It rained a lot this week, and the temperatures fell still further away from the brief spell of summery heat. The crops love it for the most part, although the tomatoes are getting stretch marks from their resultant too-rapid growth spurts. The wild fungi also enjoy it, and so we’ve been taking regular foraging forest traipses, collecting bolete, chantrelle, coral, and other varieties of edible mushrooms.
It’s also wild fruit season – we brought home buckets full of tart plums, grapes, and choke berries, which were transformed into jams, jellies, and syrups, preserved to enjoy all year ’round.
WWOOFer Sean and Athena the Beagle departed to Colorado amidst the downpours,
,and two new travellers pitched their tents – Marc and Leonel, who are on a journey of exploration and self discovery, surfing westward from New Jersey to parts unknown.
They helped install an alley-salvaged length of aluminum rain gutter to the back of the trailer, which will collect rainwater into one of the 275 gallon IBC containers.
A cluster of oaks had died on the edge of the field, so we downed, bucked, split, and stacked a few of them for firewood. The ragweed that we let grow in a few patches of field went to seed, so we removed a ton of them from the field, evicting their laden seedheads before they spread them into the soil. We made buckets of tomato plant food/medicine and fed em it, in an effort to prevent blossom end rot from marring their fruits.
Our friend Emilie made us a sweet new logo, featuring the dragonflies that hover and dart in a aerial defensive bubble over us in the field, munching on the mosquitoes and gnats that would love to be munching on us – and we love them or being metaphors for transformation, to boot!
Today was the first time we’ve ever had to harvest for the CSA in a serious rainfall, which was actually kind of fun. When we finished harvesting, we were able to stay dry while cleaning & boxing the veggies beneath the huge tarp shelter that Kristin’s dad put up. This seemed to focus the teamwork and camaderie, and we finished everything in record time, with hours to spare, rather than the usual scant moments. Thanks to the NJ WWOOFers, Jim, Mark, Florian, Ryan & Will for making it a fun time!
We got a game camera from Kristin’s folks, but instead of using it to see what critters come lurking through at night, we first set it up to capture the goings-on in the processing area …
Stuff we Could Use
A couple of you have asked about items we could use around the farm – so here’s a few of the things we’d find good uses for if you happen to have extras / unwanteds:
- Garbage cans (esp with lids)
- Construction hardware (screws, lumber, posts etc)
- Compost (food scraps / dead leaves / lawn clippings (only if not chemically treated), coffee grounds, etc))
The Weekly Box
- Edamame – fresh soybeans! These can be cooked in boiling water, then either shelled & eaten (wih rice, or as an ingredient in salads, stir fry, hummus, dip, etc), or salted within the pod, and snacked on individually as an appetizer (by popping them out of their shells with your mouth, enjoying the salt from the pod along with the beans). More info at http://m.wikihow.com/Cook-Edamame
- Carrots – think glazed carrots, in stirfry, fritters, muffins, carrot cake, etc – and check out some awesome ideas from the internet.
- Tomatoes – variety pack; forgive the ones with “stretch marks” from all the rain – they just grow faster than they can form skin in these conditions.
- Basil (Italian, Aromato, & Thai varieties)
- Spaghetti Squash
- Watermelon – last week for these! We’ve made ours into cocktails, enjoyed it in salads, and of course scarfed it in slices. Pairs great with basil!
- Cucumbers – Lemon & Slicing varieties