There is just so much to write about here, I know for sure I am going to have difficulty focusing. I think I want to start with the harvest near complete. The whole Bela family is here on the farm right now, traveling from both coasts to meet and celebrate Gram’s 75th. It was a family only all hands on deck kind of morning and honestly it was lovely. Paul’s sister is an expert flower picker and arranger, clearly her job was laid out before her. The brothers Bela picked and bunched basil and lettuce. Uncle Rob took care of the 5 year old cousin team and now, in the heat of the day, we can all gather for a fresh salad and a celebratory lunch. It is nice to be surrounded by such a great supportive family at this time, truly.
I get to add these fine folks to my list of blessings, for they also held down the fort in my absence. Yep, while Madeline and I spent the past week on the Pacific Coast, my dear sister and brother in law made it all flow here in the hollow. Child care, meals, harvests, deliveries, and even a little kitchen redo, all while I was gone.
The trip to California was brief and fabulous. I knew I had to savor each moment and use it to motivate me to return and tackle some major problems. so each bite of fresh ocean fish, each glimpse of the humpback whales playing off the coast, each perfectly made cappuccino, I treasured.
My return home was definitely marred by the unexpected departure of our apprentice. For those of you that read my emails, forgive me for repeating myself. I spent those days reinvigorating myself for what would be an uphill struggle upon return. Recharged and ready, it was a huge bummer to get an email from her after she had already fled the farm. Honestly, I am already thankful. This is clearly the moment to reinvent ourselves and our farm. The journey that began 18 years ago, young and pregnant with our first child, has to change, turn, and evolve. We have recently felt stuck in a system that wasn’t working anymore (for too many reasons to list) and now with these huge events before us, we know it is the time to act, to change, to move ahead with new excitement as we rekindle our love for the land and our life.
Stay tuned dear friends, the details will spill forth as we clarify the vision, hold us in your hearts as we embrace change. Change is scarey. Change is hard. It is far easier for us to keep chugging along, doing what we have done for months or years or decades. It is a bold undertaking to leave the known and head into the unknown, but alas, our time has come. We will continue farming, of that we are sure. The form and format of our farming is definitely going to change though. That, dear friends, is exciting. I wish you all a great week ahead, it is good to be back and I am beyond excited to see you all tomorrow at market. This weekend we will celebrate ¾ of a century for my mother in law. Friends and family will gather here on the farm to share in the joy of her life. Life is good, the road can be bumpy, but for now, with the sun setting, the van loaded and my mind calm, I am happy.
This week is all about this summer lettuce, I hope you all have a great salad or two and savor each bite!!
week fourteen in your basket:
sweet peppers or lebanese squash
Lebanese-Style Stuffed Summer Squash
Some of you won’t get this squash this week, but they are coming on
And will be part of the choices in weeks to come!
“Cousa is a Lebanese zucchini that’s traditionally stuffed with seasoned meat and rice.
You can easily use this recipe for any summer squash, but it’s even better
with the real deal– a gorgeous squash, light green in color with a slight nutty
flavor to it and a bit chubbier in shape than typically zucchini.“
1/2 lb. lean ground lamb or ground beef (or combine the two)
2 medium sized cousa (or zucchini or yellow squash) –
pulp & seeds removed and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 shallot, minced
Olive oil to sautee
1/2 cup long grained rice, uncooked
1 1/2 fresh tomatoes, chopped fine & briefly pulsed in processor
1/2 handful of freshly chopped mint, about 1/4 cup, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/16 tsp. ground allspice
Sea salt, white pepper, sumac pepper to taste
1/3 – 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out pulp and seed with a spoon and chop into bite size pieces, then set aside. Saute in olive oil ground meat, shallots, garlic and squash pulp until squash is just tender and meat just about browned. Once cooked, add rice along with a little bit of the tomato to hold all it together and give it some texture. Add seasoning and mint and mix all together well. Line a baking pan with the emptied cousa squash shells and begin to stuff them with the meat/rice/tomato mixture. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and a drizzle of more tomato sauce. Pour vegetable stock around each stuffed squash to come up to about half way up the squash in baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.