In your box:
–Garlic, “Chesnook Red”
–Lettuce or Salad mix
All winter long, I dream about the bounty of crops in the height of summer. I yearn for green beans. Cucumbers sound good even on a cold day. No pizza seems complete without a diced zucchini on top. And then August finally comes, and the farm bursts forth with week after week of any taste I could possibly crave. This has been one of the better summer seasons we’ve had, and the boxes were still plenty full despite my decision to abandon growing sweet corn. The squash plants are still healthy, the cucumbers are still flowering, and it seems like summer could go on for weeks.
But as soon as school starts, something in my taste buds changes. I have exhausted our list of meals and sides using cucumbers. I hope no one notices when I pass the bowl of beans around without taking any. And I start snooping over to check on the Brussels sprouts and winter squash, ready to move on in the garden calendar and try some new tastes and recipes.
So if you’re less and less excited to open your box and find even more cucumbers, you’re not alone! This week I finally have some of our fall crops ready for harvest, and with the onset of these cooler-weather crops I’ll begin phasing out some of the summer stalwarts. I’ve decided that it’s bad luck to pick beans after Labor Day, despite a lack of scientific proof to back that up. So this is the last picking of beans for the year, and cucumbers have their days numbered, too. I’ll keep up with peppers and tomatoes until the frost kills them off, but we’re finally ready to change up some of the regularity of your box.
This week we have two new crops: Ground cherries and tat soi. Ground cherries have a great citrus taste but are members of the tomato family. To enjoy, just remove the paper husk and eat them. You you can eat them raw or use them in baked desserts. Tat soi is one of my favorite looking veggies, with its dark green leaves and rounded shape. Tat soi is great in stir-fries and can also be wilted down like any cooking green.
Our tomato crop is definitely making up for its slow start. After weeks of slowly ripening in the cool start to August, we’ve finally had enough sunny days for the tomatoes to really kick into high gear. We have lots of heirlooms coming in, including my best crop ever of Cherokee Purple and two smaller purple ones: “Nyagous” and “Black Prince.” We also have Brandywines (an often unsightly but always delicious red one) as well as two orange ones: “Moonglow” and “Valencia.” We grow several other heirlooms as well, but they end up looking and tasting pretty much like the hybrids we grow.
We have more tomatoes than we can possibly force in your CSA box, so we will start offering boxes of tomatoes for canning or freezing. If you are interested, we can put together a 10 pound box of tomatoes (mostly Romas, paste tomatoes, Juliets, as well as some others) for $25 ($2.50 per pound). Please let me know if you are interested and what dates you’d be able to take them. I expect to have a surplus for the next three weeks or so. Of course, I never sell tomatoes unless we have more than I want to force on you. If you are interested in purchasing canners, send me an e-mail any time.
Around this time of year many of you will have changes to your schedule due to school resuming, sports practices, etc. If you would benefit by changing your delivery site, even to one on a different day, please let me know. It makes no significant difference to me, and I’m happy to accommodate any changes you need. Just send me an e-mail and I’m happy to help.
Expected next week: Basil, cucumbers, onion, summer squash, pepper, tomatoes, celery, parsley, carrots, and lettuce.