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Summer Solstice Reflections…for 6.20.2015

This Sunday, the summer solstice is upon us. Thus, according to our earth’s tilt, summer officially begins this weekend.
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Try telling that to our field crew, eh? It’s been hot. 97 degrees hot. It would be difficult to suggest that summer is just about to begin. (Granted, the meteorological summer around here is credited to being June through September…) In addition to the heat, the pace around here has been phenomenal. (A future post/newsletter of ours will likely discuss the interesting balance between having four children and a farm business like ours. “Interesting” is a generous term.)
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The phenomenal pace has included a host of ups and downs already. All of the tomatoes and cucumbers in one of our hoophouses have completely died already. (Fortunately this was in the smallest hoophouse/high tunnel.) Onions are not doing well. (Some may recall that we declared 2015 the year for our love affair with alliums. We get really sad when the onions look sad.) Carrots are not as good as we would like. And so on.
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But the setbacks are tempered by the sweet successes. All in all, vegetables are coming in and delicious. Our children have learned by now that there are delicious rewards to quietly slipping away to the high tunnel, alone, in pursuit of some bites of ripe tomato. We are trying to impress upon them the value of sharing, but it is so precious to know that they are motivated by the first tomatoes straight from the vine. We just can’t fuss at them when we find them with tomato seeds dripping off their chins. There will be enough to actually harvest soon enough.
A box of ice cream cones somehow made it in our pantry recently. (Seriously – this is Janet typing. I don’t know where it came from. If Dan and I ever get to be in the same spot, without a ton of activity going on around us, and with the time to actually have a conversation, perhaps I will ask about them. Dan will probably try to say that some sweet CSA member or his brother dropped them off as a gift. I am suspecting he made an “emergency” grocery run with a list consisting of two items: ice cream and cones. ‘Tis the season, I suppose.)
DSC_0024Regardless, our kids have studied this box with great curiosity. One perplexing thing they noticed is that the picture of the cone on the front of the box looks so large and the actual cones in the box are so small in comparison. This noticing was of course then followed with a lesson about marketing and the term “enlarged to show texture.” And an example about how we, too, take close up photos to tempt and delight everyone. Please see above, larger than life, cherry tomato. It’s the one I found this morning that the kids must have missed yesterday. I give it one more hour on the vine, max. DSC_0037

Available for Market Share CSA members to choose from this week: Arugula, Basil, Beets, Bok Choy, Chard, Collards, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce Mix, Parsley, Salad Mix (with discounts on larger quantities), Summer Squash, Turnips …and Pepper Jelly, Fermented Jalapenos, naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

Recipe Suggestions: see them cataloged on our Recipe Page
Preserving herbs through fermenting them in a brine: See this recipe here. Inspired by an article in a recent Taproot magazine, we are about to dive into this new method of using herbs. Basil and Parsley for months!
Parsley – we love chimichurri as a side sauce/dressing for many dishes
Kohlrabi – this is the space alien looking vegetable. Peel it and enjoy it raw. Or see here for more info about this great and little-known vegetable.

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Reserve your selection online to pick up on Saturday, June 20 at our farm, at the Brandermill Green market, or at the South of the James market.

** Vegetables not ordered by our Market Share CSA members will join us at the Brandermill Green Market and South of the James market this Saturday. **Anyone may order select goods from us, through Fall Line Farms, Richmond’s online farmers’ market. You can use discount code “broadfork” to earn a complimentary 6 month subscription.

Enjoy ~ Janet, Dan, and the rest of the Broadfork crew
(Want to learn more about us? Visit us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.)
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