CSA Week 7: July 13th
Hot off the press: WE HAVE CHERRY TOMATOES! It’s officially fruiting crop season, so get ready for weeks of tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers (as long as these plants cooperate with me!), and peppers. Here what else will be in your shares in this 7th week:
- We will not be offering add-ons again, sorry to not be able to accommodate but it’s challenging to get the right amount of the fruiting crops at the beginning of their harvest time. For us, it was also incredibly easier to have consistent harvest amounts to fill instead of having to account for extras. We will revisit offering add-ons, but for now we want to keep things simple and appreciate your patience!
The fruits of our labor
As the delicious summer produce starts to ripen, the spring ones are on their way out. Chard is in all shares again this week. Chard is a green I had never had prior to starting farming, but is now one I look forward to each season. Sometimes called “summer spinach” you can cook it down like you would a large spinach in saag paneer or omelettes. It’s in the same plant family as spinach and beets, so it has that delicious earthy flavor that gives me the sensation of taking multivitamins. Also new to shares is celery! It’s our first year growing it and I’m pretty happy with it. I just finished a tuna salad sandwich with celery (including the leaves) and cucumber, so delicious!
What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable? A fruit is anything that grows from a flower and contains the seeds. This includes produce like tomatoes, peppers, squash, eggplant, and cucumbers. A vegetable is the root, shoot, or leaves of a plant, even if the other parts are also edible. So when we talk about the fruiting plants, also referred to as hot crops, you now understand what we mean!
This week’s recipe is a vegan friendly chard tahini dip. You can spread it on toast and top it with cherry tomatoes, dip your cucumbers in it, or make some amazing sandwiches. I made this for a potluck one time and it was definitely well received. I will say though, it turns out a funky color because we grow rainbow chard instead of the green stem chard!
This week we focused a lot on two tasks: planning for fall crops and keeping up with hot crop harvests. In July, many people don’t realize that’s when we are going through a second spring in some ways. We are starting thousands of seeds in the greenhouse, reseeding herbs that have gone to seed, and tearing out and preparing beds for another round of planting. In the spring it all feels very manageable, but in the heat of the summer it feels like a lot to do. It’s also very fun to choose the types of cabbage, broccolini, and other great roasting vegetables and feel the satisfaction of starting something new.
Additionally, when hot crops start coming in, they come in HOT. Pretty much every day we have to harvest tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, and (soon) summer squash to avoid the crops getting too large and therefore less delicious. You’ll notice our eggplant fit in your hand unlike the human baby sized ones found at the grocery store. That’s because we harvest them before they fully form their seeds which means the skin is more tender, they are less spongy, and contain less water. The same applies to cucumbers and squash. A day without harvesting usually means a few monstrous and yucky vegetables that have to be composted. But it’s all worth it when I get to go home and grill the delights of summer. We hope you all are enjoying it too!