It always seems like we really hit our stride right around this time of year. We’ve settled into the routine of weeding, harvesting, and caring for animals. Maybe a few too many weeds here or there, but you wouldn’t know it to look at the quality and quantity of produce coming out of the garden. And so we settle in and keep cruising, and let the upcoming big tasks (onion harvest, winter squash harvest, corn picking, cover crop planting, etc, etc…) linger on the horizon just a little longer.
In the fresh onion department, we’ve moved from bunches of Rossa Lunga to loose Ailsa Craigs. Many of you will remember the Ailsa Craigs, if not by name. These are the big mild oh so sweet onions that are similar to (and better than) Vidalias. Fresh sweet onions are a real treat.
Moving on to mustards and foreshadowing the coming autumn. Our first round of mustard greens are ready to go, and we’re making bunches of young tender greens with the roots attached. Great for braising or a stir-fry. We also have nice young tatsoi, a favorite from last year. Very mild, tatsoi is good raw in a salad or sauteed. If you plan to cook it, order a couple of bunches (they’re salad sized).
Hot radishes might be an acquired taste, so get to work and start acquiring. We’ve got three varieties of hot storage radishes, and I’ve only scratched the surface of what you can do with these bad Larrys. (Aside: Bad Larrys is a pretty funny phrase – I wonder who was the original bad Larry, and what did he do that was so bad?) Slice them thin, salt liberally, splash with vinegar. This cuts the heat and makes for a nice snack with a cold beer. In fact we grow one called Munchener Bier, a large white radish traditionally served in a similar fashion in Munich’s beer halls. We’re also going to try pickling them, a common practice in different Asian cuisines.
Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. So. Many. Tomatoes. This is the best kind of problem. We’re lowering the regular price to $4.00 / lb. Furthermore, 10 lbs or more are $3.25 / lb. Can or freeze some sauce and stock up for winter. Get them while they’re good – organic tomatoes can go from great to gone all too quickly.
Speaking of gone – cucumbers. Gone. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! There might be a handful here and there, but not enough to take orders. If we find any stragglers, we’ll offer them for sale during pickup.
Beets, finally! After a rough start, we have beets on the list at last. This is the last planting of summer beets, and the first that produced more than a handful of harvestable roots. I blame wild swings in moisture and temperature, but honestly it’s a bit of a mystery, and one that begs solving. The upcoming fall beets look great, as usual.
Finally, it’s time to get your deposits in if you want to stock your freezer with the best grass-fed beef and pastured pork. Beef and pork shares are available through Short Creek Farm in Northwood, NH. Our animals are still inhabiting Potter Hill’s pastures this year, so if you’re a MA local, let me know if you want to meet your meat.
Finally, it’s been a while, so here’s a gratuitous pastured pig video. Enjoy!