CSA Week 7- Summer Swings
Like most things in life, farming has proven to be a wild rollercoaster ride filled with endless peaks and valleys, highs and lows. Shortly after feeling overwhelmed and overworked early last week, subtle reminders of the joy of this line of work crept in throughout the rest of the week leaving this farmer with a sense of an (almost) divine purpose. In addition to the endless serene sunrises and sunsets witnessed and the bountiful harvests experienced, moments of gratitude presented themselves in the form of happy customers, healthy plants and tasty meals. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, these joys are often overshadowed by the burden of responsibilities, however I would not want to be living any other life in any other place.
In other news… the summer crops that seemed so distant just over a month ago are starting to mature and will be gracing your boxes in the next few weeks! This week presents the first round of peppers as well as another dose of tender summer squash. And after some serious pruning and trellising, our tomato tunnel is looking stacked and I expect the first cherry tomatoes to be ripe here in the next two weeks. I even dug up a potato plant the other day and had some fresh potatoes for breakfast!
What’s in Your Share?
Basil is associated with the utmost fanciness in regards to all the farm-to-table foods, and this blog from Bon Appétit will be sure to satisfy your inner 5 star chef.
Bunch of carrots
After an bountiful harvest last fall, I had the joy of transporting/storing/washing/selling over 7,000lbs of carrots over the course of the winter. I will never forget tunneling my way through 4ft of snow to get into the cooler where they were stored only to trudge one 40lb bag at a time back to my truck to be washed- seemed rather futile at the time… With such abundance of carrots I had to branch out with how I cooked them and this honey garlic butter roasted recipe quickly became one of my favorites!
Bunch of cilantro
We love making fresh pesto in the summertime with pretty much anything we can get our hands on. Lately our favorite batch has been this cilantro-basil pesto…
Bunch of radish
I’ve been super happy with this variety of radish that we’ve been growing this summer. They get nice and big but don’t get overly spicy and pithy in the middle. If you haven’t tried roasting your radishes yet, perhaps it’s time to give it a shot..?
A big bag of fresh baby lettuce mix! Any great salad is all about the dressing and toppings that reside on top of a bed of greens and I’m sure that this pecan, goat cheese and honey mustard recipe will not disappoint.
It all started with a blank slate of well-tended pasture… Hours spent behind the rotary plowed attached to our walk-behind tractor transformed a 50’ by 100’ patch of the pasture into a plant-friendly planting area where our heat-loving summer crops would find their home (after a month or so of tarp-weeding, bed shaping, etc). Anxious to give the peppers we had just planted enough warmth during an abnormally cool May, I laid out landscape fabric (in order to warm the root zone) and covered them with row cloth. Thinking that I’ve out-smarted Mother Nature I came back the next day to check on our prized crop, only to find crispy sticks where vibrant starts once stood. I had effectively cooked every pepper plant we put out and was left with nothing. However, thanks to the kind spirit of our neighbors and fellow farmers down the road at Mountain Roots Produce we were able to buy some more pepper starts and within a week we had the beds re-planted and spent countless hours taking off and putting back on the row cloth during the cold spring nights. I am forever grateful to the kindness and creative problem solving that presents itself in our community!
Anyways… these trendy frying peppers have been all the rage at farmers markets and CSA programs in the past few years and it’s easy to see why- they are ridiculously easy to cook and taste great! Try this 5-minute blistered shishito recipe and see what all the rage is about.
I hope you enjoyed the fresh crunch of the snap peas last week! These lovely purple snow peas matured right after and I’m glad to say they came on pretty strong. These can be eaten raw or make a quick Mediterranean side dish.
Wow our summer squash plants have really started to take off! The daily examination to make sure they aren’t getting too big definitely keeps us humble (and bent over!) but we always love it. Our friends over at the Harvest Grill at James Ranch use our yellow round squash as their veggie burgers and we highly suggest you try these marinated and grilled!