We are inching our way to the midpoint of our CSA season. It’s hard to believe, but it is happening. These next couple of weeks on the farm is just treading water, spending most of the time harvesting for the CSA, our farm stand and restaurants. Anything else that gets done is just icing on the cake until the fall semester starts and my new “crop” of interns show up. I’ve been lucky this summer to hire a part-time worker and even better is that he is a graduate of the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems program at Tompkins Cortland. It’s been so nice to have someone here that is familiar with the farm and how we do things. In addition to all of last week’s harvest, we managed to get some field projects done and a little bit of transplanting. We were stopped in our tracks last Wednesday but that storm that rolled through. It was the first time all season that we got one of those really hard rains during the middle of the work day. It showed up while we were in the middle of planting some bok choi for the fall and just kept coming. We powered through finishing the bed but were soaked to the bone and shifted to inside work after that. I think we ended up with close to 1.75 inches of rain that day.
Since I don’t have any exciting trips to talk about or how awesome the student interns are, I’m going to get right into this week’s CSA share. The tomatoes are continuing to thrive and burst at the seams. There will be plenty of heirlooms, cherries and beefsteaks this week. I know they can be overwhelming to get through but one of the best things about tomatoes, is that they can be frozen whole without any preparation. Pop them in a freezer bag/vacuum sealer and pull them out at a later date to make sauce. And if you have a dehydrator, that’s another great alternative. Especially for the cherry tomatoes. In our house, we like to put them in the dehydrator and them store them in little jars of olive oil. This week’s choice will also feature carrots, cabbage, beets, basil, beans, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers and lettuce (a choice between head or mix). My wife made this awesome ratatouille-type dish tonight with some eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, beans, onion and sweet corn. Served over some jasmine rice and topped with a little feta cheese. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. There will also be two new items in the share. There will be the first hot peppers of the season, ranging from fairly mild (Anaheim) to pretty darn hot (Habanero). Potatoes will also be making their first appearance of the season. This week’s potato variety is Yukon Gold. These beautiful yellow-skin, yellow-flesh spuds made some great homefries over the weekend. The taters this week and for the next few weeks are “new” potatoes. That means that we harvest them when the plants are still alive and that their skin hasn’t “set” yet. You’ll notice that you can easily rub off the skin. They are a little more tender harvested this way and should definitely be stored in the fridge.
Also, there is still u-pick basil available in the greenhouse that is a bonus item. If you love pesto and yearn for a taste of summer in the depths of winter, I highly recommend picking as much as you’d like.
Have a great week!