Dear 2017 CSA Members,
The summer solstice comes this week. And with it there is a crazy amount of work to be done. Nature works as fast as she can in this high day light time to photosynthesize and store for the descending solar rays ahead.
This week we will be thinning peaches – if not the trees will break in August under the weight, plant celery, cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and some flowers, mulch our chard and potatoes (some we will undersow with cover crops to check what the spuds like best), make some more hay, try to catch up on the mowing and solarization in the garden fields as we continue bed prep, weed and resow some carrots, and keep up with our daily animal chores for our 200 layers, 150 meat birds, 2 cows, and 9 pigs. We will probably do some seeding in the greenhouse too.
Our labor situation has been very iffy of late. Sean left us 3 or so weeks ago and we hired Emily, but she got in a car accident last week (everyone was okay) and may come back only once in awhile. Brent hurt his back and will hopefully be back on track soon. Clare is going to give birth at the end of July so soon will be leaving us for a while. Mario starts 3 mornings per week this week, a student from Stetson School, and Josh, a homeschooler, will start two days per week to add to his half day as a working shareholder. Next week Luke, a high school sophomore, starts for the summer. We will have 3 16 year old young men here for the summer – I can’t wait. Lindsay and I plug along, and Stetson sends volunteers most every Monday am. And also Sue comes as a working shareholder each Wednesday. Paulino was here last week doing community service. We are a motley and ever changing crew, and enjoy ourselves heartily.
We are in the market for cardboard right now – for mulch to be used under hay. We are looking for plain brown corrugated cardboard, preferably broken down and flattened with the tape removed. If you are a local shareholder and want to drop it off in the barn, we would really appreciate it.
Food for this week –
Lettuce – 4 heads for larges and 2 for mediums
Green onions – these are not the stars they were last year, but are tasty none-the-less
Dandelions – one more week on these wonderful greens. Use them sparingly in any dish, either raw or steamed or sautéed, or boil them and make a great tea.
Cilantro from the field
Beets and greens from the hoop house. We are cleaning out the hoop house this week so we can plant tomatoes
Carrots – an early treat from the hoop house
Oregano – still holding nicely in the garden
Lambs quarters – yes, this is a weed, but tastier and more nutritious than spinach and right in season now – use it as you would steamed spinach or other mild greens
Kale – all the brassicas have suffered from flea beetles in the long, slow spring, but we are bringing the kale out this week. Quality is passable. It will get better
Chard – our first picking. Send along your favorite chard recipes to share. I put it in stir fries, soups, and even have it steamed with coconut oil (good for brain function) or butter and salt – delicious. Another spinach look alike that can be used in any spinach recipes
Strawberries – I hope we have enough for all. Monday mediums might not have them this week, but we will make it up to you later if not.
Recycle your paper and plastic grocery-size bags with us. You can leave them in your CSA bags. We also like rubber bands,. And don’t forget any corrugated cardboard. We can use it.
NOFA Summer Conference coming up
If you are a gardener, a budding farmer, a homesteader, someone who is an environmental activist, interested in nutrition, or likes to hang out with wonderful folks who aspire to live holistic lives that honor nature, agriculture and people, you might like to come to the NOFA Summer Conference this year. http://nofasummerconference.org/. Check it out – August 11-13 at Hampshire College. It can be a life changing event – and we have a kids’ conference too. Jack and I organized this conference for 24 years and our kids grew up with it.
I am still nail biting a bit about quantity and quality, but the gardens are starting to breathe more easily now, and crops are putting on consistent growth now that the weather is consistently warmer – and this regular rain is a Godsend. I hope you all enjoy the beginning of summer and the end of school for kids this week.
For The Many Hands Organic Farm staff