Spring CSA Week 10

Hello There!

 When it rains, it pours. The rains finally came, and the produce is pouring in. Routine morning harvests have become a day-long affair, picking tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and potatoes until our hands blister and our backs ache. The scars received in the field though are entirely worthwhile. This is the heart of the season, and our successes are measured by full bins of produce, as well as the smiles and compliments of happy eaters such as yourself. On Monday alone we harvested over 500 pounds of tomatoes and 800 pounds of potatoes! Today our farm truck was weighed down with melons, cucumbers, squash and kale. There are a few short weeks in June and July where the summer sun pounds an extra beat faster and everything seems to grow twice as fast. A bountiful harvest is the greatest affirmation to the farmer, and the summer has been good to us.
Not everything is working according to plan though. We were excited to be able to offer you some really nice looking sweet corn this week, but alas, as we arrived to the field this morning we found the corn equivalent of a WWI battle- total destruction. Our fine, cloven friends, (or dumb goats with horns, depending on your perspective) the deer found a way through our electric fence and had a fine ol’ time. Every ripened ear of corn was neatly opened about 1/4 of the way down and gently nibbled on one side only. Every ear. There where somewhere near 800 ears. From the tracks left behind, it looks like there were only two, maybe three. It’s amazing the amount of destruction these little beasties can do, when they set their minds to it. Short of re-introducing wolves and mountain lions to Mansfield, the only predator here is man, and this time of year, just in his vehicles. I’ve never hunted deer before, and I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for all wild animals. But if a deer would have shown itself in the field this morning, I’m quite sure that without any misgivings or hesitation, I would have strangled it with my bare hands, or perhaps with a stalk of bedraggled corn…
But this is the nature of farming. It is a constant practice of expanding your patience, and inevitably bowing to the prowess of wild things. Ever since humans decided to re-order nature by turning the earth, we have engaged in a war that we can’t hope to win. We can have successes in our battles of the seasons but nature, taking the long perspective, always wins out. If we didn’t till the fields this summer our growing areas would become an overgrown sea of grasses in just a few short months. In a matter of a year or two, perennials would be firmly in place. In 3-5 years saplings would populate the fields. In 25 years, you’d be standing in a forest and you’d be hard-pressed to guess that there ever was a farm there before. Armed with that knowledge, we continue to prepare the soil and plant for the future, learning our lessons and hoping to model more closely the rhythms of nature, lest not to offend her. The deer, the bugs, the blights and the droughts are all impatient teachers that we learn from eagerly. Next time, we’ll keep the deer out of the corn…
Take Care and Eat Well,
Cory
In The Box
This week we are delighted to a double dose of delicious tomatoes thanks to a tremendous harvest. Eggplant graces us for the first time this season, and the cucumbers and squash continue to produce bountifully. The blackberries have given out, but just in time we are happy to offer you a delicious Galia melon. This hybrid between a cantaloupe and a honeydew is sure to please. We hope you enjoy it!
-2.5# Mixed Heirloom Tomatoes
-1 Galia Melon
-1.5# Potatoes
-1 bunch Lacinato Kale
-1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
– 4 medium Onions
– 1# Eggplant
– 1.5# Cucumbers
– 1# Squash
News and Notes
As we only have 4 weeks remaining in the season after this one, we will soon be readying the CSA for fall. As members, you have first choice on whether or not to resubscribe, and I will be sending out an email with the information for fall to everyone in the next week. We hope you can join us for another season!
Recipes and Ideas
Spicy Grilled Eggplant

1# Japanese eggplant, cut diagonally in 1/2-inch slices
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 to 3 jalapeno or serrano chilies, minced

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, rice wine, rice vinegar, honey, and cornstarch. Set aside. Bush the eggplant slices with the sesame oil and grill over medium heat until they have softened and the purple color is gone, turning half-way through. Remove to a plate. Remove the cooking grate and place a wok or cast iron skillet directly on top of the coals, or use a side burner if using propane. Swirl in the canola or peanut oil. If the wok is hot enough, the oil should move quickly around the wok. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and chilies. Stir for 10 seconds, until brown and fragrant. Add the eggplant and stir for 1 minute. Stir the sauce and add it to the wok. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until sauce thickens- less than 1 minute. Remove to a bowl and serve hot or cold.
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