Many of you know that we have spent a good chunk of time on constructing a new greenhouse this season. The majority of the work was completed a month ago, but we have been so busy the past few weeks trying to keep crops alive in this drought, that we nearly forgot to celebrate the accomplishment! We finished building the structure and covering it with plastic ourselves in early June, while the electrical and propane were installed by contractors in late June. There were a few finishing touches completed on Monday to get the heating system up and running, but now we have a fully functional greenhouse! We won't need to grow seedlings in the greenhouse this season, but it will be a crucial tool for seedling production next season as we continue to grow the business. It will also be a much-needed space to cure our onions and winter squash this fall!
In other news, we began harvesting our garlic last week! Most of the garlic is now hanging in the farm stand and should be done curing around mid September. We are happy with the harvest, especially considering that we were never able to irrigate it this season. The heads are on the smaller side due to the drought, but will no doubt be packed with flavor!
In the Vegetable CSA:
- Green or Purple Peppers - These are just starting to produce so will be limited. More to come soon!
- Eggplant - The eggplant is just starting to come in, so it will be limited and mostly our earliest variety, which is an Asian eggplant called Orient Express.
- Cucumbers - both pickling and slicing cucumbers are still plentiful! We have a lot of great cucumber recipes available in the farm stand, most of them suggested by CSA members!
- Summer Squash
- Potatoes - either Red Gold or Dark Red Norland will be available
- Nelson carrots
- Cabbage - the red cabbage has mostly been picked over, but there is still green mini and Caraflex. The Caraflex is the pointy cabbage variety and has a tender texture and sweet flavor.
- Sunflowers - The first planting is finally ready! This planting has looked like it was on the verge of blooming for the past two weeks. These were never irrigated and so the stems are short (we kept thinking they were about to bloom and therefore it didn't make sense to go through the trouble of setting up irrigation on them!)
- Green beans - The original planting is still producing well. We may have a second succession of green beans (and maybe some purple beans too) ready by the end of the week.
- Basil - there are 3 varieties - Thai, lemon and Italian.
Pick-your-own Flowers: New flower varieties available for picking this week include amaranth, craspedia, Mexican sunflower and scabiosa. We also continue to have zinnias, bachelor's button, ageratum, gomphrena, statice, strawflower, celosia, orlaya, and snapdragons.
In the store: Everything available in the CSA will also be available in the store. In addition, we'll have sweet corn from Verrill Farm, mushrooms, and eggs. Blueberries will continue to make intermittent appearances. We have been putting a lot of work into rehabilitating our blueberry patch, but the lack of rain has led to low yields this season (we're beginning to sound like a broken record!).
The following recipe was shared with us by a CSA member last year and it is delicious!
Homemade Refrigerator Dill Pickles
By Jennifer Segal
- 1-1/4 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups cold water
- 1-3/4 to 2 pounds pickling cucumbers (about 6), cut into halves or spears
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 16 dill sprigs
Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan (such as stainless steel, glass, ceramic or teflon) over high heat. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Transfer the liquid into a bowl and whisk in the cold water. Refrigerate brine until ready to use.
Stuff the cucumbers into two clean 1-quart jars. Add the coriander seeds, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, dill sprigs, and chilled brine into jars, dividing evenly. If necessary, add a bit of cold water to the jars until the brine covers the cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate about 24 hours, then serve. Cucumbers will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.