With another solid crew today, we got the harvesting done before the rain arrived, plus a little weeding and farm clean-up (Charlie and I used the truck and tractor to get everything…fencing, shelter, pallets, water tubs, etc…out of the old pig area. Ah, the memories…) Though I would still describe the summer broadly as being pretty wet, we needed today’s rain, plus what we got the other night. And, we’re grateful that these are mellow, soaking rains, rather than the thunder-and-lightning fueled deluges we experienced a few weeks ago. Everything in moderation…
CSA share #6 for the 2012 season includes the following veggies:
2 lbs of Red Gold potatoes
2 lbs of zucchini
1 bunch of beets
1 head of green oakleaf lettuce
Choose one: 1/2 pint of raspberries -or- 1 bag of green beans -or- 1 bag of beefsteak tomatoes -or- 1 bag of eggplant (Friday CSAers -> Farmer’s choice)
1 green bell pepper
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 fresh garlic bulb
1 bunch of basil
The peas have passed, but the beans are here! We’ll see the yields increase in the coming weeks, plus add yellow wax beans and Royal Burgundy purple beans into the mix. Kale and chard are coming soon, too. They are ready, but we’ve been so pleased with how gorgeous the beets and beet greens are that we just had to include them again this week! And high summer means zucchini madness. The beasts are coming in heavy now, so dust off those bread recipes! If we’re overloaded, we often shred a whole mess of zucchini and freeze it. In the dead of winter, we can thaw a bag out and use it for any number of things: bread, muffins, soups, and even as an addition to pasta sauce or chili. For now, click on over to the Recipes page and try out the Marinated Zucchini Salad, the first zucchini recipe listed. It’s a favorite of ours! As noted last week, the garlic in your shares is fresh and uncured so keep it in the fridge and use it within a week or so. And a note to our Friday CSAers in Lewiston and Portland: Because your shares are boxed ahead of time and transported to you, we make the call for any “choice” items each week, usually based on what we have the most of (this week, for example, I suspect folks will be getting raspberries).
Some new critters are now calling Summit Springs Farm home: a quartet of Guinea hens. We’ve wanted to get a few of these bug-chomping birdies for quite some time. We were frustrated after some research into buying them from a hatchery because most places had a 15 keet (chick) minimum. Then I thought to check Craigslist, and we found a few listings close by. We wound up getting our keets from a nice couple in Windham who seemed to really love raising and having Guinea hens and who are doing some serious herb and veggie gardening at their home. (They still have more keets for sale…contact me if you’re interested.) Guinea hens are perhaps best known (and often loathed) for their calls, but these birds are bug-eating machines. With pest pressure seeming to increase each year, we want them to get out there and eat, eat, eat. Unlike chickens, they will not go after crops, just insects. They love ticks, too, and we have plenty of those.
We learned from Brenda, the lady we purchased the keets from, that we need to keep them in a smallish space for a couple of weeks so that they learn to call that spot home. The birds have a very strong homing instinct and to keep them around at all they need to be trained to find “home”. We decided they could live in the winter sheep shed. At some point, I will put up a wooden dowel to serve as a roost, but for now the keets are living inside a large dog crate we borrowed from friends. The crate rests on the floor of the shed, complete with curious sheep milling about. They’ll stay in that crate for a couple of weeks before we open the door and let them get to know the shed itself, then the pen, then the rest of the farm…word is that they will gradually venture further and further out but should always return to their shed if we’ve done this right. We’ll keep you posted…
We hope everyone has a fantastic week. As we begin the second half of July, it seems the season is flying by… Enjoy the veggies!