CSA Newsletter – Week 5 – July 16, 2014

by jennifer on July 16, 2014

10492550_865974953432179_2369833873085253892_nThis is the time of year when I wish there were more meals in the day. Each week there is something new and delectable to eat. Our menu keeps expanding. This week, there are a few new crops trickling in. As I mentioned before, the first few harvests of any given crop are light, so we will have to do a little rotating. You should have gotten one of the following: shell peas, green pepper, green beans, or sungold cherry tomatoes.
While we welcome new crops, we also say goodbye to others. Peas are pretty much done, or at least my crew hopes they are. (They are not very fun to pick) The recent heat has really done a number on them and they weren’t looking so pretty on the last comb through, but we got the best of what there was. Surprisingly, they are still super sweet and delicious, even with the heat stress. Enjoy what you got, because it is probably the last you will see of them until next year. Beans will become the legume of the hour. You should be seeing them pretty regularly for awhile. We have spied a few red tomatoes out there, so hopefully you will see those soon as well. On the herb front, the summer savory is pretty picked over so basil will take its place. Remember that basil freezes well. It turns black and doesn’t look very pretty, but the flavor is still good. It is a nice treat to have in the winter. Turnips and radishes are also a thing of the past.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
Carrots
Lettuce
beets or chard
Italian zucchini
yellow crookneck squash
yellow patty pan squash-large shares only
green onions
kohlrabi
chives
dill & cilantro or Italian parsley & basil
snow or snap peas
one of the following rotational items: shell peas, green beans, green pepper, or sungold tomatoes

PICKLING CUCUMBERS
Pickling cucumbers are just starting. If you would like some, it would be a good idea to place an order. Click here for more details on prices and sizes. We can deliver it to your CSA site, you can get them at the Olympia, Proctor, or Vancouver Farmers market, or come to the farm. Demand is high, so it is best to reserve some. It’s kind of crazy (and awesome) how many people still make pickles. I have a lot of customers who have given up canning just about everything else, but won’t give up the cucumbers. Kids and grandkids are asking their parents and grandparents to show them how to do it. People organize annual canning parties and share the bounty. Many people give them away as holiday gifts. It seems like everyone has a story, tradition, or special memory attached to making pickles.

FOOD PRESERVATION IN GENERAL:
It’s time to get your squirrel on. We may be entering to height of abundance, but that moment is fleeting. You have to can, freeze, and preserve while you can. You may groan at the thought of making a hot kitchen even hotter with the canning kettle, but you will be so glad you did in February when you are beginning to tire of winter squash and leeks! How delightful it will be to pull out some pesto from the freezer, pop open a can of tomatoes, and munch on some pickles when it is cold a rainy outside. Like summer in a jar.
Throughout the season, especially when multiple plantings come on at once, we offer good deals on bulk quantities of produce for canning, freezing, and storage. Pretty soon we will be swimming in beans, basil, and tomatoes (at least I hope.) If you want to get on the list for any of these crops, let me know what you are looking for and I’ll put you on the list. I’ll also make a mention of it in the CSA newsletter.

REUSABLE BAGS:10409080_865993936763614_2567520293223798637_n
Thurston County recently instituted a ban on single use plastic grocery bags. I personally think it is a great idea. I have been bringing my own bags for years. It is now a habit for me, rather than an inconvenience. How do I always remember to bring my bags, you wonder? It is because I bought a handful of Chico brand nylon bags that compress down into a tiny pouch. I can fit 4 or 5 in my purse at all times. They are durable, washable, and generally awesome. We just bought a bunch, with our logo emblazoned across the front. We are selling them for $7.50. You can order some through our website or just shoot me an email. We will have them at the Olympia, Proctor, and Vancouver farmers market. We can also leave some for you with your CSA share.

Well, it looks like a little precipitation is on the horizon. It’ll be a good thing I am sure, but I really do love having an actual summer. I can tolerate the heat, not because I lived a big chunk of my life in Oklahoma, but because in my mind heat=tomatoes, watermelon, corn, cucumbers, and all sorts of other yummy summer veggies that need lots of heat to thrive. Here’s to an actual summer, with sun and heat.

Cheers!
Jen

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