WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
dill, cilantro, or rosemary
chard, beets, or kale
Russian banana potatoes
cabbage-large shares only
Summer squash (see photo below)- We grow 4 types. You will recognize the familiar green zucchini. The other zucchini is an Italian variety called Costata Romanesco and is firmer and nuttier than the plain Jane green. Patty pan is yellow and looks like a flying saucer. It is the crunchiest of them all. Finally we have the graceful crookneck. The texture is delicate and also has a nutty hint to it. They can all be used interchangeably. I add them to lots of dishes to add color and texture. They don’t have an overwhelming flavor, so it won’t alter the dish too much. Jim’s favorite way to prepare squash is to cut it into 1/4 slabs, marinate in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic, and salt. He will then pop them on the grill. We do this with potatoes and winter squash as well. Sometimes he adds rosemary, red pepper flakes and/or garlic.
Peas: This will be the last week for peas. The snow and snap peas are toast and it took a loooong time to pick the shells. We gave you a nice hearty helping of shellies today, so be sure to savor them. I will include 2 recipes using peas further down in the newsletter
Writing about these veggies makes me think of the silly shorthand and nicknames we use on the farm to describe all sorts of things from crop names, sizing, tools, trucks, and a whole host of other things. It stems partly from the need for efficiency and partly from an attempt to make mundane tasks more fun. “Patty” and “crook” are the nicknames for the squash mentioned above. We fondly refer to rutabaga and parsnips as “rutas” and “snips”. Potato varieties include "huckles” (huckleberry gold) and “Frenchy” (French fingerlings). Lovelock lettuce is simply indicated with a heart drawn on the box or harvest list.
We used to refer to the field trucks by their color, but we now somehow have 3 blue trucks. We have to call them by their make. Only the Isuzu “pup” has a cute name. One of our tractors is called the “Happy Hen” tractor as it was the one we used when we were leasing a few acres at Happy Hen farm. Sizing is another area we have a little fun with. The 3 main categories are “smallies”, “biggies”, and “monsters”. Some or our terms are merely an abbreviation, but some have an obscure backstory. For example, “Walter” onions refer to a very small onion preferred by a particular customer named, you guessed it, Walter! Then there is the “Mo” sized pickle. We usually size them by mini, small, or medium. It was a particularly long day on the pickle sorting line and we had a new worker who was picking some that were waaaaaay to small. We mused that we should rename the sizing categories eenie, meanie, mini, and mo. Mo would be the smallest. Ever since, if super tiny tic-tac sized cukes come down the line, we say “Someone has been picking Mo’s again….” Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation. Maybe we’ve been in the sun too long. Or maybe we are just ridiculously clever :)!
Today’s rain is a mixed blessing. We are grateful for the temporary reduction in wildfire threat. Rochester has seen at least 2 small fires in the past month. It is also nice to take a break from irrigation. However, weeding is proving to be more cumbersome. I’m sure each crew member is dragging around at least an extra 10 lbs. of mud and water as they move along the rows. We were fortunate to get the garlic harvested just in the nick of time. We got the last bit hung in the barn yesterday afternoon as the sprinkles started.