There’s a Reason Flowers Bloom in July…for 7.4.2015

The eating around here is delicious, and our CSA shares are mostly what we want them to be, but we promise to share realism in these weekly newsletters. To tell the story of our farm while always wearing rose-colored glasses would be misleading. Sometimes it’s frustrating. Every job and business has those times, of course. The variables are just a bit unique on a farm. One upside is that we can plant flowers that will most likely bloom during the time of the year that is often hardest for us. 
See? Even with a fairly-cruddy picture, taken on a phone in bad light, brings a smile. And sometimes if it weren’t for the flowers around here, we might just cry. Because there’s a bit of this around here:
And when we woke up this morning, it was raining. Again.

We know we will be begging for rain at some point later this summer, but certain areas of our fields are completely saturated and plants are therefore dying. It’s a roller coaster, this farming thing.

That is why we overplan, overplant, and are highly diversified. Thus, our CSA Farm Share this week looked like this: 
And our self-serve, honor pay farm stand is open with tomatoes! Our farm-stand/pick up area is now in the front of our new barn. It is a nice open space and always safe from the rain. (Refrigerated produce will be added as soon as our display fridge arrives.) Stop on by and load up with tomatoes. They are delicious so many ways. Open 9 am until dusk, and driving directions with details are on our website.
Eggplants are fattening up:
The watermelon patch is tempting us:
So, there is abundance and there is plant death. That’s how it goes each season, just in varying amounts. Success lies, in part, in knowing the tools to get through the tougher times. Re-planting, planting more, creating new drainage systems, talking to other growers about challenges, making good notes for next year…and planting flowers. We know a bouquet on our kitchen table (and the kitchen counter, and in the living room, and ones in the bathroom and bedrooms just for good measure…) help lighten us up.

And for those of you who read about the Rye harvest/grind to flour project that our kids started last month, here’s an update. With all the excitement in the world, our two oldest kids presented us with this yesterday: 

Retrieving the rye from where they had it drying, they got some rye berries. They separated them from the chaff (correct term? We are not grain growers…). They ground them with the mortar and pestle, and they have this scant teaspoon of…something close to rye flour. They feel like they can do anything now! It’s something to celebrate.

Available for Market Share CSA members to choose from this week: Basil, Beets, Cabbage, Chard, Cucumbers, Dill, Flower bouquets, Garlic, Green Beans, Kale, Summer Squash …and naturally leavened Hearth Baked Bread.

Recipe Suggestions: see these and others cataloged on our Recipe Page
Eggplant – this recipe for Imam Biyildi comes highly recommended
Tomatoes and Basil – they don’t sound like a winning combination for ice cream, but Rachel here made some last week (sans the fancy garnish!) and it is amazing. Try this recipe and see for yourself! It tastes more like strawberry or peach ice cream. Amazing!
Cucumbers – a wonderful CSA member reminded us to tell everyone that simply dicing the cucumbers and tossing with salt and pepper is a fantastic and refreshing way to enjoy them.

2015 Market Share CSA Members: Reserve your selection online to pick up on Saturday, July 4th at our farm, at the Good Health Herbs in Brandermill’s Market Square, or at the South of the James market.

** Vegetables not ordered by our Market Share CSA members will join us at the South of the James market this Saturday. ** Brandermill Green Market is closed for the July 4th holiday. ** 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
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