As I was staring at the computer screen this morning, waiting patiently for my coffee to kick in, I thought I’d read over old CSA newsletters from late Julys past and see how different, or not, things seem. One year I’d comment on excessive heat, another torrential rain, and yet another on the “unseasonably cool” conditions. This whole farming bit is a gamble for sure. All we can do is plan for any and every scenario and something is bound to pan out. Oddly, we are not too far off of the usual harvest time table. Peas are sticking around a little later and beans are about a week late, but other than that it is not too vastly different. We do need more concentrated heat to help the tomatoes and cukes, but they are doing surprisingly well without it!I spent last week in Oklahoma soaking up the high 90’s and oppressive humidity. It felt great-for a few days at least. I don’t know how people survive there! (Oh yeah, air-conditioning.) I tried imagining farming there, where by 10:00 it is already in the high 80’s and by noon-forget it. I’d have to keep baker’s hours and farm by headlamp in the relative cool of the night. Nice as it was to be in sun dresses and bare feet, even at night, I was so ready to come home. Being there helped remind me (again) how wonderful it is to live and farm here, even in challenging seasons like this. And the lush beauty of this place… I could go on and on.Being away helped me see more clearly how quickly things are starting to grow, now that it is slightly warmer. The summer cover crops (buckwheat and sudan grass) that were sown the day before I left are now a low carpet of green, doing their part to improve our soil before we plunk in the last of the season’s plantings. The corn jumped in growth and we have even been snacking on a few rogue Sungold cherry tomatoes. (Yes, we will be sure to share in the next few weeks when they really start cranking.) All the potatoes have either flowered or are in the process of doing so, which means they will be ready to harvest in a week or two. We did a test harvest yesterday, and thought it best to wait just a bit longer.The fields are looking very full. We are nearing the end of our plantings. We’ll continue to plant more lettuce, herbs, spinach, and radishes for fall harvest, but the majority of the crops are in, or are in the greenhouse awaiting transplant. How quickly all that happened! I still don’t feel like it is summer yet. My seasonal clock is confused. The cookbooks are finally here. Thank you for your patience. It is essentially the same cookbook as last year, but with a different cover and a few less spelling errors! Only new shares get one. We have additional copies for sale for $6.00. Let me know if you need another and I’ll leave you one next week. We have left copies at each site that are labeled with nametags. Do not take one unless it has your name. NRB folks, we’ll put yours right in the box since you all are new. BULK ORDERS: Throughout the season we find ourselves swimming in an abundant supply of several crops. We can offer you discounted rates for bulk purchases. Those crops include shell peas, green beans, tomatoes, pickling cukes, storage onions, bulk beets, bulk carrots, basil and more. We will alert you when we have extra available. This weekend at market we will have shell peas galore. If you want to freeze some peas for the winter, now is the time. 5-9 lbs is $3.50/lb, 10-19 lbs is $3.00/lb, 20 lbs or more is $2.80/lb. Call ahead to reserve some. Pickling cukes: We anticipate having cukes the second week in August and on through September. We recommend placing an order soon, as they get snapped up fast. Call or email to place your order. Prices: Mini $2.10/lb Smalls $1.90 Medium $1.75 Large $1.60Dill $2.50Garlic $12.00 Honey: For the past 3 years Tim and Sharette Giese from Woogie Bee honey have summered their bee hives on our field edge. It is a win-win situation. He has a food source for his bees and we have extra pollination help. He has offered to extract honey from these hives for us to sell to you. You can buy it by the quart or pint. It will be ready later in the season. We just want to gauge interest before we place an order from him. Let me know if and how much honey you might want. Quarts will be in the neighborhood of $14 and pints around $8.