2015summer_week7

Summer 2015 – September, Week 7

What’s in the Box:

Roma beans, Red Cabbage, Sweet onion
Garlic, Green Kohlrabi
Zucchini & Summer squash
Cucumbers, Gold Chard
Arugula, Mizuna, Basil, Peaches
Flowers

Dear Members,

Please take one bouquet of flowers

As I sit down to write to you all this morning, I can’t see a thing outside the window.  It stays dark a bit later each morning, and makes it a little more difficult to roll out of bed and greet the day… or the almost day, as it were.  The rain seems to have slowed us down and delivered Autumn all at once, making for an unusually quick shift in our mental state.

If you haven’t noticed yet, we farmers loooove to talk about the weather. It’s not just that we’re boring, or that we don’t seem to have any hobbies because all we manage to do is farm mostly (although I’m not saying either of those things is necessarily untrue).  Honestly, weather dictates so much of our business that we just can’t get around talking about it.

I’ll spare you my diatribe on Spring, and how rain can slow us down, or drought, and what that means for us, and focus on rain right now.

Rain means certain veggies are happy, and others mold.  It means we shift the harvest to get the most sensitive things in before they get wet (or we harvest them later to deliver them extra fresh), we take longer to harvest, wash, and pack the veggies, we contend with a different set of circumstances.

Autumn means that we often work on the edges of day, and sometimes in darkness.  We have to be more careful about plans for each day, and we try to spread out tasks so that we aren’t working until 8pm. By necessity, we start later.  You can’t see much in the field in total or even semi-darkness.

All this to say that weather means a lot around here.

And that your veggies soaked up all that beautiful rain, and might not last quite as long as they did when they didn’t get rained on.  Specifically, please forgive us if the Roma beans don’t hold up as well as they should.

Now, for those of you who made it through all that, (or maybe you just skipped it) come see us at the Tilth Harvest Fair this weekend!  The fair is this Saturday from 10am to 4pm at Meridian Park in Seattle (behind the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98103).  Find more information about the fair and what’s on the schedule here:http://www.seattletilth.org/special_events/harvestfair2015

Yours,

Heidi

2015summer_week5

Summer 2015 – August, Week 5

What’s in the Box:

Green, purple & yellow wax beans
Sweet onion, Zucchini & Summer squash
Snow peas, Cucumbers, Broccoli
Basil, Peaches
Lilies

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE TWO STEMS OF LILIES

I woke to hazy skies this weekend and my first thought was there’s something wrong with my eyes.  The haze settled, almost like mist, which is not completely uncommon for this time of year, but it hovered in the distance, making me wary.  Mike opened the door and looked back warningly at me.  ‘Something’s on fire.’

Right now it feels like everything’s on fire.  I have volunteered as a firefighter for our community for a couple years now, and every day I hope for rain, and wait for the emergency pager to go off.  With so little water, it’s difficult not to be unnerved by the wind and smoke, even if it isn’t near our farm.

As I’m sure most of you already know, over 30,000 firefighters are currently deployed in Washington State, coming from as far away as Australia and New Zealand, trying to stop the progression of the fires.  More than 250,000 acres have burned, and many of these fires are less than 50% contained.  Here are a few resources to keep you updated.  I linked directly to the morning brief for Monday to give you a glimpse of the statistics.

http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/content/products/intelligence/MORNINGBRIEF.pdf
www.dnr.wa.gov/wildfires

http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/firemap.aspx

I am clearly preoccupied by this situation.  Towns have been evacuated and firefighters have lost their lives.  It’s hard to focus all my attention on the farm, even when the season demands it.  The earth is so very dry, and the grass is so much fuel to burn.  We have heard of farms who narrowly escaped fire damage, and those who were not so lucky.

We need rain, and I’m not sure when we’re going to get it.  The first responders have a lot of work ahead of them.

For those of you who have been a part of our farm family for many years, you will know that our home and farm flooded catastrophically in 2007.  Our local grange members opened up the hall to feed our community every single day, for months after the flood, as our community rallied and came together to slog our way through our ruined homes and possessions. Having somewhere to go for a warm meal when we were feeling desperate, defeated, and alone made a real difference in our ability to rebuild our farm. So I am sharing some info about a non-profit group who is helping to feed the first responders in the Okanogan, in case you are inspired to join me in donating:

Soup Ladies http://www.soupladies.org/

Be safe, and be well,

Heidi

2015summer_week4

Summer 2015 – August, Week 4

What’s in the Box:

Broccoli, Turnips, Baby bok choy, Zucchini
Green cabbage, Lettuce, Snow peas
Chives, Nectarines
Snapdragons

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BOUQUET OF SNAPDRAGONS

As you can imagine, it’s a busy time of year for the farm.  Everywhere we turn, something is begging for attention, water, trellising, fertilizing, cultivating…  The field is full of vegetables and lots of other opportunists, or what we refer to (rather unkindly, I suppose) as weeds.  Weeds are weeds by our definition: they’re growing somewhere that we haven’t planted them, and where we don’t want them to grow.  They compete with our crops for water and light, and provide us with an abundance of extra work through the Summer.  We try to take care of the weed pressure before it’s a problem, by getting the weeds out while they’re tiny, or, when that fails, by removing weeds before they go to seed.  Inevitably, there’s a time of year where the weeds seem to be winning the race, and we’re all just plain tired.  That time for us is right now.  Weeds, weeds, in all directions.  Too bad they aren’t more delicious…

The good news is that in the end, we seem to do all right, if not triumph, and we will all happily cross that finish line this year.

We’re excited to send you broccoli with today’s share. With such a hot July, I wasn’t sure if the broccoli would mature nicely, but it has finished with flying colors.  The cabbage is also cute and sweet, and will make a great salad.

We have added organic nectarines from Central Washington.  They are a bit firm (they bruise terribly when they’re fully ripe, and they don’t last long), so leave them at room temperature to allow them to ripen for best flavor and texture.

I’m adding a few recipes and heading back to the field to finish my day.  Enjoy!

Heidi

 

2015 Summer, Week 3

Summer 2015 – Week 3

What’s in the Box:

Bunched beets, Baby bok choy, Sweet onion, Summer squash,
Red Chard, Nectarines, Basil, Snow Peas,
Flowers

PLEASE TAKE ONE LILY BOUQUET!

Dear Members,

Finally a little burst of Summer today, with more to come soon.  The cool mornings and evenings really give the vegetables a chance to thrive, and things are looking healthy and strong in the field.

We are excited to have snow peas in today’s boxes, as well as baby beets, basil, and the first taste of Summer squash.  The organic nectarines are also a treat that we are thrilled to have.

Our surviving lettuces are growing beautifully in the field, and with the right conditions, will be harvestable in a week or two.  If you didn’t receive our update this Spring, our lettuce, peppers & tomatoes (if you can believe it) were the most beloved Spring treat for mice and slugs who must have made their way into the greenhouse from miles around.  I imagine tiny posters hung up in the mouse community, inviting them to the feast…improbable, but it certainly felt that way this Spring, as thousands of seeds were dug up and disappeared in the night.  At any rate, the lucky survivors are coming along nicely, and we’ll have some beautiful greens to share soon.

Yours,
Heidi