In your box:
–Head Lettuce, “New Red Fire”
This week we have the first of our sweet peppers. We aren’t seeing any red ones yet, mostly because it’s been so cool the past two weeks, but within a few weeks we should start getting some beautiful red coloring on our peppers as they reach full maturity. Green peppers are just as useful and taste almost as sweet as red ones, and they are a reliable stand-by as we wait for some of their sisters to ripen up. We grow a couple kinds of the usual bell pepper as well as two heirloom varieties, my favorite being the distinctive Italian heirloom “Carmen.” These are State-Fair caliber gorgeous peppers, especially when they are fully red. They look like an over-sized hot pepper, but all of the peppers we grow are sweet varities. We used to grow hot peppers, but most folks weren’t that interested and we dropped them. The members that were interested seemed to have distinctive tastes that made it impossible to please anyone, so it was easiest to just give them up and focus on purely sweet peppers.
This is the last week for baby beets or beet greens, as I am finally finishing up the thinning on my last planting of beets. For the rest of the season I will just be giving full-sized beets. Again, beet greens can be used in any recipe calling for chard or spinach. They can be eaten raw or mixed into a salad, but if the taste is too sharp they may also be wilted or cooked.
We have more beet thinnings than we know what to do with, even after adding them to your box and our fridge, but we’ve noticed that Guinea pigs love them! Our son Nathan shares his room with Scamper, his beloved Guinea pig and the luckiest rodent in the world. Guinea pigs love anything green they can come across, so where better to live than on a farm that grows 80 different kinds of green things! Scamper seems to favor beet greens nearly as much as lettuce and carrot tops, which is a pretty high standard for guinea pigs. So in case one last week of beet greens doesn’t tempt you, I highly recommend finding a neighborhood guinea pig in need and making a new friend.
Scamper (and probably you) will be happy to know that carrots are finally ready for harvest! Our carrots have been as slow to appear as Donald Trump’s tax returns, but they have finally reached a decent size and will be a welcome addition to our CSA boxes next week. For the rest of the season my plan is to rotate root crops weekly between beets, carrots, and potatoes. We will also have some turnips, radishes, and rutabagas coming your way to complement the world of root veggies.
We’d love to see you out that the farm yet this summer! We are here most weekends and we would love to show you around. Just e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (952-353-1762) if you are interested and we’ll try to set something up. We have an astonishing lack of mosquitoes here this year, so your visit will not involve screaming. We are also hoping to have a group out to make elderberry wine in late August. We have never tried this before, but we have a good crop coming on and we’re going to give it a shot. Send me an e-mail if you are interested, whether you know what you’re doing or not, and we will try our hand at wine-making (and singing along to Elton John, of course!).
It’s hard to believe, but we are nearly at the half-way point of the growing season. This week will mark the end of the planting season, as I seed the fall crops of spinach, lettuce, arugula, radishes, and turnips. For the rest of the way it’s just keeping the weeds under control and enjoying the fruits of the garden! We hope you’re enjoying this season and trying out some new crops with your family. The fields are full of more goodness for the fall, and we hope you enjoy the rest of the year!
Expected next week: Basil, head lettuce, cucumber, squash, carrots, chard, garlic, red onion, beans and tomatoes.