The Crux of the Race

Native Hill greens (Photo by Claire Burnett)

Native Hill greens (Photo by Claire Burnett)

Hello Folks!

I hope y'all are staying cool out there on these HOT summer days.  Needless to say it has been a challenge to keep things watered out here on the farm.  It seems like the plants will take every drop we can throw at them and then some.  There is nothing plants like more than a good rain and we could use it right about now.  Mid-July is a tough time for a Colorado vegetable farmer.  If you can imagine the farming season sorta like a big mountain bike race, one that you only get one shot at per year.  Every year you train and visualize, come up with new strategies, trying to learn from last years failures, hoping to optimize that perfect run.  Some new things work out, others don't and new challenges always arise.  Mid-July is hot and dry.  It is where early spring set backs come to haunt you and you have to just keep pushing through.  Its when you get your grit.  This year is no exception and although we have been having a great race so far, we are approaching the crux of the race.   Late spring produce is gone, fall goodness is still to come and we wait for fruit to ripen.  Ahhh July.

Head lettuce is back this week and not a moment too soon.  The gravitational pull toward salad in this town is like none other.  I get it.  No one wants to turn on their oven...or really eat anything warm.  Head lettuce is far superior to salad mix.  Its texture is more robust, its crunch is audible and lets face it, it holds more salad dressing.  The best way to get it from head to salad or sandwich is to invest in a salad spinner.  Chop off the bottom of the head and place leaves in the spinner basket.  Put the basket back into the plastic bowl, fill with water, lift the basket, dump out the water and repeat.  Then spin it dry and store in the spinner or plastic bag.  Sounds like a lot of work but only takes 1.5 minutes and it totally worth it.  Sweet onions are in.  There is not much better than sweet onions on the grill.  Except maybe onion rings.  Lemon cucumbers are not like a lemon at all...more like a cucumber but sweeter and juicier. Take a few for lunch and eat them like an apple...or slice thin and marinate with some vinegar, salt and water for a delicious quick pickle. Zucchini's are ready for bread.  Or muffins or bunt cake.  I've even made zucchini crust pizza (although that's a commitment). Green beans and new potatoes coming soon, believe me no one wants them more than me but alas the plants can't be rushed! yar!

In case you need to visualize some cold and snow to get you through this heat wave, now is the time to start thinking about winter CSA shares.  The winter shares run mid-November to late March and are a great way to keep eating seasonally all year long.  This is a traditional CSA that features root crops, alliums, winter sqaush and fresh greens from our cold frames.  Pick-ups are every-other week at Equinox Brewing....enjoy a beer (or two), meet some friends, and pick-up your vegetables all winter long.  Sign up on the website or download an application and bring a check to the market.  Shares usually sell out by the end of August, so don't miss out!  Also, there is still space on the farm tour on the 21st of July.  Please let me know if you would like to come check out the farm!

See you all real soon,

This Week's Harvest
Swiss Chard
Head Lettuce
Sweet Onions
Slicing Cucumbers
Lemon Cucumbers
Summer Squash