CSA Newsletter Box 6-July 28

by jennifer on July 28, 2010

Andrew was the first to spot the giant elk in the pea patch this morning. Seeing an elk in the field triggers all sorts of thoughts and emotions simultaneously. “Wow, how amazing. What a magnificent creature!”, “Oh no! He’s trampling the plants and eating them for breakfast!” “What a testament the health of this valley, that elk can survive and thrive.” “Oh man, I hope he doesn’t bring his friends!” You get the idea. It is truly beautiful where we live. Thanks in part to the flood plain (thus lack of development) there is still a lot of wild open space. The river runs right by and the hills full of forests seem to go on and on. This year, more than most, we have seen a greater number of wild critters. A black bear was spotted by a neighbor and also “visited” 2 of our workers’ home site about a month ago. (They have barky dogs that have kept it away since.) A cougar was spotted by another neighbor a few miles down the road. Coyotes have been seen numerous times loping along the back field edge and we occasionally hear them at night yipping and yowling and making all the dogs for miles around join the ruckus. Deer have been less frequent visitors thankfully. I can’t imagine having to fence our fields. I think they all hang out a mile down the road at our other friend’s farm. I see at least 3 every time I drive over there, no matter what time of day or night. We’ll see what the fall brings, as that is when they tend to graze most heavily at the Rising River Farm garden buffet.Green Beans: This heat has been lovely and the crops are responding. Last Friday we combed through the first bean planting and got a scant 2 boxes. Yesterday the same patch yielded around 12. Needless to say, you all will be getting beans today. They are so sweet and tender. Try the Green Beans with Walnuts, Balsamic, and Honey on pg 77 in the farm cookbook. If anyone wants additional canning quantities of beans, let us know. We will have a lot this week at market. It is best to call ahead so we can hold them for you. If you aren’t ready this week, call anyway to be put on our list and we’ll let you know when we have more surplus.As much as beans love the heat, the peas hate it. Yesterday’s picking may very well be the last. We’ll look again Friday, but it does not seem hopeful. Enjoy your last allotment of shell and snow peas today. Pickling cukes: We combed through the pickle patch and found quite a few medium to large ones which we will be giving you today. The regular slicers and lemons are still a few weeks away. Many people prefer the pickling cukes over the standard slicer. They are more flavorful and less seedy. Occasionally they can be bitter, so sample a slice before you commit it to a dish. But so far all the ones I have eaten have been very tasty. Peeling is optional.New potatoes: Jim just came in and told me of his spontaneous decision to quickly dig some red new potatoes for your box today. We have been sampling them for a week or two now and they are so delicious. There are a million ways to cook a potato, but we always simply steam the first new potatoes of the season to fully enjoy their flavor & texture. We may add butter, but more out of habit than necessity. The variety today is Red Chieftain.Summer squash. We are growing three types this year. Dark Star is the dark green one, Costata Romanesco is the light green ribbed one, and Yellow Crookneck is the yellow one with the crooked neck-go figure. The green ones are just starting to produce and we will be rotating them around. Before you know it we will be harvesting obscene amounts and you’ll be begging us to not give you so much.Basil: The basil is finally flourishing. We will be giving you a small handful with your beans. Basil does not hold up well, so try to use it today or tomorrow. Make spring rolls with your carrots, scallions, zucchini, and basil. Add it to a pasta dish. Add it to your salad. It can be frozen as well. It will turn dark green and look strange, but it will taste wonderful in mid-winter when you pull it out.What’s In The Box:Lettucecarrotsscallionsnew potatoesGarlicBeets or chardgreen beansshell peasbasildill, cilantro, or parsleyPickling cukes*Rotational items: zucchini, broccoli

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