csa week 7

It is a rainy harvest, one of our favorite things. Harvest in the summer is almost always a race with the sun. In order for the greens and herbs to make it to your baskets in top condition, they must be harvested as early as possible on Friday morning and gotten immediately into the shady protection of the packing room. The cool morning dew still on the leaves is what we like to see. On a Friday when the sun doesn’t come out and the temperatures don’t soar, we can breathe deep and let the harvest unravel without that added pressure. Paul, Kate, Andy and George are in various stations around the farm: wiping and counting and packing with a smile and rain gear, it is a nice harvest. This rain comes at a perfect time, we had just completed a big annual transition here in the fields: the garlic is out and the winter squash is in. Garlic harvest coincides with a critical time in the summer planting, the space in the fields once occupied by the overwintered root crop is free for the big summer space hogs: sprawling vines of our favorites fall squash and sweet potatoes. With the tractor back from some major repairs and running flawlessly, the week went perfectly well with the beds raked and cleared of the garlics’ protective mulch, compost spread and tilled in, and the transplants finally set. The rain today helps ensure the new plantings will thrive in the field, another big sigh of relief, the weather right now seems to be cooperating.
OK, hours have passed, the sun is poking through scattered clouds, the harvest basically complete. I have made myself the tiniest bowl of home made hand churned coffee ice cream, the last of the latest batch. Ice cream is a summer treat here. Part of my dairying process is carefully skimming the cream off the top of each gallon of Addie’s fresh milk. The skimmed milk we turn into yogurt and cheese. The cream can go on one of two paths: ice cream or butter. Careful deliberation with the primary ice cream crankers (this year it is Andy and George tag teaming it, making the 45 minute workout seem simple) assures me that we once again choose ice cream over butter. With the last of the coffee batch safely down my gullet, talk now is what’s next? Kate is pondering gelato, Andy has chai on the mind, George seems willing to crank anyone’s inspiration: only time will tell. If anyone is in the mood for a perfect summer treat, come up to the farm and share some of the cool, creamy rewards of our dairying: we would love to have you! Enjoy the basket this week, some great foods for fabulous summer feasts.

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