Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CSA Share Week 14

Happiness is…fresh melon.
For us here, it’s “back-to-school” week, but technically it is still summer! And melons are an icon of summer we can’t get enough of here. We’ll be transporting more than 1000 pounds of melon from the farm to the city this week. So bring an extra bag so you can lug your cantaloupe or watermelon home.
Watermelons do not further ripen off the vine. Canteloupe do. The best way to tell if a cantaloupe is ready to eat is if the nub end gives when you press into it with your thumb and the “button end” has a sweet, aromatic melon scent to it (versus a “green” smell). If it isn’t quite ripe, just leave it on your countertop until it does yield when you press it with your thumb. It should only take a day or two. It’s worth the wait.
It’s really hard not to talk about the weather. After all, we are farmers. We live according to it, and, boy has the weather been weird. This past week our region was declared a federal disaster area, and many here are coming to difficult terms with the significant damage caused by Hurricane Irene. We lost about 15 percent of our fall crops to flooding, but that’s nothing to complain about. We were lucky. We personally know 2 farms devastated from flooding. One farmer friend lost 5 feet of topsoil from 15 acres of cropland. Now it’s just bed rock. Many people lost their homes. Meanwhile, the state is investigating “compelling video evidence” of a tornado touching down not far from here during one of Sunday’s thunderstorms. Good grief.

1 head green curly leaf lettuce
6 1/3 ounces salad mix
1 red cabbage
4 sweet bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)
2 jalapenos
2 serrano peppers (spicy)
4 tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
1 large mild onion
1 bunch turnips (great for salad; cook the greens!) or 1 bunch radish
1 melon

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