Friday, July 17, 2009

Enter Summer

I would say that we are in full swing now at the farm, except that we don’t have any tomatoes yet. Tomatoes really are the pinnacle of American farmstand produce (corn could be considered a contender but I really don’t think so) and I really don’t feel like we’ve seen all this farm has to offer until we start getting some juicy, ripe, sweet tomatoes in. It won’t be forever. The plants are full of blossoms and fruits are beginning to develop on many of them.

But we’ve got lots of other stuff coming in now. Not all of it has reached the shareroom yet (next week I think we’ll see a lot of smiles at the expanded variety) but we’ve now got green beans in the pick-your-own fields, broccoli, all sorts of tiny cabbages, golden beets, gobs of carrots (so sweet and crisp, I’ve never eaten so many of them before), and we’ve just harvested our first three beds of potatoes for next week’s share. Tiny to medium-sized delicate-skinned red ones. I took a few home last night and made a nice herbed potato salad with them, a favorite quick summer meal. Boil them until just tender (I leave the skins on but they are a little more enjoyable peeled) and toss, still warm, with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some selection of fresh herbs. Yesterday I did chives and thyme (and a touch of garlic). I ate it with a bit of local cheese, made from a combination of Appleton Farms cow milk and Nubian goat milk, from Valley View Farms down the road. I need to age it a bit further; it was a little chalky (it’s a soft-ripened style like camembert) but should be good in a couple more days. Maybe I’ll leave it out in the pantry (properly wrapped) so it’ll get soft and gooey quicker.

We also harvested some nice summer squash, the long little yellow ones that are my favorite. And we have tons of herbs going, now, including one of my all-time favorites, thai basil. That stuff is awesome. I was lazy the other night and got some take out fried rice from a local thai place, and this evening I jazzed up the leftovers by stir-frying it with some fresh thai basil, summer squash and green beans and adding some fish sauce steeped with a minced habanero pepper (store bought; our chiles aren’t in yet). Quite delicious.

Today we had what I think felt like our first real summer day. It was hot (mid-eighties) and very humid (just shy of 100% humidity), with blazing, intense sun. I am not the most heat-tolerant person in the world, and how I am going to cope with the next couple months has been a concern of mine, but today I did fine (it helps that the open space and proximity to the ocean gives us a pretty consistent breeze, also helpful with bugs). I did have a half-hour pulling up garlic in the late morning where I was feeling pretty miserable, but I took a five minute break for water and felt much, much better. Water is the key, and short breaks when you can’t stand it any more. And a hat. Hats are also key; that sun will get you otherwise. Plus, a hat you can drench in cold water, put on your head and enjoy those cool trickles down your spine. The hat I used today was perfect, it could hold a cup of water pretty securely on my head, and was good for about a minute and a half of nice sprinkling. I think I’m going to make it.

This weekend I am dog-sitting for my boss, and I am looking forward to using it as an excuse to do a lot of nothing and maybe watch a red sox game on television if it is raining (or maybe even if it isn’t). Some reading, some strumming, some contemplation and maybe a little fooling around with his Wii video game system. So bucolic.

I feel like I just wrote a lot of words about a lot of nothing, but I guess that’s where my head is. I hope everybody is doing well. Love, Brian

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