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Week 8 Newsletter

August 2, 2012

In your box:

  • Beans
  • Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, or endive
  • Cucumber
  • Kale, Red Russian
  • Parsley
  • Summer squash or Eggplant
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet onion
  • Sweet pepper
  • Tomatoes

This week’s newsletter is written by our intern, Jeremy “Naptime” Benson, who is now in his second year with us.  As he is also an English major, you’ll be in good hands.

Whoa, hello, August, and welcome.

Although I admit it has taken me some time, in these post-collegiate years, to break out of the ritual panic that arrives as the calendar turns to August. As recently as 2010, I was still waking up from nightmares about not studying for trigonometry exams and paying full price for back-to-school pens and paper. (Just kidding–I have never cared about my grades in math.) Even now, I feel a nagging drive to hurry up and get all my summer plans underway before it’s too late, and that inevitable first-day bell calls me in toward a chair with my name on it.

~Sorry, kids, for the reminder.~

For me, everything that August has to offer has made all the difference in my recovery, and my subsequent about-face in attitude and acceptance of late summer. For example, I’m especially eager to leave behind all 31 of July’s over-80-degree days, and to soak up August’s mellower warmth.

Of course I’m even more excited for this month’s fruits and vegetables. After half a season of seeding and weeding, and weeding some more, here we are, enjoying fresh corn on the cob. And down the garden a dozen rows, a multitude of green beans are fruiting and wanting for chopped onion and bacon grease (an omnivore’s serving suggestion). On the other side, the cucumber and zucchini patches continue to deliver, with plenty of flowers hinting at more squash to come. And the outlook’s delicious in the beds of onions.

It has been dangerous, as further proof of August’s blessings, for Red to leave tomatoes unattended in my presence. As I’m sure you know, it doesn’t take long for a pint of those Sun Gold cherry tomatoes to disappear. (If you’re curious why you haven’t seen any in your box, I’d ask the person you sent to the drop site.)
Additionally, this week kicks off the pepper season, and you’ll be seeing the first harvest of sweet peppers in your box this week. Sweet peppers make up 1/3 of the so-called “Holy Trinity,” along with onions and celery (alternately parsley, garlic, or shallots), which you can use to start nearly any dish–in particular, any dish of cajun or creole cuisine. That is to say, I see many green bean jambalayas and collard green gumbos in your future.
We don’t watch much television around here, so we’ve been listening to Olympic updates on the radio. Is it odd to anyone else that no athletes have been charged with eating too much kale before their event? It seems like it should be rampant?

—–

There is one unusual crop we should mention this week:  Endive.  We don’t have enough for everyone due to poor germination, but we should have a second crop coming in a few weeks.  The heat of this summer has made it too difficult to keep lettuce growing, so we’re grateful for this fill-in salad green until September brings back head and leaf lettuces.  Endive is not a true lettuce, and is most closely related to dandelions and radicchio.  It’s large, frilly leaves are delicious in salads and can also be lightly steamed if it’s a little too chewy for your table. 

We do have some broccoli this week, but unfortunately the heat has been hard on this healthy veggie, resulting in poorly formed heads that are too quick to send out shoots.  It’s still delicious and edible, but it might not have the visual perfection of a grocery store.  We have broccoli planted again for the fall, when the cool weather favors good head development.

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