The weeks are flying by - how is it the middle of July?! We are finally catching back up on farm duties since being away and starting the wedding season here on the property. We seeded beet greens and salad mix this week and have revived our watering schedule after a couple dry weeks. The deer continue to be a problem - we may have to kiss goodbye swiss chard (at least for the time being) and most of the sunflowers :(
The entire farm is officially weeded! Wow! After last week's Weeding-Pizza Party and a few days of weeding and weed whacking this week, we are all caught up and feeling confident about moving into mid-summer with a manageable work load. Thanks, again, to everyone who came out to help last weekend. I'm sure in a month or so, we will be calling on your hands again!
As we work our way toward August, we ramp up for an intense season of movement and heat. Spring, the season associated with Air, is a time of cultivating ideas, starting new projects, trying different strategies, and exercising the mind. Summer, associated with Fire, is the time when all the ideas and momentum of Spring burst into action - like an object being projected from a slingshot. Once the object is in the air, it's difficult to change its course. This has been a frustrating part of farming for us: the inability to change course once the summer is under way. With so much inertia, it's nearly impossible to implement new ideas or change systems in the middle of July or August. But this can be a beautiful aspect of cultivating a seasonal life. Instead of fighting the busyness and trying to change the flow of things, there is something liberating in submitting to the crazy schedule and physical exhaustion. This season, too, shall pass and we will move into Fall - a time for rest and reflection. The more in-tune we feel with Mother Earth and her cycles, the more we can watch those cycles reflected in our own lives. And the more we trust those cycles, the less frustration we feel about the phase we're in.
We've definitely been scheming about the next steps for Small Feat Farm and how we want to grow and change for the rest of the year, and in years to come. But with the height of summer approaching, we are doing our best to trust the systems we set up in the Spring, buckle our seatbelts for a season of hard work, and move forward with great energy, passion, and Fire!
Week #6 Veggies, Herbs, and Suggestions
Summer Squash/Zucchini - Green zucchini and Benning's Green Tint are both delicious varieties of the prolific cucurbit family. They store well in a closed container (bag or tupperware) in the fridge and will dry out if left to the open air. Summer squash is a great raw snack paired with hummus, tomatoes, goat cheese, and/or a tzatziki sauce. Grilling squash is an amazing way to get a lot of flavor out of them - try grilling them on their own or on a kebab with meet, peppers, and onions.
Fresh Garlic - Fresh garlic carries a lot of flavor and is a great addition to any stir-fry, spread, or sauce. Y'all know what to do with garlic ;) Fresh garlic is not cured and will not store the same way as garlic you may be used to consuming. To make sure it doesn't rot, keep it in the fridge and use it within a couple weeks.
Lettuce Mix - This is a mix of many varieties of leaf lettuce. It is a wonderful mix for any salad or dish that requires some greens on top.
Kale - Lacinato and Redbor kale are both nutritious and delicious. Scroll back through the first few CSA blog posts for ideas about how to eat kale cooked and raw.
Scallions - Scroll back through the CSA blog posts for ideas on how to use and store scallions.
Ailsa Craig Sweet Onion - These onions are our absolute favorite! They are super sweet and flavorful and are the perfect addition to any savory dish or salad/slaw! For an excellent quick-pickled slaw, try slicing the onion thinly alongside finely cubed/sliced zucchini and garlic. Drench the veggies in red wine vinegar, some olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped basil, and other spices. Let marinate in the fridge overnight and add to a salad, on top of fish, or with tacos.
Purple Basil (Round Midnight variety) - This basil variety is gorgeous! Dark purple, ruffled leaves are stunning to look at and tasty to eat! Scroll back through the last few weeks of CSA blog posts for ideas on how to use basil from pizza to pesto! To store basil, snip stem ends and keep in a cup of water on the counter.
Chamomile - This is a calming herb used traditionally in tea before bedtime. You can use it fresh or dried by letting it steep in boiling water for 5-15 minutes and consuming before you go to sleep. Chamomile is also great for your skin. Dried chamomile can be combined with rolled oats, lavender, and powdered goat or coconut milk to make a luxurious face scrub. For best texture, pulse the mixture in a food processor. Store it dry and then add a dab or water or honey before using it on your skin.
Summer Savory - This is a wonderfully aromatic herb that can be used in most sauces or baked dishes. Use it similarly to thyme, oregano, or rosemary.
Edible Flowers - We got some much great feedback about the edible flowers, we're including them again! I was enjoying dinner with a friend this past week and it felt like such a luxury to add some flowers to our drinks and on top of our dinner! Treat yo self! You deserve to live beautifully!
Bachelor Button (Centaurea) - Bachelor Buttons are a classic garden flower. They are really easy to grow and come in many colors! We grow a mix of varieties that include blue, white, purple, maroon, and pink! The more you harvest the flowers, the more flowers the plant produces! And they keep going all summer long! The round shape and dainty petals bring a smile to my face and fill out bouquets with a gentle glow.