One would think that after almost two decades of farming I would have this farming game figured out! I do have the basics mostly down, but every year, around Father’s Day, I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with what? Thanks for asking. WORK! All of the sudden, everything needs to be harvested: lettuce, spinach, peas. Everything needs to be weeded: lettuce, spinach, peas, beets, tomatoes, beans, squash, cucumbers, strawberries. And more needs to be planted: lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, squash, beets, kohlrabi, corn, etc. I know it is coming, but it always catches me off guard, like a sneaker wave at the beach – all of the sudden you’re wet.
A lot of this has to do with timing and trying to figure out the changing climate patterns and the changing availability of willing workers. The climate impacts are just unpredictable. Last year at this time we were burning up and this year we have had huge swings in temperatures and a fair amount of rain.
This year I got out early and planted some summer loving, heat loving crops in early May, expecting it to get hot early, but June is looking more like “Junuary.” Although hitting a high of 58 degrees in early June really slows down the crops, it also keeps things from bolting, like spinach and lettuce, and peas from burning up. This is farming though: I do my best, I get the weather I get, I adapt, then I get to harvest what crops liked the weather best.
But the weeds, well, they love all types of weather. On our farm we are a hand-weeding operation, and it is hard to find people excited about rows and rows of vegetables to be weeded, sometimes with a hoe, other times on your hands and sometimes we just throw up our hands and use a tractor and start over. We have managed to stay almost caught up, but you can see the “tide” of weeds rising. This week will be the week to stem that tide!
As always, we work hard to grow the healthiest, tastiest and freshest fruits and vegetables for you and your family. We want to be that bright spot in your week, where on your delivery day a box of good food brightens your day and nourishes your body.
More locally grown good food is on its way.
Cheers to your health!
Recipe for this week’s box: Asian Cucumber & Carrot Slaw
Serves 2 to 4
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (or other oil of choice)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Using a julienne peeler or grater, shred the cucumber and carrots into long strips.
- Toss the vegetables in a medium bowl, along with the vinegars, water, sugar, and sesame oil.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro.
- Chill until ready to serve. Best served cold.
Recipe adapted from wayfair.com
Know Your Produce: Stonefruit 101
“Stonefruit” refers to members of the genus Prunus, which includes peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, cherries, and apricots. The season for summer stonefruit is short-lived, and delicious! With the fruit coming and going so quickly, we don’t want you to miss out by having to toss spoiled or improperly ripened fruit. Here’s some info on proper storage in order for you to make the most of these short-season gems.
Care – Store unwashed fruit at room temperature until ripe (usually only 1-2 days), then place in sealed container in the fridge.
Ripeness – Gently press around stem and when flesh gives slightly to pressure fruit is ripe. Stonefruit ripens from the inside to the outside, so if fruit is soft all over it is more likely overripe.
Tips for Preventing Spoilage – Stonefruit’s biggest enemy while ripening is moisture coupled with lack of airflow. Set ripening stonefruit on a cloth or paper-covered countertop or in a place where it gets plenty of airflow. Try setting them stem side down to ripen. This lessens the chance of then rolling and bruising. Once your stonefruit is ripe, it deteriorates very quickly. Within a day of being fully ripe, if left out of refrigeration, you can have overripe/spoiled fruit and some very attracted fruit flies. Check daily and place in refrigerator as soon as you notice the stem area has begun to soften. Take special care when handling your stonefruit – never squeeze to check for ripeness! Even a small bruise will be cause enough to turn into a rot/bruised spot on your fruit as it is still ripening.
Use – Once fruit is ripe, and you’ve placed in the refrigerator, plan to use within a day or two (this gives you a total keeping time of about 4-5 days). Stonefruit is refreshing as a healthy breakfast paired with yogurt or hot/cold cereal, as a topping to a green salad, and as an ingredient in fruit salads. For grilling, or for topping green salads: use slightly less ripe fruit, it will hold up better without breaking apart/juicing. All Stonefruit bakes up fabulously into crisps, pies, and sauces!