In your share this week:
- French Fillet Beans
- 1 lb. Garlic, German Extra Hardy
*Only some of you will be getting cucumbers this week. The vines have just started producing so we'll only have enough to give them to some of you each week, on a rotating basis by pick-up location.
This week you are getting our famous French fillet beans. And I tell you, they truly are famous. I have people asking me every year "Are you growing those wonderful beans again?", "When will your beans be ready", and "I can't wait for those beans!" Yes. They are that good. Nothing like regular green beans. They do not need to be cooked for long and can even be eaten raw.
We hope you enjoy this first of many weeks of tomatoes. There's just nothing quite like the flavor of a home-grown, vine ripened tomato! We are growing several varieties this year and I will introduce you to them as more varieties ripen and get put in your share.
You are getting a big bag of basil in your share this week. It's appearance is a little disappointing, but I'm a basil snob and perhaps a little too picky. Besides, the flavor is what really counts, right? And this basil is all there, strong and flavorful. I highly recommend you use some to make pesto, which freezes very well.
That reminds me...Shain wants you to use the basil a little differently this week.
You see, Shain and I have different approaches to deciding what gets harvested each week for your share. Often we go back and forth discussing our opinions before a final list is made. I'm more straight forward, asking: "What is ready?", "What do we have time to harvest?", "What will last until next week without going bad?" Shain thinks a little differently. He thinks in terms of recipes, "What can they make with what we give them this week?" Take the basil. I noticed it was ready two weeks ago before we were going on vacation. I discussed my thoughts with Shain and he over-ruled me with his strong desire to hold off on the basil until we could pick tomatoes to go with them. "We need to give them basil when they get their tomatoes so they can make bruschetta!" So folks, that's Shain's recommendation. (I hope he makes some for me!)
Many people have strong opinions on the best method for storing garlic and I've heard several of them from our CSA members and customers over the years. What I've learned is that each person's house and storage conditions are different. Do what works best for you, what you've had the most success with. For us, we find our garlic keeps best if simply kept in the mesh bag inside a kitchen cubbard. There are two conditions to keep garlic away from: moisture (including steam, humidity, or anything like it) and sunlight. Otherwise, our garlic should store for several months. It has NOT been preserved in any way other than being hung to dry for a few weeks (also known as "curing"), so it may not last as long as grocery store garlic.
We would like to thank our CSA members for being so supportive of our time off last week. And also thank our Workshares for arranging their schedules around ours to help make this vacation possible. Most of all, thanks to Asher and the Cox Family for taking care of our place and the farm. It was so very nice to leave this place for just a few days and be confident enough in our helpers to not even worry or fret about it. We had a nice few days with family. It was wonderful and relaxing. Just what we needed.
And while we were gone...there were two nights while we were out of town that the temperatures droped to freezing. Fortunately, Shain had everything set up best he could to keep the greenhouses secure (thanks again to our helpers for the exta work it required), but there's not a whole lot that can be done to protect crops growing out side. Damage assessment: the tops of the potaoto plants froze a bit. Not completely, but probably enough to prevent any more major growth. Also, the tops of the zucchini and squash plants froze, even under their row covers. This is a little more disappointing becasue these crops are already struggling to produce any fruit. With this cool summer we've had in Star Valley and now this early freeze, it's a real possibility we won't have any zucchini or squash this year. (Which I am finding very hard to comprehend because of all the jokes I hear every year about the excess of zucchini and squash coming from this farm.)
One last thing, a few weeks ago we added a few workers to our Workshare group. They are some great ladies who are helping me with the harvesting now that Shain has returned to teaching school. One of these ladies wrote an enjoyable piece about her first day working here on the farm. I've added it to this blog and hope you will take the time to read it. (It follows this blog post if you are reading my entries in chronological order.)
Have a great week and enjoy your veggies!