I always wonder if it is this time of year that leaves the joyous thought in people’s mind: CSA’s are crazy!! It is this time of year when, if you weren’t already on board, the dollars and cents of it all start to make sense. It’s this time of year when I encourage you all not to feel overwhelmed by a giant, bulging box of produce shows up on your doorstep, but to embrace the bounty, knock on a neighbor’s door, invite friends and family over to feast. This bountiful harvest, when the magic of the Sebastopol climate brings us crops from across the board, tomatoes to spinach, watermelons to microgreens, that the true “community” part of Community Supported Agriculture comes out. My thought, which I have already shared with many (and likely written in an early newsletter, while feeling inspired at the site of newly tilled fields and the germination of the first crops of summer) is that CSA is not just about the community supporting the land, a farm, and a farmer, but it is also about the farm supporting the disappearing idea of community. The farm as a place that brings people together and reminds us of the joys of the most basic things in life. Many of you know that I am currently across the country, beginning the pursuit of a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. I am focusing on food systems and hunger, to better inform my work as a farmer, community member, and teacher. While I do this, a community of people who have been with the farm from the start, both friends and family, some quite close, some hardly knowing each other, have stepped up to finish this season’s deliveries and farmers’ market obligations. As a farmer and daughter and friend and sister, I can’t imagine a more fulfilling sense of community than this.
(It should be noted that each week, I spend Monday, Tuesday and Thursday calling and calling, anticipating questions and the need for guidance. And every week, what do I hear? The laughing and raucous fun of a bunch of my friends and family coming together, spending early mornings and late evenings harvesting the best of the season, gorging on juicy watermelons, and enjoying each other’s company. It’s quite a lovely thing….only hindered slightly by the fact that on the other end of the phone I’m hunched over hundreds of pages of reading….!)
In the Box: Summer Squash Cucumbers Sweet Peppers Hot Peppers Cherry Tomatoes Tomatoes French Canteloupe Watermelon Spinach Microgreens Herbs
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September 6, 2011
Folks, nothing says summer like a watermelon! And boy, are we all ready for it, I know. The beauty (and sometimes the daunting aspect) of participating in a farm focusing on heirlooms, is that you never quite know what you’re gonna get. Or rather, you may have something, and have no idea what it is. Things don’t always look as you might expect, and this is one of the crucial parts of heirloom production – the salvation of varieties on the verge of extinction; the bolstering of the floral gene pool; the producing and consuming of something a bit less banal than what you’re used to finding. But it can catch you off guard if you’re not expecting it. Yes, what we call “zucchini” is not always smooth and green. Cucumbers come in many shades of green, yellow, and even white sometimes. Tomatoes for goodness sake – red? Hah! Try orange, yellow, pink, purple, green, white, striped, large, small, round, knobby, oblong and more (and more of these oddities to come as the month progresses we hope!) So notably, watermelon, that succulent fruit that comes dripping with red sweetness isn’t always, well, red! Sometimes it is. However, sometimes, and many of you will find this today, it comes in shades of white, yellow and orange, as well! Yes, all watermelon. Yes, all delicious. The flavor….some degree of variability. Reds with their traditional watermelon goodness. Whites with a lighter, fragrantly sweet and refreshing crispness, and orange (my favorite) with an almost tropical juiciness. None can be beat, non can be favored. All to be enjoyed!
Note: Give the green pears a few days on the counter to ripen! Around this particular pear tree there is a suspicious ring of dirt, where the grass has been worn away in some kind of tricky path one can never get off of, as it circles and circles and circles the tree. This is the path made by Sugar, the resident horse who paces around the tree, waiting for the fruit to fall each summer! So in order to get the pears, we get them a bit green!
In the Box: Tomatoes Cherry Tomatoes Spinach Kale Herbs Beets Pears Sweet Peppers Hot Peppers (Jalapenos and Green Cayennes) Summer Squash Cucumbers Watermelon (Katanya and Sugar Baby are red, Orangeglo is orange, Cream of Sasketchewan is White, Sweet Siberian is Yellow)
Week 11: Salad Mix, Red Russian Kale, Cilantro, Basil, Bean Medley (Dragon Tongue, Blue Lake, Golden Wax, Royalty Purple Pod), Cucumbers (Lemon Cuc, Japanese Long, or Armenian), Detroit Dark Red Beets, Carrots (Amarillo, Cosmic Purple, Berlicum II), Bloomsdale Spinach, Peppers, Tiny Pears, Blackberries, Summer Squash (Striata d'Italia, Bennings Green Tint, Golden Zucc, Lungo Bianco)