In the share this week:
1 lb mixed slicer tomatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 bunch carrots
1 bunch beets
2 eggplant, 2 bell peppers, or specialty pepper mix
1 lb sweet or red onions
1 head summer crisp lettuce
Thoughts from Farmer Anna:
We are officially in the midst of the dog days of summer. This is an interesting phrase and I just learned the full meaning of it recently. Mostly when we refer to the 'dog days of summer' we mean the super hot, humid sunny days that we typically experience in July and early August. The reason this time of year is called the 'dog days' is based on astrology. The dog star 'Sirius' (I'm looking at you Harry Potter fans!) is part of the Canis Major constellation and rises and sets in the same part of the sky as the sun at this time of year. The ancient Romans thought that because the star was so bright it gave off extra heat that added to the sun's warmth in mid-summer. Interesting stuff, no? In any case, it's been ten days since our last rain (we didn't get any showers on the farm this past Sunday) and over 90 degrees and humid for the next few days, so I definitely think we are in dog days in every sense of the phrase.
We are still busily flipping beds this week. I took a picture right after we moved some tarps last week, that shows you just how effective these tarps are at smothering weeds and crops (see above). The beds on the right were mowed and tarped 2-3 weeks prior to tarp moving and have very little residue left. After the pic was taken, we broadforked those beds to loosen the soil, added some compost-based fertilizer and lightly harrow the top 1-2 inches of soil to get them ready for the next crops (fall cabbages, kohlrabi and kale). You can also see the two fields we are cover cropping for this season in the background of this photo. The sorghum sundangrass looks a lot like corn and grows to be taller than me. We'll mow it in the next couple of weeks, let it regrow for another 6 weeks, then mow and tarp it for overwintered onions. I love seeing all of that beautiful biomass that will be turned into the soil to increase our organic matter and feed all of the organisms there, which will in turn feed our crops next year. This period of no rain will force those cover crops to put down really deep roots that can bring up minerals from lower soil layers, so that is a definite plus.
More tomatoes this week and even cherry tomatoes for everyone! In past years, we haven't been able to pick enough cherry tomatoes in a week to supply our 65-70 weekly shares. This year I changed our management strategy slightly, hoping that we would have a big flush of these little sweeties - and it worked! We grow three different types of cherry tomatoes: sungold - super sweet orange, cherry bomb - classic red, and black cherry - big purplish tomato with complex flavor. You may get one, two or all three types in your pint depending on what's coming on strongest this week.
We are back to orange carrots this week and they are really nice. There are still some rainbow carrots available for adding or swapping in the farmigo store, but these will be bagged instead of bunched as the greens were really going downhill. Our mid-summer beet planting came out very well, so those are in share again this week. I know you've had more beets than usual this year and they are not everyone's favorite veggie. If you are among the beet unsure, may I suggest making them into a deliciously moist chocolate cake? This was the first way that I found to enjoy beets when we received them in CSA shares many years ago:
If you are more adventurous and want to take your beet game to the next level, you might consider combining them with your eggplant (Tues and Wed shares) and making a beet baba ganoush:
If you are a meat eater, this is definitely the week for the perfect BLT. Our summer crisp lettuce leaves seem to be perfectly sandwich sized and the tomatoes are peak. This classic summer meal is always a favorite in our house! Hope you all have a great week!