Whip it back into shape has been the theme of my life of late. The rains in my absence (and honestly the continued rains since my return) have made for a crazy, weedy, soaking wet mess in the fields. Sorry to be honest, but this newsletter is all about truth. In the final hours before my departure to sunny and DRY California in early June, we snuck in a little hay deal. Our neighbor wanted us to manage some long neglected fields and we began by making a cutting of hay up there. Hay is really not the correct term for this bramble filled, crazy looking baled material, but let’s just call it hay for right now. Literally, the night before I left, we hauled 200 some bales of this stuff onto our farm and there it sat for the past month. Over a foot of rain has fallen and these bales are soaking wet and full with fungus. Perfect for mulch. Adding all of that organic matter plus microbial action is just what the soil needs, but, needless to say, it is a little hard to manage: heavy and dirty we spent hours spreading and spreading the stuff. We love mulch. You already know that. Mulch right now is not added to hold moisture (we got plenty of that) instead we are mulching to maintain plantings that have not yet been overcome with weeds. We can’t cultivate right now, the ground is far too wet: hand weeding and mulching heavily are our only tools available right now to keep the fields productive. Gosh.
Done are the winter squash patches (all 3 of them) and the tomatillos. Green beans and beets, check. All secure. In between torrential storms, it felt pretty good.
On a totally different topic, I spent the better part of tuesday visiting with my fellow farmwife, my dear friend Cher from Bugtussle Farm. She is well into her 6th month of pregnancy with her 4th child and on her morning rounds early last week she slipped and broke her ankle. Ouch. It was absolutely mandatory to visit her, bring her some food, do her dishes and help her be creative with problem solving as they look ahead to the final trimester of a pregnancy, the second half of their CSA season with mama on the couch. It has humbled me and reminded me how fragile farm life, heck all life, can be. Now, in the rainy final hours of daylight on this harvest day, I enjoy the company of our Boston relatives here for their annual summer visit. William and his same aged cousin Ellie are inseparable and hilarious, a true joy for all of us to witness. I hope you all enjoy the tastes of this summer basket, I know I can’t get enough of the cucumber, tomato, basil combination. Alternate that with a farm fresh BLT and you have some pretty fine summer eating.
week ten in your basket:
summer squash,zucchini or cucumbers
Tomato, Cucumber and sweet Onion Salad
We are eating our own version of this each and every day
Try subsituting the different fresh herbs, experiment with tomatoes,
this is summer’s most delightful salad
1 pound fresh tomatoes, quartered
1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 medium sweet onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons good-quality olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Coarse salt and black pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or basil
1/4 cup crumbled feta, for serving
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and parsley. Let stand at room temperature to allow flavors to marinate, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Toss with a large spoon, sprinkle with feta and serve.