Hello members and friends,
As we’re all experiencing, the weather continues to be weird. Generally pleasant, but almost eerie. Wes and I are wondering, “Well, is this just it for the summer?” We joke about the godawful heatwave that must be hiding behind the next week’s mild weather forecast, and yet…more of the same greets us. That deluge on Friday dropped over four inches of rain on our farm in just as many hours–which is an immense amount of water. It carved deep trenches in the farm driveway, sent a rushing stream through the middle of our hoophouse and caused some erosion in the fields. We’re watching our newly seeded beets and fennel, which suffered from a slight washout.
Though it’s still not great weather for prime summer crops due to these night temperatures in the 50s, the tomatoes are ripening more quickly. You should all be getting about 3 lbs each, enough for some tomato every night of the week. The peppers are doing better than they’ve been, but still not producing as much as they should. The plants look truly great. They’re healthy, deep green, and pretty big. But occasionally, I have moments when I’m in the peppers, gently pushing aside their foliage to inspect for fruit when I become irrationally annoyed. I feel like, “Come on! You can’t just lounge about, taking up precious space without doing your part here!” Alas, as we know, it’s not their fault, it’s the less-than-favorable conditions.
We got off the farm this weekend to go to the Northeast Organic Farming Association conference in Amherst with Wes’ parents. They are great supporters of us and local farming, and we all enjoyed hearing in-depth talks on the particulars of soil health and some of the latest creative organic farming techniques to deal with soil fertility, weeds, pests and disease. It’s also good to connect with other CSA farmers and get a little perspective on our operation.
Without further ado, here’s what to expect (roughly…we know our predictions are a little inaccurate some weeks):
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Pea Shoots (a special treat! Use in a salad, in sandwiches, or eat on their own)
- Kale or Chard
- Cucumbers (you may notice some immature and funny-looking cukes–that’s because it was finally time for us to pull out some of the plants, and so we first picked them clean, taking whatever was there)
- Summer Squash and Zucchini
- Fennel or Peppers or Tomatillos
ps – If you made it this far in the post, then don’t forget to wish Bryn a happy birthday tomorrow!
STUFFED SUMMER SQUASH BOATS (about 1.5 hour total prep/cooking time)
- Thought only winter squash could get stuffed and baked? Nah! I am stealing this recipe directly from the Food Network website, and I’m glad to see that it uses several ingredients available in this week’s share (squash, cherry tomatoes, parsley). We’ve fixed bigger summer squash this way before, and it’s delicious.
- Ingredients: 2 large yellow squash, 1 TB oil, plus more for drizzling, 2 sausages (your call on which type), 1/2 onion (finely diced), 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half, salt, black pepper, 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, 1/8 cup parmesan cheese (or more!), 2 TB chopped parsley
- Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the squash in a high-walled skillet, cover with water halfway and simmer. Then turn the heat to low, put on a lid and cook to tender crisp, about 8 minutes. Set the squash aside to cool. Drain the water from the skillet, wipe dry and place over medium-high heat. Add the oil and once hot, stir in the sausage. Cook, stirring until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Toss in the tomatoes, season with a big pinch of salt and pepper and cook until the tomatoes break down a bit, about one more minute. Set aside to cool. While the mixture is cooling, cut the ends off the squash, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, making a boat shape (!). Chop up the centers and combine with the sausage filling. Spoon the mixture into the boats, piling them high, and place on a baking sheet. Miz together the breadcrumbs, parmesan and chopped parsley in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of the stuffed squash. Drizzle everything with olive oil and bake until golden on top, about 25 minutes.