on a marginal piece of the garden where I can't plant row crops (too hilly/rocky). They've finally come into their own! Can't wait for fall...ok, just the grapes, lets not rush summer, it just got here.
Here's another quick shot of our washing station. Yes, those are my shoes. Yes, I garden in bare feet. I'm sure this is some sort of 'no-no' on the FDA list of horrible things. Luckily, our CSA members understand how silly something like that is. Gardening in bare feet is one of life's great pleasures. If you have a garden, take your shoes off. You'll never want to put them on again.

Here is a teaser. I harvested these sungold tomatoes this morning to jump start the plants. This is what I got out of 60 feet. We pick this first initial planting and there isn't enough to put in the shares. But this tells the plants to kick it into high gear. Remember that a plant's purpose is not to feed humans, but to produce little baby plants to carry on the gene pool. Picking the tomatoes makes the plant think it has to produce more 'offspring' before winter and it goes into high gear. Almost all plants that fruit are like this.

Filling the rinsing station at 4 am.

New this week, Provider Green Beans! Wahoo! Harvesting last night I was eating the breakage. (That's my name for the ones that don't come off clean.) And I started thinking that green beans are yet another example of how local, fresh, beyond organic food is just better. I pity anyone who has to purchase green beans from the store. There is no comparison in taste (or nutrients but that's more amorphous to your brain). Check out our recipe page (link at the right) for ideas on preparation. In our house we just saute them lightly with some scapes and olive oil or butter and then sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper. That's assuming they make it to the house and pan without being eaten raw.

Here is a shot of goings on at the farm. John is raking hay in this photo to get ready to bale. You know it's the height of summer when you can rake hay at 8:30 in the morning and find it's already pretty much dry. Usually, you have to wait until the dew evaporates, rake at about 10 and then wait a few hours to let it dry further, then bale. Not so today. 80 degrees at 5am.

Here is a shot of our herb garden in all it's freshly weeded and mulched glory. So nice to harvest in this section of the garden. Weeds make harvesting a pain.

And here is what came out of the herb garden. Sage! Never had luck with Sage before but focused on it this year and it turned out well. If you have no ideas for using sage, perform a google search for 'sage' and 'insert other ingredients from your share bag here'. Also, you could just do what I'm going to do and bunch it and hang it in your kitchen to dry with some butcher's twine. The smell is worth sacrificing the taste for now. There will be more later in the summer.

We've also come into our own with zucchini in the garden this week. Everyone got some and I've been able to stay ahead of it size-wise so it's still nice and tender.

Last week I showed a picture of our inverted cedar trees trellis in the greenhouse. These Tasty Jade Cucumbers were hanging from them in all their glory this morning. I couldn't resist picking them. You'll have some in your share soon! The little white cuke in front is a Dragon's Egg Cucumber.

Also this week you'll find more of the long red radishes, the last of the winter planted carrots, two heads of lettuce, another bunch of basil, a bunch of chard, snap peas and if you're one of our bread share members, a loaf of bread. If you're an egg share member, please be careful with your bag. They are heavy and the eggs are in there. If you drop the full bag, you can bet your eggs are toast...

Enjoy and have a good weekend. Stay cool!

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