this week in your csa share {july 31}

Welcome to week 9 of the P&C CSA!

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Sweet Onion – the first of the bulb onions!
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots – return of the rainbows
  • Green Beans – a French filet type this week
  • Pickling Cucumbers – Refrigerator pickles!  Check out the recipe below.
  • Dill
  • Summer Squash – a zucchini and a pattypan squash
  • Broccoli
  • New Potatoes
  • Olallieberries – this took some research, but I think I’ve nailed the berry variety to Olallies!

We’re at the point of the season that any work other than planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting can seem like a distraction.  Last week we let our new cooler project take over the majority of our time and we paid for it on Saturday at market after a very long harvest day Friday.  Luckily we’re ahead on harvesting this week so the main harvest day shouldn’t be so long.  Another project we’ve been working on that has felt like a bit of a distraction has to do with our expansion of ground for next year.

The folks we lease our land from have let us take on another acre.  It’s low ground and flooded in June during ‘The Flood’ but it should be an excellent spot for expansion when paired with the ground we are currently farming.  We’re grateful for the opportunity to farm this land again next year and it’s fantastic to be able to expand into the contiguous field rather than finding another space to lease.  This increase will also hopefully allow for better rotations of vegetables and cover crops during the growing season.

We took over the new ground earlier this month and Jeff disced it to turn under the rye grass that was growing as a cover crop this year.  We’ve devised a plan for cover cropping it through the winter and Jeff seeded buckwheat and disced again today.  The buckwheat is a short rotation cover crop and we’ll plant oats, crimson clover, and perhaps vetch in early September after turning in the buckwheat.  There are many factors to be considered when planning a cover crop including planting time, seeding rate, and crop varieties.  Planting some crops too early means the crop will frost-kill and won’t make it through the winter.  Also some varieties simply aren’t winter hardy in our climate.  Choosing crops that will help hold the soil in place during the wet winter and can be broken down in spring when we’re ready to begin planting vegetables is also key.  Factoring in the amount of green manure that will be turned back into the soil is important as well.

As we expand onto this new ground, and hopefully one day soon onto our own farm, we have to consistently be aware of the effects of our actions or inactions on the land.  We know that each decision impacts our ability to grow the best food we can.

Enjoy the veggies this week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Recipe inspiration for this week’s vegetables:

Slightly Sweet Dill Refrigerator Pickles

1 small sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui), thinly sliced
2 pounds medium pickling cucumbers, scrubbed, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 large bunch dill, coarsely chopped (stems included)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons whole white peppercorns
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons dill seeds
Divide sliced onion between two 1-quart wide-mouth glass jars. Pack cucumber slices horizontally in jars. Top each jar with dill.

Using mortar and pestle or resealable plastic bag and mallet, crush mustard seeds and peppercorns together. Place crushed spices in medium saucepan. Add vinegar, 1 cup water, sugar, coarse salt, and dill seeds. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Ladle mixture evenly over cucumbers. Leave jars uncovered and chill 24 hours. Cover glass pickle jars tightly with lids. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated.

From Epicurious.com, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Slightly-Sweet-Dill-Refrigerator-Pickles-242476

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Kale and Potato Tarragon Salad

2 lbs potatoes, boiled, cubed and keep warm in a bowl
7 T. olive oil
1 onion diced
1 bunch kale, remove stems, chop into bite size pieces
1 clove mince garlic
2 T. vinegar
2 T. lemon juice
¼ – ½ t. tarragon

Sauté onions in 1 T. oil, add kale and garlic till tender, about 5 minutes. Mix vinegar, lemon juice, ¼ t. tarragon and rest of oil salt and pepper to taste. Add kale mix to potatoes, add dressing, be sure to do while hot. Add more tarragon it needed. Serve warm.

From Many Hands Farms via Nina Marcinowski, http://www.mhof.net/recipes/recipe.php?id=59

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Grilled Potato and Carrot Salad

1 ¾ lb. potatoes, cut ¼” thick and 3″ long
3 T olive oil
1 T fresh herbs chopped
Salt and pepper
2 large or 4 medium carrots, cut 2″ by ½”
½ lg. onion sliced
2 T mayonnaise
2 T plain yogurt
2 T. white wine vinegar
3 T chopped fresh parsley

  1. Steam potatoes over boiling water about 12 minutes till tender, drain.
  2. Prepare grill, oil grill rack.
  3. Toss potatoes in a bowl with 2 T. oil, herbs, salt and pepper. In another bowl mix carrots 1 T. oil and onion. Grill potatoes about 4 minutes, then add carrots and grill till tender.
  4. Mix dressing and serve warm

From Many Hands Farm via The New Vegetarian Grill, http://www.mhof.net/recipes/recipe.php?id=120

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