Summer Share – Week 5

The shares are getting more predictable – which means last week’s prediction was pretty much right on. In the share this week are more carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, summer squash, onion, celery, romaine and kale.

A few quick notes on some of the items. The celery is a first pick, really a cleaning up of the plants to encourage more big stems later and that means today’s stems are a bit smaller and more suited to chopping up for flavor in a salad or soup than for slathering with peanut butter and raisins. The lettuce and kale are also not at their absolute prime after the recent heat, but I think they’re still better than most of what you’ll find in the stores.

The potatoes are a new variety for us, Giant White. The do seem to make a few giant potatoes, as well as quite a few small ones. I cooked up one for dinner and was very happy with the flavor and texture. In some ways it overlaps with Yukon Gold and I’m not sure I like it as well, but let me know what you think. We also dug the rest of the Dark Red Norland potatoes today but we’ll give those out next week (I actually hadn’t realized we had more when we first dug them last week).

By the end of last week I was feeling more caught up with weeding and all of the other field work than I have in months. That’s not to say that we’re completely caught up, but we’re not nearly as behind as we’ve been. I think we’re in a bit of a calm before the storm pattern right now as we’ll start making a bunch of new plantings for the fall in the next few weeks and that will greatly increase our labor needs for both planting and weeding. We’ll see how that goes, but right now it feels like we might just be able to handle it.

Summer Share – Week 4

Another solid share yesterday, getting a little heavier with fruit and roots. This might have been the last full harvest of broccoli and I’m not sure that Thursday will get any this week, although Thursday members have been getting a little more than Mondays’ so todays harvest evened that out a bit.

More new potatoes, meaning the skins haven’t set yet so they’re a bit more delicate and have a bit more moisture in them – Dark Red Norlands this time. Red onions make their first appearance. We’ll be harvesting onions fresh for the next month or so, not every week, but a few times. After that we’ll start giving out onions and shallots that are cured for longer storage (or immediate use, your choice). These fresh onions will still keep very well in your fridge if you don’t get to them right away.

Speaking of storing the vegetables in your fridge, we’ve been giving out the carrots with tops, but if you’re not eating them right away and you’re storing them, make sure to remove the tops. If you leave them on they’ll continue to suck water out of the roots and the roots will go soft sooner.

Also in the share: chard, parsley, summer squash, cucumbers and lettuce. The parsley is a moderately sized bunch, and a particularly sweet variety that we’ve been growing for years now based on a recommendation from #denisonfarms. Yet another farmer @farmer.laura told me she thinks of it more as a green and less as an herb, and I think this is a great way to treat it. I really like it chopped finely and cooked in olive oil with pretty much any of the other summer vegetables (I like pretty much everything cooked in olive oil).

At the farm stand we’ve had some extra beets, turnips, and cosmetically challenged, but delicious kohlrabi and those will only be around for a week or so. We’ll try to continue to have extra lettuce and greens for a while and we’ll probably have extra summer squash and cucumbers soon.

As always, remember to check out recipes on @cookwithwhatyouhave if you need any tips or new ideas for how to use the vegetables.

Summer Predictions – Week 4

Here’s what I’m thinking for next week’s share: lettuce, summer squash, cucumbers, parsley, potatoes, kale or chard, broccoli, and carrots.

The lettuce will be our green crisp, Nevada. The summer squash will be Mutabile zucchini, Genovese zucchini, and Pattison patty pans should be making it into the mix next week. We also have three cucumbers that we’ll be harvesting: Marketmore slicers, Shintokiwa are a sweeter longer style, and lemon cucumbers should be showing up soon too.

Broccoli and bunch greens like kale and chard won’t continue all summer as they don’t really love hot summer weather, but it looks one or more of them they might make it into next week’s share.

Potatoes and carrots are hard to predict quantities and qualities until we actually dig them, but the tops are looking good so we’re hoping for a good harvest next week. Parsley is versatile herb but it goes particularly nicely with the potatoes so we’ll try to do bunches of that for next week as well.

A few posts back I mentioned that one of our CSA members is growing beautiful flowers and would be making them available at the farm stand. The photo above are the bouquets she brought on Thursday – definitely brightening up our display! I brought home pair of these and they’re making my dining table a very happy place along with the great produce going into my meals. We’re starting to have a few cut flowers out in the pick your own section of the farm so if you want flowers you have multiple options now.

