I think we are finally ahead of the weeds. There is one patch of parsnips, however, that call to me (or rather cries piteously and desperately) whenever I walk by. I hope we get to it today or tomorrow. We are starting to till in beds of old spring crops like peas and radishes which adds to our sense of order and control. I can’t believe we already have to think about planting garlic and fall cover cropping! It will be early September before we actually perform those tasks, but seed needs to be ordered and a location for the garlic set aside and fertilized. Planting time will sneak right up on us, like many things on the farm seem to do. Part of what keeps our soil healthy is crop rotation and a good solid winter cover crop. It is one continuous loop of till, plant, water, weed, harvest, rest….
I just got back from visiting an old farmer friend in Twisp (in Eastern WA, near Winthrop). Over there, where the winters are much harsher, food preservation is priority one. While sipping coffee in her kitchen on a “lazy day off”, she was blanching and freezing chard, spinach, and kale. (I mean, could you imagine not even having fresh kale in the winter?) As much as I grumble each morning about STILL having to wear a wool sweater and fleece hat to start the day, I am quickly reminded why living here is so ideal. It is very Goldi-locks here; not too hot, not too cold. We can harvest fresh greens and root veggies all winter long.
Visiting my friend did re-inspire me to put more food up. As you can imagine, we are pretty tired at the end of the day and the prospect of canning and freezing in not always so alluring. But I know we will be so happy in the winter when we can enjoy all of summer’s harvest (and save a lot of money on our winter grocery bill.)
If you are inspired to freeze or can, you can order additional quantities of produce to put up. We currently have tons of beans and pickling cucumbers. Soon we’ll have basil in bulk quantity. Tomatoes, en masse, will be ready in late August. Call or email the farm for prices and to place an order.
What’s in the box
Beets or chard
Pickling cucumbers (great for fresh eating)
Dill & cilantro or Italian parsley & basil
Rotational: Sungolds, eggplant, green pepper
Beets-this variety is called Chioggia. It is a milder flavored beets with beautiful concentric rings on the inside. Use as you would red beets.
Cucumbers: These are pickling cucumbers that were allowed to get larger. The pickling cukes are always ready before the standard slicers, so we’ll give you these until the others are ready. They are sweeter with a smaller seed cavity, than other cukes. Many of our market customers prefer them over regular ones. The skin is tender enough to not need peeling. Occasionally you’ll find a bitter one, so do a taste test before you commit it to a dish.
Potatoes-The variety is called Sangre. They are a lovely red, waxy potato; great for potato salad and homefries.
Tomatoes-most of the red slicers we grow are the tried and true Early Girl, though some of the smaller ones are a variety called Stupice. The tomatoes and sungolds are still just trickling in, so we’ll be rotating those around.
Eggplant: A few of you got one (again, they are slow to come on so we’ll rotate them.) We grow two types: Italian and Oriental. The Oriental ones are long and skinny and are especially good for stir-fry’s and kebobs.
Don’t feel locked in to traditional pesto with basil and pine nuts and the whole bit. Try it with cilantro or parsley instead. You can also make mini batches. Use right away or freeze for later use.
Pesto off the Cuff: Blend fresh garlic and the herb of choice in a food processor. Add a little olive oil, salt, Parmesan, and fresh ground pepper. Walnuts, hazelnuts, and other milder nuts can be used instead of pine nuts. Or don’t use any nuts (Tip: when using nuts, blend those first with the garlic, then add the herbs.)
Cilantro cucumber salad
Cool mint and cucumber salad
Curried coconut green beans
Green beans with walnuts, balsamic, and honey
Pickling Cucumber Info:
Helpful Tips: If left whole, it takes about 1 pound of cukes to fill a quart jar, regardless of size. One bunch of dill will be enough for 10 lbs of cukes.
1 bunch dill/10lbs