This was the first week of our first season offering CSA shares! If you are not familiar, CSA stands for community supported agriculture. Each CSA is different, some require a certain amount of time to be spent working on the farm. Others, like ours, are basically buying a subscription to what is available during the season. We had anticipated having a good amount of produce available to start shares 2 weeks ago. The wet and late spring weather changed those plans. So this week brought an abbreviated share and we expect that next week will be much the same. We are hopeful though! The tomatoes and peppers have had flowers for quite some time and our peas are just starting to flower. The greens had a slow start, but they seem to be coming along well. Things are growing and we expect that shares will really start to fill out soon. Thanks to our members for bearing with us!
The pint of tomato sauce was made with last years produce. We have found it to be equally good on pasta or as a pizza sauce. We used a variety of heirloom tomatoes, they varied in color from green, yellow, orange, purple and red.
This photo shows spinach but some members received kale and others got broccoli. We mixed it up a bit to be able to add something fresh to each share. If it would cool down just a bit, we’d have some great greens.
The beans are a beautiful variety called ‘calypso’ I have also seen them called ‘orca.’ They would be a great addition to any soup or stew. If you are not familiar with how to cook beans from dry, here’s a great link: http://www.simplebites.net/a-simple-guide-to-cooking-dried-beans/
The bread is sourdough made with wild yeast. About 3 years ago, I started a sourdough starter, just water and flour set on my countertop. It was colonized with wild yeast and the mixture started to bubble. When I make bread I use about half of my starter then add sugar, salt flour and water. Then I add more flour and water to the starter container and it keeps on growing and lives in the refrigerator between baking days. This is the way bread was made long before you could buy yeast at the store.
- How to Make Yeast Bread (cooking.answers.com)
The main garden plot was finally free of snow and dry enough to till this past weekend! Heather’s dad is good enough to bring his tractor and tiller in the Spring to get us ready to plant. We are now just a couple of days shy of what is regarded as the ‘average last frost date’ in this area. If you ask the old timers, though, they will say that you aren’t really safe until Memorial Day. We never wait that long. We usually don’t wait as long as we did. If we could have dried that garden any faster, we certainly would have! One of the items on our to-do list for this fall is to move some dirt to get optimal drainage for next year.
Since we are expecting rain for the next 4 days, we decided to give-it-our-all this afternoon. Dave took the afternoon off of work and the two of us, or should I say the three of us, planted everything that still needed to get in the ground!
You’ll notice in the photos that we plant our peppers and tomatoes into black plastic. There are a few reasons for that. #1 The black plastic warms the soil and air around these heat loving plants. #2 It keeps the weeds at bay. #3 In the case of the tomatoes, it keeps soil from splashing up onto the plants reducing the chance of soil born diseases taking hold.