This week’s share:
- Summer Squash
Beans- This year we did four plantings of beans using three different varieties. The three varieties you will find in your share this summer are: Venture a slim green bean, Dragon Tongue a flat podded bean with purple markings and Roma II a flat podded green bean. If you did not receive beans in your share last week you are in for a treat. We are continuing to harvest Venture this week and next up is Dragon Tongue which is now flowering.
Beets- Chioggia beets are in your share this week. These are a spectacular candy-striped beet brought to the US from Italy in the 1840’s. They are a bit sweeter then their all red relative. An added bonus is that they do not bleed. Beets are wonderful cooked or grated raw on top of a salad.
Broccoli- The broccoli is going out with a bang here in mid-July. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Carrots- Notice the slow increase in the size of the carrots in your shares each week? We sure notice when we’re pulling them out of the ground…all of the crops are growing so quickly right now with the long daylight hours and summer heat.
Cucumbers- We grow two varieties of cucumber: a long green one called Marketmore and a specialty cucumber called Lemon because of its shape and color. Cucumbers are here to stay for the summer.
Garlic- I had never grown my own garlic before coming out to work on the farm, so the taste of our fresh home grown bulbs was a shock to me. It’s so pungent and tasty…not too much longer until there will be tomatoes to go with it…
Herbs- This week in your share you will be receiving either cilantro OR basil. Herbs will appear in your share most weeks of the summer. Making their appearance throughout the summer will be basil, cilantro, dill, and parsley.
Lettuce- The lettuce harvest continues…celebrate with a salad! Your share this week has all kinds of great salad fixing’s to go with it.
Onions- We grew some enormous Walla Walla sweet onions this year, and as a result your share includes one gigantic onion. Onion rings anyone? These are the last of our fall planted onions. Fall planted onions are harvested in the spring while our spring planted onions will come to you at the end of August.
Potatoes- The Yukon gold potatoes are back this week. These flavorful taters make for a great cold potato salad. The next potatoes you will get to help us dig. On Saturday August 11, we will be having our annual potato harvest work party.
Summer Squash- The squash will be a constant in your share throughout the summer, because once these plants start fruiting there’s no stopping them. It’s a race against time to harvest the squash while it’s still young and tasty. I never enjoyed summer squash nearly as much as I have in the last few weeks, with several varieties to try and different methods of cooking to experiment with. If you’re doing any barbequing, these little guys taste delicious off the grill.
Fruits and vegetables are not the only things to be enjoyed seasonally…hobbies and activities have their times of year as well. In my opinion, winter is the time for complicated cooking, when the kitchen is warm and cozy, and summer is great for simple and easy recipes. With that in mind, here is a very simple recipe for roasted summer vegetables.
- 1 lb. potatoes
- 3-4 beets
- Large onion
- 5-6 carrots
- 2 summer squash
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- chopped head of garlic
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- ground cumin
- cayenne powder
- fresh herbs, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking pan or casserole dish. Chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic, garlic, and spices. Pour over the veggies and toss to coat. Sprinkle with herbs; definitely the basil or cilantro, plus rosemary, thyme, or parsley from your own herb garden. If baking on a cookie sheet, cover with foil. Bake 45-50 minutes.
My name is Blake and I am a first-year apprentice out here on Sauvie Island. I am originally from northwestern Washington State, but I’ve been in the Portland area for a few years now. As first years, our brains are being filled every day with new information about crops, pests, soil, water, and more. It is both an honor and a pleasure to have the chance to grow food for you all.
With all this hot, dry weather we’ve been having, irrigation out in the fields becomes increasingly important to keep the crops alive and happy. In June I got to be the irrigation assistant, helping Vanessa and learning tons of stuff about obscure farming technology. Here at SIO we use two types of irrigation- “overhead” and “drip.”
Overhead is what we call the use of sprinklers. Lines of aluminum pipe are hooked up to a high pressure hose, broadcasting water across 10 beds of crops and making a picturesque scene to look upon when the sprinklers are running in the evening. Using overhead irrigation demands the exhausting but rewarding job of moving the cumbersome pipes around the farm to whichever fields need water.
Drip is when we use lines of plastic tape which drip water at a steady rate directly onto the soil where the crops are growing. These lines are hooked up to a smaller hose via a pressure regulator to control and maintain water pressure throughout the lines. Some plants, such as tomatoes, prefer drip, as they don’t like getting water on their foliage. Setting up drip requires a whole plethora of gadgets and tools that are both fascinating and at times confusing.
Last week we got the chance to visit 47th Avenue Farm, which is similar in size and scope to ours. Like us, they have an apprenticeship program and grow a variety of organic crops. It is great to make connections within the farming community by meeting other apprentices and farmers.