In Your Share This Week
- Summer Squash
This week’s share has SUMMER written all over it. Think fresh grilled veggies, cool crisp salads…maybe it’s time for a good ole fashioned BBQ! Cucumbers and squash are two of our summer mainstays here on the farm, so look out for both on a weekly basis for the next couple of months. Cucumbers and squash along with other summer crops like eggplants and tomatoes, are the farm gift that keep giving! These crops have an indeterminate growth pattern, meaning they continue to produce flowers and fruit throughout the season, so as they come on get ready to receive the bounty for weeks to come!
Cucumbers: Over the last few seasons we have transitioned to growing more and more Silver Slicer cucumbers as they have become a real farm favorite. Unlike more traditional varieties, these cucumbers have a dreamy pale white (and extra thin) skin and are praised for their more mild flavor and extra juicy texture. Cucumber salad is an obvious winner here, but they make an incredibly refreshing agua fresca. Agua fresca literally means “fresh water” in Spanish and is quite refreshing in the heat of a summer day–try juicing your cucumbers with some limes, fresh mint, and a touch of sugar over ice for a real treat.
Dill: Fresh dill, much like the parsley you received a couple of weeks ago, also makes an amazing companion to the new potatoes in this week’s share. We love adding dill to any potato salad recipe and we’re sure you will too! We harvest our dill by cutting it at the base of the plant, making nice clean bunches that need minimum washing. Wash just before you use. Store your dill bunch wrapped in a damp paper towel inside of a plastic bag to help keep it looking fresh and lovely.
New Potatoes: Just a quick note here…this week we decided to bag and send out new potatoes unwashed to make sure their delicate skins are best preserved for your enjoyment. Wash carefully at home and enjoy!
Summer Squash: This year we decided to focus our summer squash production on a few different zucchini varieties. We are growing green, striped and yellow varieties. We have found over the seasons that the zucchini varieties of summer squash are the best producers all around, and are tastier and easier to prepare than other varieties. Zucchini harvest happens twice a week to ensure that we get the fruit when it has reached absolute summer squash perfection!
Around the Farm
This week we are taking some time to tackle a few ongoing projects in the field. Our crew has swelled in numbers and we are taking advantage of the extra hands to make a large dent in our weeding list. In organic farming weeding is a fact of life–a necessary investment in order to ensure the crops we are growing are optimal in quality and production. We do create and implement a weed management plan in order to manage our weed load as efficiently as possible and reduce our overall time spent hand and hoe weeding. Some of our weed reducing tactics include knowing where our weeds are (sounds simple, but is crucial in crop planning for seasons to come), crop rotation (many weeds are adapted to growing in particular environments, rotations help keep those environments always changing), cover cropping (one of our favorite tactics for weed suppression!), stale seed beds (we let our weeds germinate and then burn them with our flame weeder), and a few others. But “farming” happens and weeds grow, and we are passionate about getting out there and getting those pesky plants out of the ground so that we can get you the best crops possible!
Also, I wanted to talk about carrots! Those of you who have been members for multiple seasons know that we love carrots here at SIO and we are confident that you will love our carrots too!! Last season we grew over 15,000 pounds of carrots and we’re hoping to grow even more this year. Today alone our crew harvested about 1,000 pounds of carrots, both for CSA and restaurant sales. We are very excited to let you in on a little secret…the last weekend of July, Salt and Straw is releasing a special seasonal ice cream flavor featuring SIO carrots–YUMMMY!!
We like to bulk harvest carrots directly into large wooden boxes. This allows us to move around hundreds of pounds of crops at once!
Tabitha, one of our veteran farmers, uses our Wilsi (short for Wilson) or root washing machine to clean up those carrots. She can wash about 200 pounds of carrots an hour with the Wilsi!!