Box 6: A Berry Good Week

This week the heatwave broke, and the foraging began. After many sweltering days and unforgiving muggy nights, we were quite relieved when a cold front finally pushed through, dropping a good deluge of rain as it also dropped the temperatures down to tolerable levels.

rain rolls in – (pic by Grandma Shirley)

The repeated soakings made us hopeful for mushrooms, but our forays yielded only a couple small ‘chickens of the woods.’

tastiest mushroom award goes to this specimen

However, getting out and beating the bushes led to the realization that the wild raspberries were blowing up! We’d been waiting for this for a couple of years – ever since the logging trucks stripped the trees from the county forest near us. But after last year’s berry harvest was a bust, I’d kind of forgotten the predicted berry bonanza … so this was a most welcome surprise.

Charley & Marty in raspberry picking mode

We have spent many hours out picking this week, with yogurt cups strapped around our waists for two-handed dexterity, boots and pants for the poison ivy and ticks, hats for the deer flies, and an arsenal of choice swear words for the mosquitoes. Patches of wild red raspberries waved to us from the open savannas, and clusters of firm, deep purple “black cap” raspberries winked from the shady fringes around shrubs and small trees.

Enjoying the berries was something I had to remind myself to stop and do – in the goal-oriented framework of acquiring maximum berries for canning, it was easy to forget to stop and enjoy the fruits of our labors! Jam is mouthwateringly delicious, but still cannot compare to a handful of fresh-picked wild berries of various ripeness/tartness, eaten all at once, under the bright blue skies and radiant sunshine of Summertime.

“Be Here Now”

Inside Box 6

We harvested in the rain all morning for maximum freshness! The ceaseless drizzle kept us and the veggies nice and cool; the humans could have probably done with a little less dampness, but the veggies loved it.

  • Carrots – Cut the greens off (leave a couple of inches of stem) before you store them in the fridge, or they will soon get rubbery and sad! Don’t just throw ’em away though – you can make pesto, or add them to sauces or salads! Later in the year, we will probably cut the greens off at the farm and send just the roots to you, so enjoy them now!
Charley & Brandon washing carrots
  • Beans (Green, Yellow, and Purple) – Perhaps the most tedious crop to harvest! They hide all over within the low, leafy plants. and must be picked gently (so flowers aka future beans aren’t knocked off) and completely (so the plants continue to produce tender new beans.
the bean row, where many hours are spent practicing stoicism
  • Kale mix – (Tuscan, Curly Blue, Crimson, & Red Russian) – the kale plants are a favorite snack of various caterpillars – we tried to get you the nicest leaves available, but expect a few harmless holes – the hallmark of pesticide-free kale!
Charley and Keegan packing up your kale – on their last CSA harvest with us, alas
  • Onions – A lot of onions were planted this year in hopes of being able to provide them within every weekly box, because they are so darn versatile … and yummy.
  • Zucchini
  • Slicing Cucumbers
  • Micro-Greens (radish, turnip, or kohlrabi) – this is our first year growing these, let us know if you’re liking them?
  • Thyme – it looks like Thyme.
  • Mexican Tarragon – often used in meat or egg dishes, this herb is also said to have various medicinal qualities. Not sure how you want to use yours, but it might be useful to know that the Aztecs used it in a powder which was blown into the faces of human sacrifices before they were killed! Or, maybe just make into a digestive calming tea or enjoy it on your breakfast scramble. Here are some tips.
Mexican Tarragon

Another week. another box bursting with fresh deliciousness! Hope you’re enjoying it all as much as we are.



Otis learning the rows

One thought on “Box 6: A Berry Good Week”

  1. Love and adore ~ the photos, your labors and the lessons you share. We certainly benefit from it all…… thank you.

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