Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mid summer day's farming

Hello from the farm,

It's not raining this week and surprisingly, we may need to consider irrigation in the near future. It's been a week of ups and downs as the lift arm rod broke on our tractor and prevented us from doing the timely transplanting that the end of the rainy season finally allowed.  It was a wild goose chase all week finding the correct replacement part --even the tractor dealership was bewildered by the tractor and the parts specifications not being in agreement.  Thanks to Butch Bixler and Haverstick Bros. machine shop fabriciation, I think we can get back to tilling and transplanting.

On the up side, the sun is high (and hot) and your farmers are relishing generous water and shade breaks.  We are always experimenting here and are happy to say that our July lettuce experiment of planting on white mulch film has resulted in some beautiful lettuce heads despite the heat.  We also were able to do a bit of transplanting late yesterday with a farm-rigged three row waterwheel that worked really well for its trial run. The Asian eggplants are stunning, and the melons cannot be too far off, they are longed for by a good number of the farm crew.

Sunflowers love the heat down in the pick your own field

Serving Suggestions for the Harvest:

Eggplants: Asian eggplants are mild and sweet. Slice and put on the grill rubbed with oil, soy sauce, and miso paste. Tasty and easy to use. Look to see them make a strong showing about a couple of weeks from now.
Beans: fresh beans are so tasty.  Boil just a few minutes, or steam until desired tenderness. Good raw in a salad too.
Scallions: mild onion famil member great for salads and stir-fry where a milder flavor is appreciated.
Cucumbers: wow, farm fresh cucumbers are excellent!  dice with tomatoes, onions and olive oil for a cool and refreshing summer salad.
Blueberries--the berry crop is winding down, so is not the easy picking of the peak weeks we were wowed by.
Cabbage: cut into wedges and serve with a sprinkle of salt, make sauerkraut or family-pleasing
(taking a week off so they can size up)
Summer squash/Zucchini: stir fry, grate and use for zucchini bread or freeze for later.
Beets: great roasted with olive oil, grilled with oil and balsamic vinegar, or grated in salads.
Chard: remove the lower portion of the stalk as it is usually tough. Sautee leaves in butter, olive or coconut oil, add salt, and red pepper, top with Paresan cheese.
Greens: the hot weather has left most of the greens in not so nice shape. However, the chard doesn't mind the heat.  Fabulous greens will return this fall with the cooler weather, whether the current crop improves or not.

Broccoli: an awesome broccoli crop this year--will be back in the Fall.
Bok choi and Napa: these have run their course and we will see them again in October and November--a great time to make kimchee with the cool weather. 
Garlic scapes: these are the would-be flowering stems of garlic--soft, tender, easy to use for stir fries, diced for salad, really anywhere a mild garlic flavor is desired. We like to use it for pesto here at the farm.
Cilantro: we anticipate the arrival of the next planting.
Turnips:  bye bye until fall, when turnips are sweeter and crisper.

we checked on the carrots, they will be ready in a week or two
Thank You
A huge thank you to Butch Bixler for running to all ends of the earth to get the tractor repaired. We are back in the saddle tomorrow.  Elizabeth, great job organizing the work and keeping morale high despite the baking weather.  Law Reh, thank you for your skilled and speedy work, Kim, thank you for keeping the distribution area beautiful and adding all the nice extras to it. Thank you Bob for the roll storage rack upstairs, it's excellent. 

No comments: