2012 CSA share #14

Greetings, all!  Change is a constant, and as mentioned at the end of the previous post, last week was jam-packed with changes for us:  Lydi back to preschool in Casco, Ezra to daycare in Gray, Sonya starting her back-to-school journey at USM in Portland, etc.  All went well, and I think we all have a better sense now of how things will play out for remainder of the farm season (and that’s a mere 4 or 5 weeks, folks!)  Also, we ended our week of change with the celebration of Ezra’s first birthday.  Our little guy is so happy and healthy!  We love him to death and remain blessed and grateful to have him in our lives.  In a wierd sort of time warp, the past year seems to have flown by yet it’s somewhat hard to remember Ezra not being a part of our family.  We capped off the weekend with some time down in Portland hanging out with Ez’s birth mother, and all of us were so happy to be together to celebrate the little guy’s first year!

Mr. Ezra helped Dad clean some garlic last Friday morning.

The weather, too, has been changing.  This weekend, particularly Saturday with its gray skies, gusty winds, and after dark thunderstorms, and on into today, it has felt like a definite shift is taking place.  Was hot-and-muggy Friday summer’s last hurrah?  It certainly seemed that way the next afternoon as I watched Lydia run around the windswept lawn, gathering up leaves as they were blown off Martha (the red maple in the front yard) and other nearby trees.  Really windy days are tough to work in…the wind seems to blow all the moisture and energy right out of you…but on a semi-lazy Saturday afternoon, it was perfect watching, waiting, and feeling that energy whip everything around.  Also, it seems, we need to start paying attention to the nighttime lows.  Change is a-comin’…

On a different note, I’ve had wasps on the brain.  Anyone else seem to think that the wasp population has exploded this summer?  I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense when you consider the general explosion of bugs around here, particularly the veggie-eating kind.  I certainly don’t consider wasps pests in that sense, but I’ve been really intrigued by their sheer numbers this summer.  Wasp and yellow jacket nests are everywhere…all around the eaves and gutters of the house, in the propane tanks by the greenhouse, in concrete blocks, outlets, and various other nooks inside the greenhouse itself (and the hoophouse, too.)  I had to abandon plans to rototill newly cleared beds in the back of the greenhouse last week because yellow jackets had built a sizable nest in the rototiller itself!  I blasted the nest out with a hose, but the angry beasts stayed close to the tiller and warned me off each time I approached.  I’m still trying to figure that one out, because I need to till!  Lydia and I have also found a couple of massive bald-faced hornet nests on the farm…one at the edge of the woods near the winter sheep area and another hanging from a low branch on one of our two pear trees between Fields 1 and 4.  The nests are gorgeous…gray, striated, and damn near the size of soccer balls.  We keep our distance yet return to them again and again to admire their strength and beauty.

The nest in the pear tree

The nest in the woods

And speaking of strength and beauty, as well as humor and enthusiasm and wisdom and so much more, big thanks as always to our Tuesday harvesting crew!  Today we had Glen, Anna, Brittany, Pat, and Tonya on the scene…thanks to you all, and happy birthday, Tonya!  We got today’s veggies in fairly quickly and then were able to attack the final potato bed en masse.  There’s still over half of the bed left to be harvested, but we made significant progress and had fun doing it, too.  Even the unexpected breakdown of the ol’ farm truck right in the field (out of gas, we suspect…the gauge has never worked) didn’t faze any of us!  A shout-out, too, to our old pro, CSA workshare member Sue, who is back with us on Fridays for the next few weeks.  Sue was here last September, too, as we juggled the arrival of Ezra with the still-demanding farm season.  It’s great to have her here again, especially since she’s done the work before and remembers many of the quirks and details of harvesting.  Welcome back to the madness, Sue, and thanks!

CSA share #14 for the 2012 season includes the following veggies:

2 lbs of potatoes (Satina)
1 lb of mixed eggplant
1 bunch of leeks
3 cucumbers
1 lb of green, purple, wax, or Dragon’s Lingerie beans
1 head of lettuce
Choice: 1 bunch of chard -or- 1/2 pint of husk cherries
2 sweet peppers
1 sweet onion
1 head of garlic
Up to 4 lbs of tomatoes (beefsteak, heirloom, Romas, and/or Juliettes)

Freshly harvested yellow heirloom tomats in the barn.

Fall must be upon us with the arrival of leeks in the share.  These beauties have been in the ground since May, biding their time and thickening up.  Try them in a classic potato leek soup, use them in stirfries, or try one of Sonya’s favorite approaches:  sauteing them in olive oil with garlic and eggplant and putting the results on top of fresh pasta.  Easy and delicious, too! Also, really enjoy and appreciate your tomatoes and cucumbers this week. These high summer favs are on the decline now…this may not be the last week for them, but the end is nigh!

Folks, the next potluck is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 29th from 5-9 PM right here at the farm.  Bring along a dish to share and catch up with your farmers, friends, neighbors, and fellow CSAers.  As always, if the weather cooperates, we’ll eat outside and perhaps get a bonfire going, music, dancing, who knows?  This will most likely be the last potluck of the 2012 CSA season, so come one, come all!  Have a great week, and enjoy the veggies!

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