csa week 11

Well, I have to say, it has been a hot week here, even in our shady hollow. With temperatures over 90 each day by Wednesday the air was so thick, even the evening brought no relief. Andy and George gave in and headed for the air conditioning of Wal Mart. Watching the Weather Channel they noted it was 97 degrees after dark! We can’t help but give ourselves pats on the back when we realize we are out working in temperatures that discourage most folks from even leaving their homes. We are either super tough or crazy or both. Thankfully the wind blew yesterday and lowered the humidity, so we all slept well and were ready for an overcast Friday morning to start the harvest. It is Friday mid morning now and the farm is a buzz with activity. With Kate’s departure last weekend, we are a small but hearty group left on the farm: Andy, George and the Hill and Hollow family. With less hands, we began the harvest in earnest yesterday collecting hundreds of cucumbers and tomatoes. Louise joined in this morning with her specialty: flower cutting and arranging. Paul actually loves to do the flower harvest, but the MUST DO vegetable harvest always leaves him scrambling through the zinnias and sunflowers at 3 am. With his mom’s expert hands, we are assured to arrive at market with delightful bouquets to gaze upon (and hopefully sell, the flower money covers our weekly incidentals, so the more we sell the better the week will be!)

It has been a funny week on the farm, Paul, Andy and George spent the day off the farm on Tuesday. A day away speeds up the week, for better or worse, and we have been slightly off schedule ever since. They went to resurrect an old outhouse on a nearby farm. Years ago Paul worked regularly for the owner of the farm and it was there our life as shepherds began. In exchange for a fencing job, we opted for a barter instead of cash payment and secured 5 sheep, some of whom are still the heart of our flock today. Over the next years Paul ticked away the work hours we owed in trade for those lovely ewes and finally the deal is complete. Currently, we have a beautiful flock of about 20 ewes with their numbers swelling to near 50 this time of year with replacement ewe lambs and fattening ram lambs all grazing the green summer pastures. Ours are Jacob’s sheep, a heritage breed whose wool is prized by hand spinners. Their brown, white, spotted and lilac coats make for a colorful visage out in the green fields and the yarn and fleeces we have processed is a sight to behold. This breed also makes for tasty meat, the lamb we have raised has been some of the best around. Well, William wakes, I am distracted by his cute cooing. Sasha is nagging me to help him mow one of Rosie’s paddocks, Madeline needs help knitting (I really am not even good enough to teach her, but I am trying!), so I guess it is time to leave the keyboard. I know you will all enjoy the week of tomato and cucumber bounty as much as I do. Nothing better than a fresh summer salad on these hot August days. Wonderful.

In your basket:
Robin’s Favorite Summer Food
I can eat this everyday all summer long, it is the only thing that prevents me from missing lettuce in these dog days of summer
2-3 tomatoes, cut into nice bit size chunks
2-3 cucumbers, peeled and chunked
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, pressed
a handful of basil leaves, chopped
fresh feta cheese (the more the merrier)
olive oil and light vinegar ( I have been using either white, or ume plum lately)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients and serve with a slice of hearty sourdough bread. This is the most flexible recipe, add more of anything to taste.

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