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Week 5 Newsletter

July 22, 2011

 

In your box:

  • Basil
  • Beets
  • Cucumber or zucchini or beans/peas or kohlrabi
  • Kale, red Russian
  • Mizuna
  • Radishes (red)
  • Salad mix
  • Turnips (white)

 

 

Special thanks to our intern, Jeremy “Naptime” Benson for writing our newsletter story this week:

 

After the third day of heat indexes above 105 degrees, Red locked himself in the root cellar with all of the neighborhood’s oscillating fans, and Nina’s been trying to coax him out with raspberries, swearing that corn really does love overbearing heat. So, until God turns on the A/C, it looks like I, the Fox and Fawn Farm Intern-At-Large, am in charge of the newsletter.

 

I’ve been dreaming about this day since I accepted the internship. About a year ago I visited Red and Nina to interview for the position (which consisted of weeding for two weeks), and one thing I heard over and over was how treasured the newsletter is to Fox and Fawn members. Some of you, I hear, gobble up the newsletter before even noticing the strawberries. So, erm, I got some shoes to fill.

 

In my former life, I worked in retail selling woodworking supplies. So while I could navigate the register like nobody’s business while talking you into buying a warranty for a spoke-shave, I knew nothing of transplanting melons, the delicious taste of turnip greens, or the existence of kohlrabi beyond “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.” (Don’t tell Red this, but I was notorious for killing houseplants despite/directly because of my best intentions.)

 

But I’m learning heapfuls. Like, a farmer’s mood (y) is inversely related to the number of consecutive days without a decent amount of rain or sun (|x|). And, when a question’s answer is multiple choice, always choose “snooze.”

 

Mostly, I’m realizing I kind of enjoy plucking alfalfa, spreading straw, and harvesting–even eating–kale. Last week the Farm Team decided to work until sundown, to get ahead before a forecasted storm–after working for 12 hours in heat and mosquitos, I felt satisfied and energized, things I never felt after 5 hours behind the register.

 

New this week:

 

Basil is making its first entry into our boxes this season, although just a few weeks ahead of the tomatoes it is usually paired with. Basil is a close relative of mint and contains some of the same chemical compounds as cloves, but its taste and aroma are unmistakable. Basil originally hails from India, where its culinary use dates back some 5,000 years. It was brought to the Mediterranean some time later, where the similar climate served the plants well. Basil is a common ingredient in the cuisines of both Southeast Asia and Italy. It has also been used throughout Africa, where folk wisdom claims that basil helps to deter scorpions. It should be warned, however, that 17th century French herbalists claimed that smelling too much basil will breed scorpions in the brain. Please be careful upon opening your box today—the sudden whiff of basil may very well give birth to those ever-pesky brain scorpions! If you do happen to develop brain scorpions from sniffing basil and die from this, your basil can then be used to usher you into the afterlife. In Indian tradition, basil is placed in the mouth of the dead as they are buried or cremated, while in some European nations basil is placed in the hands of the deceased, as a way to ensure entrance to heaven. Hopefully most of you will enjoy your basil while still living and without too many scorpions running around in your head!

New next week: Head lettuce, carrots and garlic

This has been family week around the farm, with Jeremy’s family here Monday-Wednesday and Red’s family here from Wednesday-Sunday. Thanks to our great families for help this week!

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