What's Available This Week
This week you can choose from new red potatoes, new yellow potatoes, beets, baby arugula, lacinato kale, spinach, rainbow chard, basil, zucchini, summer squash, shiitake mushrooms, microgreens, fresh garlic, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, french filet green beans, cilantro, husk cherries, parsley, cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, and fresh onions!
Back when our daughter was born, we were late on a lettuce seeding.... whoops! So there won't be lettuce this week, but it will return. Until then, try a different green for a salad this week. Are you new to arugula? Use a maple vinaigrette with a soft cheese and some roasted nuts. Try a spinach salad with some fresh torn up basil, and a creamy Caesar dressing. Celebrate summer with a luxurious tomato salad. Use pea shoots in your wraps when you usually use lettuce.
As items start producing in large enough quantities that we can wholesale them, we will let you know in case you have any interest in preserving any items in larger quantities. This week we have zucchini and summer squash available for $2 per pound at 5 pounds or more, and $1.50/pound at 10 pounds or more. If you roast and freeze or shred, or stuff zucchini for the winter, now is a great time to jump on those items. We also have bulk basil available for pesto making at $12 per pound. (If you need bulk garlic for pesto, that is available for $11 per pound.) Just shoot me an email and I will have it packed up.
Unless you have set up a payment plan with me, the balance of your summer CSA share is due this week. Let me know if you need to know your balance, or if you need a different payment plan. Both are ok! Thanks.
You can pick up your summer share at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am to 7 pm. If you are new to coming to the farm, use "680 Shunpike Road, Shrewsbury VT 05738" to get to our driveway. You can pick up your share from the Ludlow Farmers' Market on Fridays from 4 pm to 7 pm on the front lawn of the Okemo Mountain School right on Route 103, just south of down town. You can pick up your share from the Rutland Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, right downtown by the Walmart parking lot.
Things are settling down enough that I can put together a real newsletter. The past few weeks have been super full for our family. It's hard for me to separate our family from our farm, and to be honest, I would be very inauthentic if I could try to claim that whatever is going on with our family doesn't affect the farm. So in some ways our family news is also farm news: Our new, sweet little addition, Soraya, is now out of the weeds with health issues that cropped up during the first few weeks of her life. But before now I had to become a full time mom, and step away from the farm to meet her needs with appointments and hospitalizations. The cliff notes are that Soraya first had to have light therapy for jaundice, then got a cold a fever that caused some dehydration, that made her need some IV fluids in the hospital for several days. And during that hospital stay the doctors were watching for "low tone," but after a visit to a fantastic doctor in Dartmouth, it seems like she is just a lovely, chill, sleepy baby, with no serious health problems.. which is a huge relief. Our toddler has had his own needs during this time, but I feel like I will be able to start slowly easing back into farm work soon. Thank you to Ryan for holding down both our leadership roles during this time.
Meanwhile, Ryan and the crew have been fantastic with holding the actual vegetable production down. The garlic has been harvested, cured, and started to be cut, sorted, and stored for the season. Fall harvested root crops have been seeded, transplanted, thinned, and weeded. Back in the early summer we had to re-seed our fall carrots when they were baked in the heat. It seems like the new plantings are coming along well. They continue to keep up with weekly seedings, which go on throughout the year since we grow indoor greens. They have tackled large weeding projects, and continue to manage the project of trellising and pruning tomatoes.
We are having a surprising down turn in tomato production right now, most likely due to aborted flowers during the heat wave way back when. Ryan is also investigating potential pest and disease issues, using the awesome resource of our state extension office.
One of the biggest challenges that Ryan is trying to address from a big picture perspective is weed pressure on the farm. Weed pressure has always been one of our biggest challenges, and over the years, we have incorporated so many different type of weed management methods, in hopes that the next one will really prove effective for our systems. The newest method we started incorporating last year was using large tarps on areas of fields that we lay down for several weeks to smother weeds, and kill off several rounds of the weed seed bank in that area. This method has proved somewhat effective, except against some annual grasses and a weed known as pig weed. It has made Ryan go somewhat back to the drawing board to figure out how to manage weeds. Weeds may be one of the most costly parts of our production systems, and it feels a bit demoralizing to be at this for 10 seasons now. Shouldn't we be able to nail this by now?!
In the next week or so, we will embark upon the new project of harvesting and processing elderberries for a large order we have for Long Trail Brewing. We planted our elderberry bushes a couple years ago, and this is the first large harvest yield. It will be fun to have a new project to master, and even more excitingly, we look forward to trying their elderberry beer in several months!
We hope you have a great week, and enjoy the treats of the summer! I hope you are eating tomato everything... we certainly are!
-Kara, Ryan, Taylor, Mikayla, Katelyn, Morgan, Peter, Sam, and Shain
Roasted Veggie Tomato Sandwich
This time of year, I roast a large batch of veggies to keep in the fridge for fast sandwhiches. When you take quick lunch breaks, but want to eat like garden royalty, this is a stellar go to. (You can use any combo of veggies you enjoy, but below is usually what I do.)
2 medium onions, sliced into long thin strips
2 medium to large zucchini or summer squash, sliced into long thin strips
2 kohlrabi, peeled, sliced into long thin strips
head of garlic, cloves peeled and kept whole
5-6 carrots, sliced into long thin strips
1 pint of shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
4 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
Toss all ingredients together, and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 until lightly browned. Remove from heat, and eat warm, or store in the fridge for at least a week.
For sandwiches, put a layer of basil leaves on bread, layer on the roasted veggies, your favorite slice of cheese, a thick slice of fresh tomato, followed by another layer of basil and your top layer of bread. Enjoy!