Summer CSA 2023
Happy week #8! This week is special because it marks the halfway point of our CSA season. We deliver shares for 16 weeks through the summer and fall. I can’t believe we’re already halfway through. Just a quick reminder that you only paid for 14 weeks of the program, so you are allotted 2 vacation days during the summer. Just email or text me if you want to use them! If you don’t use any vacation weeks, you can pay for the extra two weeks at the end of the program if you’d like. I’ll email more info out about that as the end draws closer.
Today was such a lovely day to harvest vegetables. It didn’t get too hot and the sun didn’t feel too intense. A lovely August day. Our harvests have shifted from spring food to summer food. Instead of bunching leafy greens and roots, we find ourselves on our knees picking beans, peppers, tomatoes, etc. Picking food is humbling; a deep reminder that food is woven in the earth. No matter how efficient you are, or how quickly you move your hands, you’ll still find yourself there, stooped low to the ground, hands rustling in the leaves for the fruits of your labor. Even when it can feel exhausting, it’s hard not to feel proud and grateful for the food that fills your harvest crate as you pick away. The plants, the soil, and the sun have all come together; withstood the test of time and weather to produce some of our favorite summer foods. Food that becomes a snapshot in time on our plates. The crunch of a fresh bean, the juice of a tomato. This is truly summer eating. We’re so glad you’re along for the ride!
Besides picking beans and musing on summer foods, we spent the rest of the week working on other farm projects! On Wednesday, April and I took out some old kale plants from one of our greenhouses and I seeded another round of lettuce that we’ll be able to enjoy in the coming weeks. It was a HOT and sweaty endeavor, but it felt so good to flip that bed. We also worked on weeding some of our recently seeded fall crops: radishes, arugula, mustard greens, carrots, and beets. The planting window is quickly ending and at this point in the season we’re pretty much only seeding things with a 4-5 week turn around.
Pearce and I planted potatoes mid-May using our tractor. With potatoes, you basically plant whole or halved potatoes from the previous season. We planted our favorite varieties from last year and nurtured them the best we could. Pearce used the tractor to hill them many times, we weeded them, squished potato beetles, sprayed as necessary, and trapped gophers and groundhogs living in the potato patch. Once the plants have produced all the potatoes they want to produce, they dry down and the leafy parts die off, leaving the roots for us to harvest.
Typically the potato plants don’t start to fully mature and die off until September, but ours decided they were done producing a few weeks ago…. it’s still a mystery to us why they started to dry down so soon, but we’re not too upset because the potatoes under the soil are bountiful. We will start harvesting potatoes very soon (in the next week or so) and we will probably make a call out to volunteers to help pick potatoes soon. Be on the lookout for that email if you’re interested in volunteering!
The potato plants in late June, for reference.
Keep reading to find out what’s in your box this week. Also read to the end to find a link to all of your summer squash recipes!
In your box….
Here are photos of what you’ll find in your box this week!
Fennel, purple carrots, summer squash, fresh beans, green onions, celery, little red onions, heirloom tomatoes, shishito peppers.
Heirloom tomatoes, little red onions, fresh beans, celery, shishito peppers, summer squash, purple carrots.
This week was fun to harvest for. I am the most stoked about the CELERY! I’ve never grown it before, and I feel very lucky to have produced this little, spindly celery. It’s “Minnesota” season celery. This celery is not the same as the juicy hearts you’ll find at the grocery store, but it is PACKED with flavor and still perfect for cooking and using in all recipes that call for celery. Since it is a little smaller, it probably won’t be the best dipped in hummus or peanut butter for a snack, but if you’re wanting to try that, go for it! You could also throw it in green smoothies, salads, stir fries, and soups. Feel free to eat the stalk and the leaves. It’s all good to eat!
The Shishito peppers are a type of pepper cultivated for eating whole and cooked. you can totally eat them raw chopped up in salads or throw them in stir-fries too. Here is the traditional way to prepare them:
This week, I made a caprese salad with our heirloom tomatoes. I totally wanted to include basil in the share this week, but when we went out to harvest, I noticed many of the leaved were covered in what is called “basil mildew”. It’s basically a fungus that comes from the soil in humid conditions where there is little airflow. Our basil crop is getting tired and the mildew took over when I wasn’t watching. I’m definitely a little sad, because that was probably the end of basil for the season. Next year I’ll be more aware of the possibility of mildew on our basil and do more to prevent it so our basil has a longer season. Feel free to make the caprese, you’ll just need to go to the farmers market this weekend for basil! Text me if you want my favorite farmers market recommendations. 🙂
I used a copia tomato, a berner rose tomato, and a green zebra in my salad. I also bought fresh mozzarella from the coop and harvested basil from the farm (before I noticed the mildew problem…). I sliced everything in nice little wedges and layered on a plate. I topped everything with olive oil, flaky salt, and balsamic vinegar. SO GOOD.
SUMMER SQUASH RECIPES
I finally had a moment to compile your recipes from the summer squash recipe challenge! Follow the link below for recipes and inspiration from your fellow CSA members:
Looking forward to delivering your veggies tomorrow!
sunshine and arugula,