A couple of weeks into July and it feels like summer is truly here. We're picking so much beautiful zucchini and squash from the fields pictured above (there's a bed of cover crops in the foreground). Mallory and Cole stayed late on Friday evening to finish picking lots and lots of green beans since I had left with Steve and the kids for a long weekend trip. The tomatoes are starting to come on strong this week (you'll definitely see them in shares next week, but you can add or swap for them in the farm store) and the peppers are getting there too. Along with the abundance, we're having to deal with more weed, pest and disease issues as the heat and rain and general humidity really kicks all of those things into gear. Even though I was only away from the farm for a few days, it feels like we have some catching up to do this week. It's hard to leave, and sometimes the work that piles up makes it feel like it might not be worth it, but it's really important to make the time to do it. We had a great time visiting Hocking Hills with Steve's parents and his brother and his family. All of our kids had a blast playing together, hiking (most of them did it with minimal whining) and swimming at the lodge pool.
The share this week is so colorful! With the red (purple really) cabbage, orange carrots, yellow squash, red onions and of course several green items, it feels like a rainbow of goodness. The sweet basil is looking particularly lucious so we are making big bunches of it. We are also starting to offer a large order size at a discount (5 bunches for $10) if anyone is interested in preserving some for future pesto, or to add to soups, sauces and other dishes. We simply blend the leaves with olive oil and freeze that mixture flat in a ziptop bag. When you are ready to use it later, just break a chunk off the frozen block. I love basil flavors with sauteed squash, so I was thinking a simply pasta recipe like the one below would be delicious this week:
The first harvest of green beans is tender and amazing. You probably have your favorite way of cooking green beans already, but if you aren't used to using fresh beans the easiest way to cook them is just to boil in salted water. If you want to make something a little fancier, you might opt to use the cabbage and onions in your share and make something like the recipe below:
I hope you enjoyed the carrots last week! The flavor of these fresh garden carrots is nothing like the storage carrots you typically get at the grocery. We really love them here and we have planted lots of them so they'll probably be in shares for a couple more weeks.