The plants are thriving and we continue to harvest from them each week. On very large farms, an entire field of a single crop is often harvested mechanically at the same time which destroys the plant in the process. I suppose this method is efficient in some regards, but a single one of these plants is actually capable of producing a lot of vegetables before it tires out. While harvesting by hand can be tedious and hard on the back, it's gentle on the plants which keeps them viable over the course of several weeks.
This viability often means an over abundance of crops since there is no way to turn a plant off or at least slow it down. Fellow farmer Helen Chandler's recent essay for Edible Jersey titled "Problem of Plenty" does a great job describing how it feels to have too much of a good thing. One obvious solution is cutting the plants out but this doesn't seem right given that so many people are hungry and in need of nutritious food. In the future, we can work to fine-tune our planting plans to provide only what our members need but for now, Kevin has been making regular trips to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen where a staff member told Kevin they provide over 1,000 meals a day. A good example of one way a Community Supported Ag Program also supports a community.
One local deer may have heard about our abundance and come to feast on our bounty as a decent sized buck has been hiding within the confines of our fence for days. Nothing quite tops off a long day like chasing a deer around the farm at midnight. This guy is full of bravado and actually stood his ground against Kevin as he approached him! I was not exactly thrilled with my assignment earlier this week to stand alone holding nothing but a flashlight in the lower pasture and point him toward the door if Kevin should successfully scare him in my direction but fortunately and unfortunately, he had other plans and disappeared into the cornfield for another night. If this guy knows what's good for him, he'll move on. Soon. Or there's going to be a venison share for those interested.
Now Harvesting: Beets, Eggplant, Peppers and Tomatoes. Potatoes and fennel will also be at the stand for members this week, a great combination (check out Ina Garten's recipe for Potato-Fennel Gratin).
Pick Your Own:
A fresh crop of green beans is up! From time to time, there are some available at the stand but this may be pick your your this week so plan to take a little time and pick!
IN THE HERB GARDEN: Rosemary, cilantro, sage, thyme, parsley and chives.
We have so much gratitude for deeds large and small that's it's impossible to mention them all here. Thank you to John and Dave & Andrea for the fresh figs, a coveted delicacy in our household. Thank you to Kathy and Kenny for their help with farm work while they were visiting on vacation, it was wonderful to see you. To Bruce for all the mowing he has volunteered to do this summer to help keep the farm looking great. To team members for pausing in their work to collect toads, grasshoppers and other farm life for the delight of our girls.
And finally thank you to members like Brenda for taking the time to share favorite recipes with us like this one! Please keep them coming everyone. People are running out of ways to eat eggplant.
From the Kitchen of Branda Stines
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 cup cilantro sprigs
1 garlic glove coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp. lime juice
1 jalapeno coarsely chopped
2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes or use fresh in season!
1/4 tsp. salt