Oh July. I get a bit tired around this time each season. Maybe it's the heat and humidity? Maybe it's the accumulation of weeks of the farm grind? Maybe it's the increased disease and pest pressure? Maybe it's the few weeds we haven't gotten to going to seed? Maybe it's the realization that summer only just began a few weeks ago?! Most likely it's a bit of all of those things. Over the years, I've found a better work/life balance with the farm and I've noticed the seasonal nature of my energy levels and emotional state. It's actually become a comfort to find myself entering these seasonal phases that I know so well. I've been through it enough, that I know that this fatigue will pass. I have an amazing farm crew this year and that has really helped to balance the load for all of us. The farm is looking great for early July! The tomatoes are slowly starting to ripen and should be on in full force in just a couple of weeks. Peppers and eggplant are getting there too.
This week I'm also prepping for a virtual field day with the Organic Association of KY (OAK) that will take place on Friday afternoon. I've enjoyed working with the folks at OAK to put this together and I hope that aspiring farmers and gardeners will find something useful from it. The focus of the field day is on the tools we use for our minimal tillage production system. I'll talk a lot about cover cropping, tarps, our two-wheeled walk-behind tractor, and season extension. If you are interested in attending, you can register for free at this link (https://www.oak-ky.org/farmer-field-days-2021).
The share this week includes so many solid veggies. I'm guessing that some of you may be getting a little tired of cabbage and zucchini. This is the last week of cabbage for the spring and it does keep in your fridge for a few weeks. Both cabbage and zucchini are such versatile vegetables that melt and take on other flavors that they are cooked with. I love the idea of using these together in a warm and cheesy casserole, like this recipe below:
Beets are back again this week for the 'A' half share that haven't gotten any yet. The Tues/Wed shares will get golden beets that are more cylindrical in shape and the Thurs/Sat shares will get red beets. Carrots are a great partner with beets in many recipes, like the simple one below that also incorporates basil. The recipe calls for sweet basil, but adds lemon juice - so I'm thinking that your lemon basil would be perfect here:
Speaking of basil, I should tell you the best way to keep your basil. Treat this herb like a cut flower, snip the very ends of the stems and put it in a cup of water. Change the water every couple of days and your basil should last at least a week and will probably start rooting. You can pluck off leaves as you need them for recipes. Of course, I also enjoy using up a whole bunch of basil at once for pesto. This lemon basil is especially good as a pesto paired with chicken or fish. Ohh, maybe a chicken lemon basil pesto pasta with sauteed zucchini and sweet onions? Yum!