Maybe the end of July is a taste of weather to come: Cooler days and regular rain (now just cross your fingers that we don’t get too much moisture causing rots and fungi). We sure hope so because we are already thinking fall. Our greenhouse is full again with trays of baby vegetables. Swiss chards are poking their colorful heads out of the ground, broccolis are stretching, and just behind is kale, lettuce, and cabbage. Can you remember crisp greens? We do! Some of these greens and veggies will be ready in late September and keep going until well after frost into the winter. Did I just say frost and winter? Yes, we’re always thinking of the seasons here. Matter of fact, we will be picking up some high quality hay on Friday for the horse and the sheep. Stocking up on hay from the 1st cutting from this spring. The next cutting of hay this summer won’t be as plentiful because of the dry overwhelming heat. I think the pigs are the only ones who haven’t noticed the heat. They just hang out in their muddy piggy “spa” all day in the shady woodlot pasture.
While the weather may have cooled off in the past few days, our chickens were growing up in the middle of the heat wave. In the hot weather they don’t eat as much and consequently are a little smaller than usual. So we will be delaying butcher day. The 3rd CSA chicken pick up will be Wednesday August 11.
Speaking of chickens, we want to hear if you have any favorite recipes you’ve been using with the chickens. We also want to hear if you have had any challenges cooking the whole birds. Marie is considering a chicken cutting and cooking workshop if there are enough folks interested.
Our 100% grass fed will be available at the farm during CSA pick-up. Please ask if you would like to purchase some delicious lamb burger. We also have packages consisting of 2 packs of chops, 1 leg roast, and 4 lbs ground lamb. Respond to this email to reserve your package! These packages cost about $80. We are giving the CSA first choice to purchase these packages. We have a very limited supply so you will need to pick it up this Wednesday or Saturday at the Morganton Farmers Market after reserving your lamb.
Week 11 box
Sweet Peppers (bell peppers and two pointy varieties: lipstick and Corno di toro) Taste that flavor- more than just “sugar water” Don’t get me wrong, I love a sweet pepper, but these peppers have soul! Cross your fingers for ripening peppers... They take forEVER to ripen. You get the least amount of rot if you harvest green instead of red or yellow.
Squash or Zucchini
Basil-Layer a slice of bread or bagel with tomato and leaves of basil, then top with cheddar cheese slices and broil until cheese is melted.
Cucumber (this week we are getting more of our interesting varieties. This may be the first time some of you receive Ruby Wallace Old Time White or Lemon Cucumbers. Both of these cukes are small with light skin: white with yellow tints. Don’t be fooled by the strange looks though, they are delicious and sweet- even with their skin on!) Slice into rounds, sprinkle with a touch of salt and sugar, a splash of vinegar, and some chopped cilantro.
Scallions- mild and sweet, best used for raw dishes for mild onion flavor, like in potato salad
Cilantro- zesty, with the taste of a fiesta! We pulled this one off- cilantro hates hot weather, but we did it! We grew it here at Bluebird, it’s amazing what healthy, fertile soils can achieve!
New Potatoes (large share only) The skins are very tender. No need to peel. Please wash and towel dry if you need to store them in your fridge for more than a few days!
Recipe: Refrigerator Pickles
If your cucumbers have been building up in the fridge fresh pickles are a great way to turn them into a delicious treat. We have also eaten pickled squash that is every bit as good as pickled cucumbers. Maybe you can mix squash and cucs for a colorful pickle mix.
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 cups white sugar (personally I prefer less sugar, but this is up to you)
- 6 cups sliced cucumbers
- 1 cup sliced onions
- 1 cup sliced green bell peppers
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil. Boil until the sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes.
- Place the cucumbers, onions and green bell peppers in a large bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables. Transfer to sterile containers. Let marinade overnight for the best flavor. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week (if they last that long).
Have a great week!
William and Marie