What's going on at the farm?
Hello Folks! 6/18/2008 Week 8 of 20
What's Growin' on?
Hello Members, another week and more new crops to harvest and more spring crops to say goodbye to. So is the natural cycle of June. I miss spinach myself, I felt is was sooooo tasty this year! But that will only make me appreciate it more when I have it again. For those of you new to the CSA or the area, here in central North Carolina we can grow cool season crops in the spring, fall and sometimes winter if it is mild but not in the summer. They cannot handle the 90+ temperatures. We will now have summer crops in the shares through August, and the beginning of September until the CSA is ends for the year. We can look forward to watermelon and cantaloupe, as well as more cucumbers, summer squash, basil, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and green/yellow beans. We are missing the strawberries but really enjoying not having to harvest them anymore as it takes a good few hours twice a week, although it is fun to eat them as you go : )
This week you may have received Lemon cucumbers in with your regular green slicing cucumbers. Lemon cucumbers are an heirloom variety that looks like a lemon but tastes like a cucumber. You don't have to peel them, like the slicing cucumbers, enjoy the skin with the flesh. The yellow skin looks very pretty mixed in with the green slicing, make a yummy AND pretty cucumber salad!
Speaking of yellow veggies, you have also received yellow carrots mixed in with your orange carrots this week. Carrots do come in different colors, and once again, are yummy AND pretty. This is the last week for carrots and beets both, we are really saying goodbye to alot of spring crops this week. After the 100+ degree weather recently, they just couldn't hang on any longer. But, the benefit of that weather is the early tomatoes we can enjoy this week. The variety you have received is calle Big Beef and I find it to be a very nice flavored red tomato. We will have sungold Cherry tomatoes in a couple of weeks for everyone, and of course larger quantities of tomatoes in your shares as this is just the first week of picking and thus small. A side not on the tomatoes, once the tomato has started to turn red, we usually harvest it. This is because once they have started to turn, they will continue to ripen and obtain the same flavor and sweetness as they would have if kept on the vine. If they were kept on the vine until fully red, as some are, they taste the same as the others but were under more danger of being damaged by tomato fruitworm or that random rodent that keeps taking small bites out of the lower tomatoes. My point is, that as the season goes on and you receive a few pounds of tomatoes at a time, I like to give them to you at various stages of ripeness so that you won't have to eat them all that day to not miss out on them. You can tell that they are not quite ready because they are not quite fully dark red. When your receive one of those tomatoes, as you may have today, you want to let it sit on your counter (NOT in direct sun and NOT in the refrigerator) until it turns fully red, usually about a day or two. You do not want to put tomatoes in the refrigerator, as exposing it to temperatures below 50 degrees makes the tomato mealy and affects the flavor negatively. Hope that helps and makes sense.
For those of you not familiar with leeks, you can use them just like an onion, and you can eat the whole thing, white and green parts both. If you want, you can hold them until next week when you wil be receiving potatoes for the first time to sautee them up together with olive oil.
Hope you all enjoy this week's bounty, and as always, please send me an email if you have any questions, thoughts or concerns. I love to hear from you! Elise.