Hi members, friends, and family!
We are excited to bring you a pretty darn good box this week, despite a few problems we experienced between the last newsletter and now.
We had a MAJOR storm on Thursday night which devastated a large portion of Maybelle’s new favorite park, Clear Lake Park. Closer to home, on the farm, we lost two rather large trees and two smaller ones. Three were completely snapped in half, and one was uprooted and slammed back into the ground. The loss of the big Box Elder in the front lawn was pretty sad, since it shielded our porch view from most of the road intersection, but we are really grateful that the house, fence, and all of us were spared!
We also had a failure of the walk-in-cooler’s air conditioner on Friday. Yes, Friday…one of the hottest days of the year. We had a smaller back-up one in place, but a lot of veggies spent too much time out of the cold zone and we had to compost about 200 pounds of broccoli, some lettuce, carrots, several hundred zucchini and a few odds and ends.
spoiled cooler contents on their way to the compost 😦
The worst part of the week is the hardest to tell you about: the first crop of sweet corn got nearly TOTALLY wiped out by what appears to be a perfect storm of deer and racoons. This has never happened to us in our 6 years of farming, and to have it happen mere days after spending $10,000 on a new fence is pretty frustrating! As anyone knows who’s ever dealt with them, racoons can be pretty clever and destructive. We are working on ways to protect the next crops of corn (which are looking real good by the way). There will be more!
Otherwise, though, things are great! The fields are full, the other crops look good, and we are happy to report an AMAZING crop of garlic this year. Every year we select the very biggest and best bulbs for our seed program, and this year we are seeing some serious payoff. We’ve never had garlic so huge, so beautiful, so great before. We are busy harvesting, bunching, and hanging it all in our “garlic shed” aka garage, to cure, and we’ll be planting the garlic for next year’s crop in October. Curing allows the moisture content of the garlic to drop enough that it becomes more shelf-stable in your pantry. We are sending everyone a fresh, uncured bulb of garlic this week. Use it just like any older, “cured” garlic–just keep in mind it won’t store as long (storing garlic loose in a cupboard or on the counter is the best way to keep it) . We noticed at the Stillwater co-op that uncured, naturally grown garlic goes for $9.99 per pound! Wow!
Amber harvesting garlic
2 empty beds on the right, 1 to go on the left
fresh out of the ground
Maybelle keeping cool at Clear Lake on a hot day
What’s in the box:
Zucchini–1 each small and medium shares, 2 each for full
Cut lettuce–1/2 lb small, 3/4 lb medium, 1 lb full
Snap Beans (Romano or French Fillet style)–3/4 lb small and medium, 1 lb full
Carrots–1.5 lbs small & medium, 2 lbs full
Garlic–1 for everybody
Swiss Chard–1 bunch each for medium and full
Dill–1 bunch each for medium and full
Broccoli–1 lb for full shares
Sweet Corn–2 ears for full shares
Note on the cut lettuce: the loose leaf lettuce for this week really blew up with all the heat and rain! It is a little larger in size than we like, so you might want to chop it up before you put it in a salad.
Zucchini-We’ve got two new recipes to the Summer Squash/Zucchini recipe page, and we’re excited about both. There is a quick zucchini pickle that will take no time to make and stores in the fridge for about a week. It’s great on brats and dogs, and I’m sure there’s lots of other uses for it. We also posted a chocolate zucchini bread-a fave in this household, and a great way to turn a perfectly healthy vegetable into a serious treat! It freezes well, too. We’ve already eaten and frozen a batch of this.
Snap Beans-The beans are really coming in, so check out our great recipes for using them up. Of course, a simple steam and toss with olive oil, fresh garlic, and dill would be a pretty awesome way to enjoy them. I also found this awesome green bean recipe collection on the New York Times website-they’re usually one of my go-to sources of good food ideas.
Swiss Chard-can be used pretty much anywhere you’d use spinach. I’d be tempted to combine it with some of the garlic and dill and turn it into a quick spanikopita.