Ah, summertime! How wonderful and rare it is to have an actual summer. The first year I moved to Washington, it was cool, rainy, and cloudy through July. Coming from Oklahoma, that was very depressing. It is amazing how much happier I am when we can plant on time, keep up on weeds and not have to slog around in wool and rain gear while the rest of the country is having backyard barbeques and trips to the lake.
We have a wonderful crew this year, which adds to my joy. Many are returnees and already know what to do and how to do it. They have been great at helping the new folks get up to speed. We even have our high school son and a few of his friends on board. It’ll be a good experience for them. It sure beats my first job as a hotel maid. All of them have delightful personalities and a great attitude. Having pleasant company while doing mundane tasks is always preferred. We’ll try to get a crew picture soon to put in the newsletter. However, trying to get us all together to snap a picture is like herding cats. Throughout the day we are scattered all over the farm doing a myriad of tasks.
This is the time of year where everything is happening at once on the farm. Veggie start sales are winding down at the markets and Co-ops, but we still have our own field starts to keep up with. We are still planting quite a bit, as we do many successions of many crops in order to have a steady supply. We must then weed all that is planted. Irrigation pipe is moved at least 3 times a day to keep it all watered. Several times a week we harvest and distribute all this lovely food to CSA members, farmers markets, and soon, to the Co-ops. Each week there will be more to harvest (thus more to enjoy) and the workdays will get a little longer. We aim to hire enough people that we can all keep sane hours, or at least the crew can. Our time of 10 hour field days is over (mostly).
Since we are entering a stretch of crazy hot weather and the idea of actually cooking is not very appealing, I am including a bunch of links to recipes for salads, salad dressings, and slaws. Yesterday after work I kicked back in the hammock and flipped through The Big Book of Potluck a cookbook by Maryana Vollstedt. I highly recommend it. Most recipes feature lots of fresh veggies and herbs.
FLOWERS FROM AUGUST FARM: Our neighbors down the road have a flower CSA. for those of you who love the idea of supporting a local farm CSA style and love having fresh flowers to grace your home, check them out. They have several drop sites around the Olympia area including the downtown Olympia Farmers Market and potentially the West Olympia Farmers Market. Check out the August Farm website for more info and to sign up. They are lovely ladies and very caring young farmers.
What’s In The Box:
summer squash-large shares only
beets to half of you
broccoli to the other half of you
turnips-either white or scarlet
fennel -except Thursday folks (you’ll get some soon!)
radishes-without tops, in the pea bag
dill and cilantro or basil and parsley.
Elaborations on Box Content:
Shell peas-We grow 3 types of peas: Shell, snap, and snow (see picture above). Today you get shells. The other types will be ready soon. How do you tell them apart? Shell peas are plump with a rougher exterior and you have to open them to eat the peas inside. Sugar snaps look similar, but are smaller and smoother. You eat them pod and all. Snow are flat and wide. You have probably seen them in a stir fry.All are delicious raw. Shells peas can be lightly steamed or boiled. Snows can be added to stir fries. All can be added to green salads or cold pasta salads. All make great snacks.
Garlic scapes-This is the last week for them. Their season was very short this year due to the heat.
Beets- Half of you get them this week and the rest of you get broccoli. Next week we will switch that. Remember beet greens are a lot like chard and can be used as such.
Radishes: You all got a few in your bag of peas. It was a mild winter which means lot more fleas beetles are around to pester anything in the brassica family. They just love turning radish and turnip greens into lace. We elected to cut the tops off for aesthetic purposes.
Turnips-We grow white and scarlet. You will have gotten one or the other. They look like radishes on steroids. Both types are sweet and crunchy and can be enjoyed raw in salads or on a veggie tray with some dip. You will see by their green just what havoc flea beetles can wreak.
Cabbage-We have several easy and refreshing cabbage salad and slaw recipes. Click here to see them.
Fennel-Everyone but Thursday folks get fennel (your time will come, don’t worry). Fennel is the bulb with the long fronds at the top. The bulb taste like licorice. It is used a lot in Italian dishes. The fronds can be added to salads. I wish I had more fennel recipes to share. Sorry, you’re gonna have to Google this one.
More Recipe Suggestions: (I will work on adding these recipes to the website tonight, but I want to get this letter out ASAP)
Curry Dip For Vegetables
Tabouli-the recipe calls for cucumbers and tomatoes, neirhter o f which I have yet, so I made it with what I did have: carrots and kohlrabi. It was really good! A fine example of how to use a recipe as a spring board for something great.
Fresh Herbs and Walnut Dill Dressing
Reed’s many herb dressing (uses parsley)
Coleslaw with Creamy celery seed dressing
Dill Maple vinaigrette
I hope your week includes time for you to savor this amazing summer weather.