Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Enduring Deluge, waiting for the fields to dry out

Hello from the farm, 

 The daily deluge continues to make farming and field work colorful, soggy and saturated. We have pumpkin and butternut transplants and fall crop seeds queued up to go into the fields, but we have to wait until the field is not pudding or we'll sink up to our axles--or knees.
the view from the field--this is the sunflower and okra planting

As July begins, the harvest will start to change substantially as the spring crops like broccoli, lettuce and some of the greens disappear. They will be replaced by the hot season crops like cucumbers, summer squash (zucchini), sweet peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and last but not least, cantaloupes and watermelons in late July early August.  

 Sweet potato plants sitting in the drink

Abendessen Bread this week: Tomato Basil Sourdough this week for $5.00 a loaf.  

 Pick Your Own Options: (included at no extra charge with a farm share) 

Blueberries:  A big thanks to Farmer Gumby and the electronic squawker for keeping the birds out of the berry patch.  The season limit is 1 pint berry box for half shares, 2 pints for full shares. (we will increase the limit if the harvest permits) This means for 2015 half shares pick a total of 1 pint and Full shares pick a total of 2 pints.  
Please tell us when dark blue berries are no longer plentiful-and we will close the patch to allow more berries to ripen for the following week.  We want for everyone to be able to pick abundant and ripe berries--they are amazingly good!

Snow peas: these flat-podded peas are eaten "hull and all" except for the stem and string. They are wonderful lightly steamed, boiled or in stir fry, even good raw.
Snow peas are winding down, feel free to glean what remains. 

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

New Potatoes: wow, new potatoes are delicious boiled or steamed until tender and then topped with a little bit of salt and butter

Cucumbers and Zucchini: these are starting to pick up steam, you may seem some of them this week. It is always a challenge for us to predict what amounts we are going to find in the field when things are just starting.

Scallions: These mild-mannered onion family folks give an easy onion flavor to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and more.  Or you could do the old classic buttered bread and sliced scallion treat: my grandparents talked a lot about enjoying them in spring.  "A good spring tonic" says my 101 year old grandma. 
Beets: (taking a week or two off to size up) mmm, I used to love to eat these after my mother had blanched them and slipped the skins off and they were cooling on the counter.  Super nutritious, they can be roasted, grated for salad, boiled or steamed, then eaten hot or cold, and of course, made into pickled beets or used for pickled beet eggs.  Makes me hungry writing about them.  
Kale/Collards: we like to fry these in a skillet with butter or coconut oil until crisp, add some onions and saute them as well--a superb topping for rice, fried eggs or stand alone too.
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.
Chard: this cousin to the beet is appreciated for its leaves instead of its roots.  Use for salads, or as a spinach or kale substitute in cooking.  
Napa cabbage: this Asian cabbage is main ingredient in Kimchee, a spicy kraut or relish of sort.  
Cabbage: great for a cabbage and chopped peanut with vinegar salad. Simple and surprisingly good in spite of its simplicity. 

 Bok Choi: the joy of choi, this is great for stir fries and goes well with peanuts, cashews, ginger, soy sauce, garlic, peanut butter, chicken.   This will return in fall. 
Lettuce heads: the lettuce did really well, we hope you enjoyed it.
Green garlic: this is garlic harvested before the base swells and becomes a bulb. It has a milder flavor than bulb garlic and can be used anywhere garlic is called for. Keep refrigerated as you would green onions/scallions. 
Rhubarb: rhubarb is harvested only in Spring and is then given a year's rest 
Parsnip: may have a late fall crop of these. 

 The Pick Your Own Field is Coming Alive: 

Each year we plant the pick your own field with lots of favorites like sunflowers, zinnias, Sungold cherry tomatoes, and basil, while also adding in some experimental and novelty things like rice, amaranth, quinoa, insanely hot peppers (and milder ones). 
General rules of thumb:

If plentiful, take a little more, if scarce, go easy on the crop
For herbs--pinch only the tops of stems so that they can regrow

BIG NEWS from Homefields--Join cookbook author and food blogger Marisa McClellan for a canning class at Homefields. Saturday, July 18, 10:30-12:30. We'll make a batch of Nectarine Lime Jam, dig into the mechanics of boiling water bath canning, & talk about how to make the safest & most delicious home preserves possible. Marisa will demystify canning for the beginners & will offer useful tips & short cuts for seasoned preserves. All participants will go home with a small jar of the jam made in class, as well as the knowledge to go home & make more! Class size is limited, so register with a friend for a great morning; to register, please send your name & phone number to; the fee is $22 per person, check payable to Homefields or with a credit card here:

Have a Happy July 4th and here's hoping for good weather to with your cook outs and veggies!

Your farmers

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