It is a new month and we have several new members bringing our total up to 8 (I would like to have 20 but we take what we are served. It does looks like we may get to that point the last two months of this food adventure). As we have new members I will get to business matters first. Your shares will be ready to pick up after 4 pm and will be located in the fridge to your right as you walk in the store (it is the only fridge in the front of the store). Your share will be in a bag (or sometimes two bags) with your name on it. We do ask that all members provide a couple of reusable shopping bags if they do not want their stuff in plastic Kroger or Wal-Mart bags. You have between 4pm Wednesday and 6 am Saturday to get your share, after that they go with us to the Oxford farmers Market and will be donated to the Choice Food Pantry in Oxford (they come by the farmers market every Saturday to get donations. Last year we gave over 1000 pounds of food). The store is open pretty much all the time so you can get you share whenever you can if you cannot get here Wednesday afternoon/evening. Month to month members, renewals for August are due July 21-you can leave cash or check with us when you come to pick up your food.
We have a farm tour coming up next week on Tuesday July 13th at 6 pm. This is a great opportunity to see your CSA farm and learn more about Organic farming. I seriously doubt that we will have the time to host a pot luck farm tour so if you want to see the farm in a formal manner this is your chance. on that note please feel free to walk around the farm, this is one of the perks to being a FSI member. To get to the farm walk between the barn and the store buildings and you will see a silver gate. Open that and walk through (be sure to close it behind you). If you go to your right you will be in the market garden if you go to your left you walk by the pond. While in the market garden be aware of where you are walking and never walk in garden beds as you will injure/kill the crops, even beds that look fallow probably have something planted.
Life on the farm is ever changing, just like the weather (okay, pretty much because of the weather). We have gone from too much rain to no rain at all and it is stressing the plants because their root systems grew shallowly to handle copious amounts of moisture in the soil. You see, plants grow root systems according to the weather. Dry weather means the roots go down deep searching for water but when there is a lot of rain and the water table is high the roots are very shallow. When the water dries up than there are problems because the roots are not where the water is in the ground. All the rain in June, we had over 16 inches here at the farm, meant lots of shallow roots being set. I see a lot of field corn that is incredibly stressed all over SW Ohio. The soy beans are beginning to look bad as well. On our farm things are pretty happy, I suspect, because our soils are full of organic matter (OM) and retain moisture much better than the fields that are fed chemicals and have a low OM percentage. The basis of good Organic Farm management is not avoiding pesticides but rather growing great healthy soil. The soil is the soul of the Organic farm (any farm, really, but the chemically managed farms are definitely lacking in OM and soil life).
And weather changes on a whim around here. In June we were dealing with too much rain and heat which meant weeds that grew fast and could not be hoed or pulled because the soil was simply too wet. this also meant fungal diseases git started. We don't seem to have much of an issue with this other than the tomatoes that once again have some blighty ick attacking them. We will get tomatoes from the plants but not huge amounts, which is fine as we have finally, after 17 years of growing, started cutting back on the number of tomato plants we grow. We have found that there are way too many for sale at farmers markets for us to sell them at a price that makes it worth growing them (and at times we can't give them away, there are so many) so we are down to 385 plants mainly for you, our FSI members and ourselves (I put up many bushels of tomatoes made into juice, sauce and salsa for off season use). At our peak we grew over 1000 tomato plants.
Now it is hot and dry which makes for miserable working conditions-it is no fun to work outside when it is 90F and humid so we try to get to work early in the day and than quit during the heat of the day and get back at it about 2 hours before dusk. I would love to have a whole summer of the weather we had over the 4th of July weekend but that probably ain't happening so we deal with the heat as well as we can.
okay I really need to stop here and get out and harvest stuff for your shares
1 or more garlic bulbs
Preheat your oven to 350?. Cut the top 1/4 inch off of each bulb of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and put in a covered dish or pan and put in a preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
When cool enough to handle separate the cloves and squirt out the roasted garlic onto bread or your favorite dish
What's in the Share this Week
Garlic Scapes-probably the last week for these
Scallions-a bunch of scallions to use as you wish
Basil-a nice big bag (over 1/4 pound) of basil for pesto or whatever
Chioggia Beets-These are an Italian heirloom beet that is AKA the candy stripped beets because of its' pink and white concentric circles. the proper pronunciation according to Martha Stewart is Key-o-gia, though I was taught chi-o-geeia
Zucchini-you will get a large costata romanesque this week. Do not let the size fool you these are tender, small seeded and deelish even when large. these can be used for far more than zucchini bread at this stage
Cucumber-2 or 3 armenian cukes which I recently learned are a melon which is why they are so mild and sweet.
Raspberries-the Latham raspberries are almost at an end for the year but soon enough we will be picking the Heritage raspberries which are in full bloom. You get 1 1/2 pint this week
Onions-around a pound of the heirloom Ailsa Craig sweet onions
Garlic-3 corms of garlic. I should know the type (we grow 5 different hard necked garlics) but alas I don't at this point in the day
Chard-a 1/2 pound bag of bright lights chard, one of my favorite greens. Expect to see this almost every week through fall
Carrots-these are our spring planted carrots which did not get big due to the wet conditions and weed pressures. They do have some carrot fly damage but are over all nice carrots. this will be the only carrots we have until September
Plums-purple plums from our lone plum tree. I find these rather tart bit they do have good flavor. You get a pound