Week 4 CSA – Doubly-Epic Harvest

During this morning’s harvest, I was quite certain that I knew what the focus of the newsletter would have to be. But then a harvest that had been epic in one way, changed course and became epic in another, and now you get convoluted sentences like this instead of a straight and simple tale of terror at the proboscises of incredible swarms of mosquitoes.

So yeah, first came the epic mosquitoes. A couple of days ago, an insane hatch of mosquitoes emerged, and suddenly the mildly buggy season became the worst plague of bloodsuckers that anyone around has seen in many years.

And harvest morning was mosquito heaven – darkly cloudy, damp, and still. Even those who never wear bug spray, did … but found it entirely ineffective.  They swarmed us coming out the door, swarmed us walking through the woods, swarmed us in the field and even worse in the processing area.

"SAY MOSQUITO!"
“SAY MOSQUITO!”

We each retreated soon enough to put on pants, sleeves, and even head netting. I wondered how many got into the bags as I packed up salad mix and they devoured my hands.

I think some folks must have prayed for relief or something, and some kind of gods took pity on us. But maybe too much pity, or perhaps there was some kind of multiplier effect due to multiple requests and varied compassionate deities working in accidental synergy.

Because when the breeze we wished for to keep the skeeters down came, it was, well,  a bit of overkill.

we are right in the middle of it (where the nostril would be in Wisconsin's nose)
we are right in the middle of it (where the nostril would be in Wisconsin’s nose)

And the Epic Mosquito Harvest became the Epic Wind Harvest – a couple hours of strong, steady wind punctuated regularly by gusts that staggered you when they hit you square, shattered sunflower stalks, scattered any loose objects about, attempted to murder the rain canopy, brought down a limb the size of a tree next to the processing area … and completely removed the mosquitoes from the rest of our harvest!

It was awesome; not just the sudden absence of hangry bugs, but the incomparable, refreshing excitement that comes with a wind storm.

Box 4: May Contain Mosquitoes.

new-helper-Maddie & Steffan holding down the fort
new-helper-Maddie & Steffan holding down the fort

Salad Mix – (Red & Green Lettuce, Arugula, Mizuna, Pea tips)  It’s probably the last salad mix of the spring crop! Officially summertime now …

French Breakfast Radishes – You know these. Don’t forget to eat yer leaves! And cut them off before storing them if you won’t eat them soon. They’re pretty over this summer weather and might be a bit hollow inside, hopefully not though.

Radish Pods – those weird bubbly nugget things in with your radishes are edible immature seed pods from radishes that we let bolt. Don’t eat the tough stems. The pods are juicy, crunchy, with a mellow flavor. You can snack on them, put them into salads, or come up with something I can’t even imagine.

Sugar Snap Peas – and lots of them! These sell out every week at the farmer’s market. They sell themselves if you give out a sample …

Snow Peas – these too! Great snacking while stuff grills at a cook out. This week, they share a bag with the:

Broccoli –  Enjoying the side shoots of Broccolini while awaiting the harvest of the full size heads … next week perhaps?

Spring Onions (aka “Table Onions”) –  Slice them in half and grill them for the 4th of July! Maybe with some oil and salt n pepa.

moments after the tree in the background broke (CRACC!CCK!KK! "um, look out.") and keeled over.
moments after the tree in the background broke (CRACC!CCK!KK! “um, look out.”) and keeled over.

 

Deb and Jim hauling stuff "upstairs" before the Saturday market

Deb and Jim hauling stuff “upstairs” before the Saturday market

 

 

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