You wouldn’t know it from the pictures we post, both here on the blog & on Instagram.
The farm in the pictures usually looks pretty good – obviously we want to show our best side!
But in reality things are looking rather rough. It’s the same every year at this time. And every year I whine about it. And every year I promise myself we’ll do better & keep things under control. And every year we do – for a while!
And then the middle of July rolls around.
We’re still busy planting. But we’re also harvesting … and weeding … and mulching … and pruning & tying tomatoes … Then it gets hot & humid & dry & then wet … and we fall behind. Out of nowhere the weeds explode and take over. Suddenly the farm is a mess!
So we pick & choose, set our priorities and do what we can. We put our heads down and get going. We sharpen the hoes. We get down on our knees & pull weeds. We even bring out the lawnmower – our tool of choice at this time of the summer. We fight to regain some semblance of order – and we do!
A little dramatic? Perhaps. But after an extremely hot & tiring week, an even hotter weekend, and a violent storm last Friday, we were rather shocked at sight of the farm this morning!
Not that it was all bad news! The summer vegetables also loved the heat and grew & grew …
We made some good progress on the weeding today. Here’s Amy using our finger-weeder. Timing is critical with this tool (it only works on very small weeds, when the vegetables are small too) but properly used it can save a lot of hand weeding.
The new zucchini patch is mulched, and growing well thanks to the 1″ of rain we received last week.
(Almost) Weed free onions – nothing short of amazing for this time of year!
What’s in the box?
Tomatoes, fresh garlic, zucchini & patty pan summer squash, kohlrabi, fennel, lettuce, beets, green onions, fresh herb bunches.
- The tomato patch has been teasing us with a few ripe tomatoes for a week or more. Now we are finally picking enough fruit for our CSA shares! There’s not an abundance yet, but enough for a good taste!
- We have begun to harvest garlic. After the mild scapes we’ve been eating the last while, the fresh garlic is strong & pungent! Because it is fresh and not dried, it must be kept refrigerated. Remember to wrap it well or your entire fridge will smell & taste like garlic.
- To say we have zucchini & patty pan summer squash is a bit of an understatement. They appear to be making up for lost time after their struggles with the cucumber beetle. Enjoy several in your box this week (plus a few more if desired.) We enjoyed stuffed patty pan squash for dinner last week. Here’s the recipe (note that we used quinoa instead of rice and it was delicious!) https://www.food.com/recipe/rice-stuffed-sunburst-patty-pan-summer-squash-382907
- Kohlrabi is a big disappointment this season. Instead of the big, beautiful, perfectly weird-looking vegetable we usually can grow, they are smaller, misshapen and mostly cracked this year. We have 3 or 4 different plantings coming on now and every one of them is the same – not sure why. There is still good eating in them, just a bit more work to prepare them. Kohlrabi is usually eaten raw – just peeled & sliced. The taste & texture resembles fresh, crunchy broccoli stems, with a bit of radish thrown in. Use on raw vegetable platters and serve with a creamy dip. Grated kohlrabi can be added to slaws. Kohlrabi can also be steamed or boiled but don’t peel until after they are cooked. When the bulbs are tender, peel skin, and season with butter, salt, and pepper, a cheese sauce, or just enjoy plain. They are good for mashing with other vegetables – parsnips, carrots or potatoes. Kohlrabi absorbs the flavour of other ingredients making it ideal to add to soup, stew and stir-fries. The bulbs should be stored, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the fridge. They will hold for a week. Our favourite way to eat kohlrabi (other than raw in slices) is to sautée it in butter & garlic for just a few minutes. Then add just a dash of nutmeg. Delicious!
- We always struggle to grow nice fennel. For some reason it gives us trouble & we rarely get good results. Except this year! Our fennel is small (maybe a little too small), tender & delicious. Fennel is crisp & crunchy like celery, but with a licorice flavour. Use it fresh in salads or on a vegetable tray. We like it roasted too, which makes the flavour milder. The ferny fronds can be used – as a garnish, in a salad. They pair well with fish & fish dishes. Here is a fennel recipe that we are anxious to try. https://www.spicesinmydna.com/roasted-beet-fennel-salad-mint-toasted-walnuts/
- Lettuce mix, beets, green onions & fresh herbs complete the CSA box this week.
Not everyone hates the weeds & rampant-growing grasses! Flynn enjoys the cover they provide for his hunting expeditions. Flynn does not enjoy me disturbing his hunting!