Each Sunday night we sit down and make a list of everything that needs to be harvested for the week's share distribution. Once in awhile, we are surprised by a crop in the field - As in, oh! The fennel is ready! Some crops need to be harvested daily. Others, need only be harvested a couple times a week. Once the harvesting is done, we do some calculations to determine how to divide our treasures among our 60 members. Harvest day arithmetic is easier for some crops than others. Share sizes are currently generous.
Now Harvesting: Watermelon, Tomatoes, Basil, Cantaloupe, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Fennel, Onions, Peppers, Shallots, and Zucchini/Summer Squash.
The tomatoes are here including greatly sought-after heirloom varieties like Striped Germans and Brandywines. Heirloom tomato seeds have been handed down from generations of tomato growers whose love of these tomatoes has been shared with their neighbors and communities. Their names tell the tale of their origins and the people who have grown them. The downside to heirlooms is the same reason you don't see them often in the supermarket -- heirloom tomatoes don't ship or store well, and they look irregular and imperfect. Be sure not to pass them over. Enjoy them while they last!
Meet some of your heirlooms: Striped German tomatoes are a yellow and orange, streaked, giant tomato that often weighs in at 2 pounds. The flavor is sweet, juicy, and complex, and the tomato's colors look beautiful sliced. It also has a wonderful smooth texture. Brandywine tomatoes look closer to your typical tomato, red and smooth and medium-sized but with outstanding flavor.
The watermelons are both the yellow and the large old-fashioned red variety and they are delicious. We may have been harvesting in the rain on Saturday morning but we were rewarded by being able to cut into the first of the watermelon. As juice dripped down our arms, we unanimously agreed that the watermelon was indeed ripe for picking! One of the best things about growing for a CSA is that everything gets to ripen naturally in the field and is picked when the flavor and nutrients are at their peak. (One of the challenges is figuring out what to do with hundreds of very large ripe watermelons). These are the things that keep us awake at night.
It should come as no surprise that we're eating a lot of tomatoes lately. Pick up some mozzarella cheese at the grocery store and toss halved cherry tomatoes with a little chopped basil and olive oil and you have something delicious for lunch. Also on my menu for the week is tortellini with fresh pesto and cherry tomatoes.
My mom made Stuffed Peppers last week which are always good. Sliced bell peppers are also good with hummus as a snack.
Summer produce is both delicious and healthful. For a list of health benefits and nutrients in your favorite share items, check out the list of the World's Healthiest Foods. At the end of each summary, there is often recommendations for how to prepare. For example, check out the health benefits of fennel.
Welcome to our new team member Joan ~ we are very happy to have you join our little hive of activity. Thank you to our entire team for working so tirelessly in all kinds of weather. Thank you also to our "village" of family members and babysitters who help look after our children while we work. The girls very much enjoy their energetic and creative caretakers. Thank you to our friends and family who tolerate our complete preoccupation with the farm for 6 months out of the year and love us anyway. And thank you to our members who take the time to send along kind notes and positive messages of support!
May your week be bountiful in all ways!