CSA Newsletter-Box 8-August 10, 2011

by jennifer on August 10, 2011

Hey, this isn't a pickling cucumber!

The big news since last week is the “Big Pickle Debacle”. On Thursday we went out to the second planting of pickling cukes only to find that they didn’t look anything like pickling cukes. That very day we got a call from our seed company telling us they just discovered that their seed supplier mislabeled the seed they sent and it is not, in fact, a pickling cucumber at all. So rather than 4000+ row feet of pickling cucumbers, we now have 4000+ feet of English slicing cucumbers. It is too late to plant more this year, so we are essentially out of luck. Consequently, we are not taking any more orders as it is unlikely we’ll fill all the orders we have. We are quite irate about the whole thing. The ONLY upside is that these English cucumbers do taste quite good-sweet, crisp, and tender. They just started to ripen, so you will each get one in your box. They are slender and green with an almost striped appearance. Let’s hope Martha Stewart or some celebrity chef TV show will start raving about English cucumbers and help boost sales at the market. We anticipate having a lot of them.

Situations like this are a good reminder of why we choose to be a diversified grower. We grow so many different things that if one (or more) crops fail for whatever reason, we still have plenty of others that will theoretically do well. It is also a reminder to you as the customer that you are sharing the risks and rewards of the farm season. Some years you may not see a single tomato, other years you’ll get plenty. These weekly newsletters try to keep you informed about how weather, pests, disease, or human error can affect the final harvest. This particular crop failure may not affect you CSA members too much in a negative may, though you will reap the reward of getting English cucumbers in your box.

As often happens during the growing season we will have several plantings of a crop come on all at once resulting in a ridiculously abundant harvest. Last Friday it was green beans, yesterday it was broccoli. You will see a generous amount of broccoli in your box today. Now is the time to try all those broccoli recipes you have been putting off or check out some of the new ones I just posted on our website last night. Broccoli recipes. Aside from the pickle situation, things are looking good here at the farm. We are caught up on the weeding and most of the other crops are just chugging along and doing what they are supposed to. The crew is all up to speed with the myriad of tasks to be taken on. We are just riding the wave.

What’s in the BoxLettuce
Sweet onion
Red potatoes
Green Zucchini
Italian Zucchini
Yellow crookneck
English cucumber
Green beans
Dill and cilantro
Parsley and basil
Beets for half of you (The rest will get them next week.)
Sungolds or a red slicing tomato
Eggplant for some (this will rotate around)

Elaborations on the Box Content:
Lettuce: You will all get one ice-berg type lettuce. We have never grown this before, but after years of customer requests we did a few token plantings. We always looked at ice-berg as the poster child of bad grocery store produce, but curiosity and customer feedback got us off our soap box and we decided to try it. Not as nutrient dense as other lettuces, it is mighty sweet and tasty and makes me crave a BLT whenever I eat some. Enjoy the novelty.
Potatoes: This is a red variety called Sangre. It has white flesh and is great for potato salads or home fries. These are not the prettiest potatoes that even grace your kitchen, but they taste great.
Tomatoes: They are still a little slow to ripen. There are so many on the verge, but not quite ready. You will either get Sungold cherries or a red slicer.
Chard (or lack thereof): The chard patch needs a breather so we will take a week or two off from picking to let it bounce back. (Try not to be too sad.)
Kale: Ditto. It got picked pretty hard last week, so we are letting it re-grow for awhile.
Eggplant: These are just starting to ripen so the harvest is small. We will rotate these around. We grow 2 types, Italian and Asian. The Italian ones are shorter and fatter and the Asian ones are long and skinny. We find the Asian ones to be a little sweeter, and never bitter. Both are delicious.

Enjoy this sunny day!

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