Hey it’s Week 7 of the CSA

This week the garden started to look a bit more like a farm field, and less like a jungle. Don’t get me wrong – there are still towering weeds, masses of bindweed vines, and endless shelter for our several species of herbivorous rodents to sit in the shade and comfortably munch on the fruits of our labor.

But there are several broad swathes of deeply piled hay mulch, and rows of neatly weeded crops growing in the open air and full sunshine, and I find myself making excuses to walk past the ends of the rows just to appreciate them.

Kristin & Madeline mowing down swatches of weeds by hand in the onion row
Kristin & Madeline mowing down swatches of weeds by hand in the onion row

It’s odd for us to enjoy such a thing – we’re both more about nature unbounded,organic swoops and curves, coexistence and wu wei and wabi sabi. Well, we still have plenty of that to appreciate – in contrast to the little bits where we’ve brought human order to the land.

Friends Marcio & Julia drowning in weeds, i mean, helping harvest onions
Friends Marcio & Julia drowning in weeds, i mean, helping harvest onions

We even have the “Western Front” of the garden (in our war on quack grass) tilled deeply … after whacking down the thick weeds that came up seemingly overnight with the “motorized machete” (push mower), I began the struggle of tilling through the remaining roots and weed stalks with our little walk-behind … when I heard “STOP! STOP!” through my hearing protection.

And lo and behold – like an angel there appeared Neighbor Marcia, bearing glad tidings – Neighbor Dave had the tiller attachment hooked up to their tractor, and he could come and make short work of the area I was in if we could take down the fence a bit for access. And now the thick growth has been transformed into a nice fluffy uniform soil, ready to have salad mix, beet, cilantro, and dill seeds sown directly into for the late season’s harvests.

the Week 7 Box

  • Cabbage – the last of cabbage until the fall crop comes in. Early Jersey Wakefield is a great coleslaw and sauerkraut cabbage –  but if you ate your last one raw, you may want to try sautéing in butter. If you use a big skillet and give it plenty of space, parts of it will brown and be delicious.
  • Cucumbers

  • Zucchinis
  • Green Beans & Wax Beans
  • Beets – With their greens on. Cut them off for storing in the fridge. Greens are good cooked or smoothied. If you don’t like beets, you could always hide them in chocolate cake.

  • Purslane – we have a really great crop of self-seeding purslane. After our initial years of only having inedible weeds we are not bothered by this edible and nutritious one. I’ve heard of adding it to pesto and cutting back on the oil for a lighter result.
  • Basil – isn’t basil awesome???
  • Garlic – The clove wrapping is thicker and not papery because it was just harvested and has not cured yet.

hay mulching: it's an itchy, sneezy, dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it
hay mulching: it’s an itchy, sneezy, dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it

 

made a little garden for the used laundry water to drain into
made a little garden for the used laundry water to drain into

Kristin's shoes after hay mulching
Kristin’s shoes after hay mulching

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