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Week 4 Newsletter

July 10, 2014

In your box:
–Cucumber or summer squash
–Garlic scapes
–Head lettuce: “Grandpa Admire”
–Kale: “Red Russian”
–Kohlrabi
–Radish
–Salad mix
–Sweet onion

Last week all was well in the natural world of Fox and Fawn Farm. Crickets were chirping, frogs were croaking, and birds were landing on us. This week, Mother Nature has been none too kind.
Just two days after a small bird landed on me, I was sitting outside on a snack break when a robin perched high above me let fly with a buckshot poop that landed all over my arm. When I looked up to ask what I had done to deserve such treatment, I saw that the robin was smiling and laughing at me. You might ask, How did I know it was smiling and laughing, as birds have firm beaks. You are only asking that because you have never had a bird land on you. Let’s just say that previous experience has given me a new insight into the emotions of birds.
The day after that, our cats had the brilliant idea of bringing a chipmunk into the house. This was not a planned part of my lunch break. Of course, the chipmunk bit the cat and scampered away, where it was immediately trapped in a corner by a dog and two cats. After getting the domesticated animals out of the way, we were able to corral the chipmunk out of the house by means of a rug and a good deal of yelling.
The next day, everywhere we looked we saw robins flailing on the ground. It was extremely windy that day, so we’re guessing the gusts knocked the baby robins out of their nests before they could properly fly. Thankfully, only two of them died in the fall. But that left a dozen robins all over our orchard, hopping and scurrying frantically as we did our best to not step on them. The mama robins were none too pleased, so they insisted on dive-bombing us until their pathetic offspring could hop to safety.
A day after my divine encounter with the bird that landed on me, a couple people sent me this quote from Henry David Thoreau: “I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.” That was all well and good for last week. This week, I was just happy to wash the poop epaulet off my arm, get all of the wildlife out of our house, and avoid stepping on adolescent birds.
This week’s box brings our most critiqued veggie: Kohlrabi. This poor crop was maligned on many a pre-season survey, to the point where I don’t know if it’s even worth growing. But I figure that eating kohlrabi is a rite of the CSA season, it doesn’t take up much room, and is really quite tasty if you’re willing to try. If you’re unfamiliar with this cabbage-relative, kohlrabi is the white tennis ball with a leafy hat. To enjoy it, first peel the outside layer. Kohlrabi is perfectly enjoyable plain and raw—simply slice it up into small carrot-stick size portions and eat it plain or with a dip. It can be chopped and added to a stir-fry, cut up into a soup, or steamed. One of our favorite uses is to add it to a coleslaw. Try grating the peeled kohlrabi along with radishes, carrot, parsley, green onion, and a dressing.
I was very surprised to find some great Cucumbers and Summer Squash this week as well. This is the earliest we’ve ever had squash and ties the earliest cucumber harvest date. We didn’t expect any for two or three weeks after how mild it’s been, but it was great to find some getting a jump on the season. Green beans should be ready in a week or two, with tomatoes just a little down the road.
Our scallions needed a week off to bulk up, but thankfully we have Sweet Onions already of a mature size. Unlike late-season onions, these need to be kept in the fridge. The greens can be eaten as well.

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