I can barely catch my breath right now. The week has been an absolutely beautiful whirlwind of perfect weather and fast paced activity. Today, this very afternoon, right on the heels of a well executed harvest, we rallied and went to the hay fields. Yes, when it rains it pours, but when it’s dry, life is torrential. Really. This was the first window of dry enough weather for our neighbor to get out and mow, rake and bale in the hay fields. Our arrangement is such that he makes the hay and we have to pick it up out of the fields and store it in our various hay barns. So off we went, already tired from a fast paced harvest morning, to pick up and store 240 bales of dried summer grasses. Making hay is an art and putting up hay is brutal. We use square bales that weigh on average 50 pounds and are moved by human power from field to hay wagon to barn loft. You can imagine. Now put the temperatures in the 90’s and you probably have an accurate picture of what I look like right now. That said, the satisfaction of knowing there is some winter nibbles for the animals is a good feeling indeed. These bales are only a fraction of what we need to meet our demands, but it is a start. A good start.
But, back to the week just passed, because really it was a whopper. When we saw the forecast had no rain in sight and cooler temperatures, we knew we would have to rock the week and we did. Nearly all of our current plantings were cultivated, some more thoroughly than others honestly, but everything got a once over. The weed pressure has been intense with such consistent rain and we needed to work our magic with our long and short handled cultivating tools on our onion bed, a lettuce planting, fennel, carrots, cucumbers, gosh…lots of field work. It was also time to wrap up our tomato planting and get some winter squash in the ground: check, check, check. We are exhausted and happy as we watch the sun set on this week. I hope you all enjoy this transitional basket, with the appearance of green beans and zucchini along with temperatures soaring, we know for sure summer is here: we can feel it and taste it. Enjoy.

week six in your basket:
zucchini or summer squash
green beans

Tuscan Carrot Top Soup a tasty way to use those carrot tops!

3TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion; minced
2 small carrots; diced
1 stalk celery; diced
3 cloves garlic; minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 c vegetable broth
1/2 cup short grain rice
1 1/2 chopped carrot tops
4TBS fresh grated -parmigiano-reggiano
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-gauge soup pot. Saute the onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 5 minutes over low heat until translucent. Add the salt and pepper, pour in the broth, and bring to a boil. Add the rice to the broth and cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is almost tender. Add the carrot tops and cook for 5 more minutes, mixing well.
When the rice is done, pour the soup into four bowls, sprinkle with cheese, and serve.

Green Beans with Dill

4 large handfuls green beans, stem ends trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Sea salt to taste and Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Fill a pot with water. Season with salt so that you can taste it. Bring to a boil.
Plunge beans into water. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until just tender but still quite firm. If you’re using green beans, it will take a minute or so longer. Drain. Return beans to pot. Add butter, stir in 2 tablespoons dill and season with pepper. Stir and toss beans in pot over low heat, until butter is melted. Taste a bean and season with salt and more pepper, or dill, if desired.

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