Week of August 19th – CSA Newsletter #11

We’ve officially made it to the mid-point of the CSA season! It’s been a wild ride this season so far, but I wouldn’t expect anything less with farming.

This past week on the farm we welcomed Project LEAD, a program for Dryden youth ages 13-15 who focus on community service projects throughout Dryden. They were a great group of teens who got exposed to the many aspects of a small farm. They started off by learning about our CSA last Tuesday and helped with getting the share ready by bagging lettuce, harvesting basil, topping carrots and boxing cherry tomatoes. Wednesday was a huge day of transplanting. It was our last big week of getting plants in the ground. The group helped with transplanting broccoli, asian greens, kohlrabi, lettuce, napa cabbage and spinach. They were amazed that close to 3000 plants got in the ground in such a short period of time. Thursday and Friday, we focused on “crop liberation” aka, weeding. Some folks find this to be a rather mundane task but I find it to be one of the more tangible things that we do on the farm. It’s so satisfying to see our crops escape the bondage of weed competition and be free to enjoy all the nutrients in the soil to themselves. There was a huge difference in the ease of weeding on Friday after the inch of rain we got on Thursday afternoon. It was great having these local teens on the farm. Not only for the amount of work that we were able to accomplish but also to teach the next generation about local food and all of the hard work that goes into producing it.

Let’s talk about this week’s CSA share. The choice this week will have head lettuce, garlic, basil, radishes, carrots, beans, hot peppers, cucumbers/squash, rainbow chard and a mix of bunched herbs (dandelion, thyme and sage). Oh, and there are going to be lots of tomatoes! Both the cherries and heirlooms exploded over the weekend and the beefsteaks are picking up some serious steam. Fun fact about tomatoes is that they can be frozen without any processing. So, if you’re starting to get overwhelmed, you can stick them in a freezer bag or vacuum seal them and pull them out later in the year. We love to do that so we can have local tomatoes in the winter time. My wife made an amazing pasta dish with the heirloom tomatoes last night. In a bowl, she chunked up about 4 or 5 different heirlooms, chopped up some garlic and basil and threw in some salt and crushed red pepper. She then cooked up some angel hair pasta al dente and added it to the bowl. It was topped with some fresh mozzarella and a little parmesan. The pasta sucked up all the juices from the tomatoes and it was an absolutely delicious summer dish.

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