Weekly Share July 3rd – 9th

Sangre Potatoes
Marketmore Cucumbers
Summer Crisp Lettuce
German White Garlic
Cilantro or Dill
Tomatoes (a smidge)

To commemorate our collective red, white, & blue holiday, this week’s share will include the first of our tomatoes for the season. It will be a very small amount as we are having incredibly slow ripening on our first succession of tomatoes. We have been harvesting them for about three weeks and usually by two weeks the sungold’s take off; but not this year. Not only are they ripening slowly, they are ripening unevenly. This may have to do with some nutrient imbalance; but it also seems connected to the incredibly erratic weather shift a few weeks back. After temperate, rather dry temperatures for most of May and early June, we shifted into unseasonably cool weather with a ton of rain and no sun for about 4 days followed by an extreme 20-30 degree shift into the normal for this time of year, intense heat and humidity. In addition, we have had two multi-day stretches of haze from wildfire smoke which we can only imagine must have some effect, exactly what, we are not sure. The current one isn’t over, so perhaps this is the newest form of climate shifts we need to learn to expect and work with. Overall, we have been very lucky that we ended up on this piece of land in an area that gets sufficient amounts of rain throughout the year, seems far enough from the coast line to avoid some extreme weather, and is in a strange micro rain shadow that gets missed by some massive storms coming from the south or southwest of us. When we moved here, we did not think of any of this, it was not on our radar and in many ways as we have stated before, our soil was not the best for intensive annual vegetable production; but none the less we have found some positives about this central Virginia locale, in the heart of Prince Edward County. Regardless of where our farm is located, we are now seeing and feeling in real time how interconnected we are as an ecosystem to everything on this planet and especially on this continent. We constantly have our heads down and are often hyper focused on our very small piece of soil right in front of us; but we cannot and should not avoid the reality that extreme weather effects all over the globe will affect us here; from the annual basil downy mildew that travels north from Florida each summer (among a multitude of other bacterial diseases) to monsoon like conditions coming from the south, to days of wildfire smoke and unhealthy air conditions in the summer, to increased pest populations due to warming winters and erratic temperatures. This is all said not to be gloomy; but to bring light to the fact that in an occupation such as ours it is impossible to hide from the fact that things are changing and with every year more rapidly. This year we enjoyed the temperate Spring but with a slight sense of dread about what was to come and now we are there. The vegetables like us are having a hard time adjusting, things are taking a breather, and this means for smaller harvests and hence smaller shares for each of you. So even though small, there is a multitude of wonderful options for delicious recipes. This will be the last of the fennel till fall and yet the first of the tomatoes which are likely to be in more abundance in the next few weeks. Enjoy the share… Autumn & Brian

Creamy Cucumber and Grilled Potato Salad

Cucumber & Fennel Salad

Braised Fennel and Potatoes

Salata Arabieh (Arab Salad)The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
Serves 4 – In this most common of Arab salads, all the ingredients are cut very small. Do not prepare it too long before serving, and dress it just before serving.
1 small head romaine lettuce
1 small red Italian or mild white onion or 5 scallions
1 small-med cucumber
2 tomatoes
4 radishes, thinly sliced
2 Tbls chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp chopped fresh dill or chervil
1 Tbls chopped fresh mint
3 Tbls extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/3 lemon
salt and pepper
1 small clove garlic, crushed
Shred the lettuce, chop the onions finely, and cut the vegetables into tiny dice, using a sharp knife. Put them in a bowl with the radishes and herbs. Make a dressing with oil and lemon juice, slat and pepper, and garlic if you like. Pour over the salad and mix well.

This entry was posted in weekly share and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.