Summer Share – Week 3

I got a little distracted with the holiday last week and never got around to predicting the share last week. We’re overlapping some spring holdouts today with the first of the summer crops. Collards, arugula, hakurei turnips, and favas all hold on for another week, although Thursday probably won’t see the turnips as they got a huge share of them last week. We always try to have a head of lettuce in the share and this week it’s our red leafed Samantha. Beets are another that shows up through the spring, summer and fall and these are the last of our first two plantings of the season. We have another planting that will be ready in a month or so, and more to seed soon. The purple peacock broccoli is continuing to slowly make heads and side shoots so we’ve got a bit of that in the share – remember to use all of it, including the leaves and stems. Basil, zucchini and cucumbers are the summer crops that are starting to come on strong. With a little luck we’ll have all three on regular rotation through August. We have two types of zucchini, the dark Mutabile and lighter Genovese. We also have two types of cucumbers (with a third coming soon). Shintokiwa is a long Japanese type and Marketmore is our standard slicer. Lemon cucs should be here in a week or two.

Not in the share, but at the farm stand are some beautiful bouquets from CSA member Sarah Fry. She’ll be bringing them to the farm stand when she has time. You can pay for them in cash there or put them on your account just like the farm’s vegetables.

In the field it’s non stop training of the tomatoes and cucumbers, that and hoeing and mowing and trying to make some time to seed in the greenhouse and plant in the field too. The past two weeks we’ve also had some great volunteer help cleaning up around the edges, weeding in the kids’ garden, edging the beds and taking out all of the blackberries around the perimeter. Good stuff and it’s making the farm look great!

Summer Share – Week 2

In today’s share: arugula, chard, carrots, hakurei turnips, purple peacock broccoli, primax cabbage, Genovese or Mutabile zucchini, Yukon gold potatoes, favas, pirat butter lettuce.

The arugula is lovely today and a bit spicy from the summer heat. Zucchini are starting to size up nicely, and the potatoes are actually very nicely sized up for being harvested a week earlier than planned.

If you’re a Thursday member remember to pick up your share on Wednesday this week – also, your share won’t have cabbage since cabbage also went out last Thursday.

In the field today we took down the last of the peas to make space for fall greens. The twine from those peas is going straight to tying up the peppers which are starting to get bigger. Lots of mowing today too, including mowing down some of the old beds of greens to make way for new plantings for the fall.

Summer Predictions – Week 2

It’s looking like week two is going to go pretty close to our projection from this winter. Broccoli,

cabbage, arugula, butter lettuce, favas, and carrots were all on that list and should be in the share next week. Broccoli and cabbage broccoli actually made an early appearance on Thursday. The broccoli we’re growing this year is one bred here in Oregon called purple peacock. The plants are very showy and it’s actually a cross between broccoli and two types of kale. We just had a sample for Thursday and we’re hoping for more. It makes very small heads and we’re included a bit of the leaves with it, which are also very tasty. Purple peacock is a new one for us so we’re still figuring it out and hoping it’ll be productive. Cabbage will only be for Monday this week, as Thursday already got the first heads of this mini variety. (Also, if you have a Thursday share remember that this coming week we’ll be harvesting on Wednesday to avoid the holiday)

Also likely in the share, and only off by a week or so in our plan from the winter, are collard greens, zucchini, hakurei turnips, and possibly the first of the potatoes. We’ll do a little exploring in the potatoes on Monday to see if they’re big enough yet, but based on a couple of accidental unearthings during hilling a couple of weeks ago I’m guessing there’ll be at least a few lunkers already.

Yesterday was a wet one on the farm but it looks like we’ll be back to sun again next week – a good thing as we need more warm, sunny weather to really get the summer crops going. While we’re just getting going on trellising all of the summer crops, we’re already starting to plant and prep for fall crops. We managed to get the fall cabbage planted after the showers yesterday by hand prepping the bed. It’s a never ending cycle of plant, cultivate, harvest this time of year.

Summer Share – Week 1

Green onions, Genovese basil, Dazzling Blue kale, Haurkei turnips, favas, snap peas, zucchini, mixed beets, and Brown Goldring lettuce.

Possibly the last of the peas today, but the first of the favas (see if you need suggestions on how to prepare them). Basil and zucchini are just samples. Confusingly we’re growing Genovese basil and Genovese zucchini. The Genovese zucchini is the light green one with a slightly nuttier flavor than the more usual darker green Mutabile.

The peas today even out the distributions of snap peas for Mondays and for Thursday’s share we’ll probably start either cabbage or broccoli depending on which is ready first so the share there will look a little different.

Both the turnip greens and the beet greens are looking good. I just ate beet greens and radish greens (from last week’s share) for dinner, chopped and cooked until soft in olive oil, then seasoned with salt and white vinegar – great stuff.

In the field this week we’re focusing on trellising and training the tomatoes and cucumbers but there’s lots of other work as well: renovating beds, planting more crops, and always lots of hoeing and irrigation.