Week 5 CSA News

THE WEEKLY NEWS

In this week’s chicken news, Slick Junior escaped the tyranny of Slick Senior’s reign, and went to live with his own private hen harem on our friends’ rural property, and Grey Ghost the hen, having set up a broody base in our secure secondary coop, successfully hatched out 7 new chicks. So our annual “what will we do with the chickens this winter!?” conundrum has been appropriately complexified with a larger flock.

Complexity this cute just has to be worth it, though.

The weeds continued their assault on our sanity, growing nearly tall enough to block all light from Planet Earth.

Jeff & Maddie on Weedwhacker Patrol
Jeff & Maddie on Weedwhacker Patrol

But we made headway as well, carving out open channels with weed whackers and lawn mowers, and burying the fallen evildoers under thick blankets of hay mulch.

The potato beetles rallied impressively, defoliating our spud plants’ leaves mercilessly  – I took an unplanned break from today’s harvest to squish every dang one I could find in the 600 row feet of infestation.  I wanted to get a picture of my gore covered hands to show the woman at the farmer’s market last week who refused to believe that we really grew things without chemical pesticides and herbicides since we weren’t certified by The Man’s inadequate and unnecessary stamp of approval – but my fingertips were too slimy to work my phone, so you’re spared the horror.

Let’s see, what else … the mosquitoes are still pretty dang bad, especially when cloudy and windless like this morning. And the rodents continue to wage war on us – rats in the chicken yard, gophers gobbling up our broccoli, voles destroying pepper plants, munching random veggies, and expanding their tunnel network of terror.

another broccoli plant slain by the Gopher Monsters
another broccoli plant slain by the Gopher Monsters

Fortunately, their abundance seems to have summoned the bull snakes – and what they don’t devour, Neighbor Dave has been helping us slay, with his array of traps.

And through it all, Otis continues to grow, unhampered by weeds, aphids, rodents, or the state of the nation. If you look into his eyes and speak to him, he will almost always respond with his huge open-mouth toothless grin (which some refined languages likely have a single word for). He learned how to purse his lips and make raspberries back at us, he loves the people and live music at the farmer’s market, and is learning how to pet dogs and other babies.

BOX 5 –

Basil – The best way to store is putting the stems in water on the counter. Basil is very cold sensitive and may blacken in the fridge. If you want to make pesto that stays bright green you can put the basil in a strainer and pour boiling water over it and then quickly dunk it on ice cold water.
Beans – The peas are fading and the beans are ramping up. Good sautéed, roasted, or put in a basket on the grill and seasoned with garlic, lemon, parmesan, and herbs. (The bean harvest is why the boxes were later today, the editor inserted in a carefully-neutral tone)
Onions – Hopefully onions every week is a good thing.
Zucchini/summer squash –  this ain’t your first CSA rodeo, you know what to do with this. And this:
Cucumber
Broccoli – After a day of feeling somewhat discouraged about the state of the garden I walked over to check out the gopher damage in the broccoli and discovered that what was left was looking good. I hope this broccoli brightens your day like it did mine.
Napa Cabbage – Some plants formed giant heads while others remained small and loose leafed. With the hot weather in the forecast, we thought it best to divvy up the heads. This recipe looks simple and good with room for additions like sesame seeds or crushed peanuts.
harvesting the one and only cherry of 2018
harvesting the one and only cherry of 2018
Baby Okra
Baby Okra
the fall brassica crop training for The Field
the fall brassica crop training for The Field
foraging in the Barrens
foraging in the Barrens

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