In your box:

–Basil

–Beans

–Broccoli

–Cucumbers

–Green Onions

–Head Lettuce

–Potatoes, “Yukon Gold”

–Summer Squash

–Tomatoes

At this point I think I should formally apologize for all of the mean things I said about Minnesota weather back in the spring. The mild, dry weather we enjoyed all of last week has continued through this week, resulting in very pleasant working conditions and some great progress from the garden as the crops soak up the sun and enjoy the rather gentle rains we’ve had this month. The fields are really looking good now, and I’d say our slow start to the gardening season is officially a distant memory.

Our crop of Beans is off to a nice start. We grow four different varieties, including basic green beans, a wax yellow bean, purple beans, and an heirloom purple & white variety known as “Dragon’s Tongue” (coming next week). The color variety tends to vary with which plants are producing on a given week, but all of the beans can be used interchangeably. I don’t have a good way to wash and dry beans fully before delivery, so our beans come with some field dirt and should be washed before using. Beans cook up quickly—just 3-5 minutes in boiling water is usually enough to prepare nice, tender beans that aren’t mushy. And enjoy the colors before you cook them—the purple beans turn green and then Dragons fade to a light yellow after boiling.

I’m excited to start digging up our first Potatoes of the year. This week’s variety is Yukon Gold, a creamy yellow variety that’s delicious no matter how you use it. We like these as oven fries but they are perfect for potato salad or boiled on their own. The potatoes this week are still considered “new”–they are not fully mature so their skins are a little fragile. There’s no reason to peel these potatoes, but if some of their skin is flaking off it’s fine to just remove it. By the way, we should have carrots coming in next week’s box. They had a late planting and a took their time growing but it looks like they are finally sizing up and will be ready soon.

Our crop of Tomatoes is just starting to ripen. They are off to a slow start, just like last year. Hopefully they will come through with a similar bumper crop to what we had last year, too! None of our heirlooms are showing any color yet, so at this point all I could harvest are some common slicing tomatoes. I also had a few early “Juliet” tomatoes, a delicious grape tomato we enjoy in salads. Our pickings should keep up over the next few weeks and typically reaches a peak around Labor Day. We’ll have to see how the harvest develops before I know about offering surplus tomatoes for freezing and canning. I’ll give you more details on that as the tomatoes come pouring in.

We’ve had a few requests for an open house on the farm, but thus far in the season the deer flies and mosquitoes have been so awful during the day that it has seemed a little dangerous to invite anyone out to the farm. But now that the deer flies are dying off and mosquito numbers are dropping to a more manageable level, we’d love to have some visitors out to see your food growing in the field and perhaps lend a hand at some jobs around the farm. We would like to schedule an open house on the farm for Saturday, August 24th from noon until 4pm. You’re welcome to bring a picnic lunch if you’re here over the lunch hour. We will have farm tours, yard games, and the opportunity to help harvest our storage onions if you’d like to get your hands a little dirty. Kids are definitely welcome and non-CSA members are invited as well. We will also be having our year-end harvest party in late September as well (more details to come). Hope to see you at the farm!

Expected next week: Carrots, escarole, cucumbers, summer squash, green onions, sweet pepper, beans, tomato, chard.

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