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The Weekly Weeder

July 6, 2017: Box #4
Weekly shares and Potato EOW Group
Here is Paul Eddy.  Judging by the stains on his shirt and by his satisfied grin that he is fresh from the blackcap patch.  

Box Contents and Tips

  • Basil: The first of the season! 1 small bunch Small; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles Be careful not to store it in a cold place in your refrigerator as it will turn black. We like it in a jar on the counter for fresh use and turned into pesto.  We also like to dehydrate several jars worth for cold weather soups and stews.
  • Broccoli: 0.4 pounds Small; .75 pounds Standards; 1.5 pounds Doubles. Use the stalk and head of the broccoli....just peel the stalk and use the tender, juicy portion inside.  Store in plastic bag to prevent rubbery broccoli. We finished harvesting from our first planting and the second planting is just a few weeks away!
  • Chard, Rainbow 1 small bunch Small; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles  Swiss Chard is one our favorites!  A wonderful nutty flavor when cooked and excellent in a variety of dishes, as well as on it's own.  Use the stems by coarsely chopping and cook before the leaves.  Store in plastic until used.  
  • Cucumbers: 1 each Smalls; 2 each Standards; 3 each Doubles. Still from the high tunnel harvests, though we saw small cucumbers developing on our field cucumbers today!
  • Fresh Garlic: 1 small bulb Small; 1 large bulb Standards; 2 large bulbs Doubles.  Spicier than the garlic scapes, the garlic is still mild.  Store in refrigerator since this is not a cured garlic.
  • Garlic Scapes 1 small bunch Small; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles. The last of the season! 
  • Lettuce, Green Leaf:  1 head Smalls; 2 heads Standards; 3 heads Doubles.  A sweet, crunchy lettuce that works well inside a sandwich or as a full salad.  Wash, shake out well, and store in a
  • Onions: 1 small bunch Small; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles. Fresh sweet onions are wonderful to use raw for their juicy, crunchy season.  We've been loving them minced and combined with cilantro for a topping to our tacos. Store in refrigerator.
  • Radishes, Red: 1 small bunch Small; 1 large bunch Standards; 2 large bunches Doubles.  Roots and leaves are edible.  Store inside a plastic bag to prevent softening.  The last of our spring plantings.  We'll have radishes again, but they'll be fall radishes and much different.
  • Shell Peas:  0.35 pounds Small; .6 pounds Standards; 1.2 pounds Doubles.  Keep in plastic bag until used. Open pods and take out peas - a fun activity for the whole family!  Enjoy them raw, added to a fresh salad, or put into your stir fry or other cooked meals. 
  • Zucchini, Gold OR Green OR Round (called a Patty Pan) STANDARDS ONLY  The very first off our plants and yes they're very odd shaped this week.  Many more to come for everyone.
COMING SOON: Zucchini, Napa, Lettuce, Onions, Basil, Garlic and more...

News From the Farm

We have now entered the Dog Days of Summer.  I suppose you could google it or look it up on some Wikki.  But I always feel that the ripening of blackcaps as the start of the Dog Days.

Many think of the dog days as simply just blistering hot days. But as farmers we see this as the time of growth, maturity and ripening.   It is the time of shortening day length but the suns angle is still direct.  But is also a time where the earth begins to radiate the energy it gained while the day length was increasing.  This is the energy that grows our food and ripens our fruits.

To some the Dog Days can be a challenging time of year.  The heat is powerful and can feel down right oppressive and with all of that energy life flourishes in the form of insects, molds, and even some strong odors.

A farmers advise on surviving the Dog Days:
To be practical..... if you are going to be outside on a hot day, get outside in the morning so your body can acclimate and warm up with the day.

To be philosophical....  look for the next berry to ripen and they will lead you out of the dog days and into Autumn. 

But really it is all about those black caps.  It is beautiful how the ripening of the berries are like guide posts for summer.  Spring is opened with strawberries and closed by Mulberries.  Summer starts with those wonderful blessed wild black caps and blueberries are what I think of as closing the summer.

Eat well everyone and happy cooking,
Mat & Cate
With a belly full of berries he is fueled and ready to mow some field roads and then pack the lettuce in this weeks box.  It is fun working along side this guy.

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