August!!! My favorite thing about August is usually that September is not far behind. I love fall the most of all. But I must give August some credit where it is due, as it is also the month where all of the bigger storage and preserving fruit and veggies really start arriving!
CSA Week 9:: salad mix, green beans, peppers, carrots, fresh garlic, summer squash, torpedo onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, cilantro, melon, blueberries.
U-Pick:: flowers, parsley, thyme, sage, mint, peppers.
What is in season where you live?
We had a very busy week, with appointments for A and doing some weekend travel to visit Fermilab and other fun spots. CSA day always seems to reign me in no matter how busy we have been, and give me a sense of summer ticking away, pickup day by pickup day.
CSA Week 8 (8!!!):: cilantro, cucumbers, zucchini, blueberries, green beans, onions, beets, carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant, lettuce, and garlic. I skipped the fennel, as it is not very popular in this house.
U-Pick:: hot peppers, oregano, parsley, mint, sage, thyme, and, of course, flowers.
It is almost August! Time flies. In no time at all we will be overloaded with tomatoes and corn, and not long after winter squash and root vegetables. Week by week, ticking through summer.
What is in season where you live?
I love when we move from lettuces and onions into the full onslaught of summer vegetables. Not just one type of flavor anymore, and the possibilities are endless. This week I see caponata, veggie skewers and tzatziki. PIckled fennel and spiralized carrots in a ginger glaze. And fresh herbs on everything.
CSA Week 7: torpedo onions, cucumbers, lettuce, swiss chard, pepper, 2 tomatoes (first of the year!), garlic, fennel, green beans, carrots, zucchini, eggplant.
U-Pick: sage, thyme, mint, basil, dill, parsley, and of course u-pick flowers. This week I went for orange and deep plum colors together. Love it!
This week I had to water the garden (for the first time in months) as it dried out and heated up here. My flowers are all finally blooming, peas are still going strong, herbs are flowering and I've been harvesting and drying them. Squash are growing well (up my tree), tomatoes are big but just not ripe yet. Raspberries are starting to ripen, the blackberries are almost there as well, and my currants are very very ripe (I'm just thinking I might need a mumu with a full body net for mosquito protection after giving up a few days back). My first flying peas have been harvested, and the dwarf sunflowers are close! All good.
What is in season where you live?
This week we have had a huge cool down with chilly mornings and cold rain. Today was sunny and perfect. Just right for wandering the herb rows picking, gathering flowers, and working in the kitchen. I know the heat will return, but what a treat to have cool weather in July.
CSA WEEK 6: summer crisp lettuce, green beans, strawberries, carrots, cilantro, summer squash, torpedo onions, kale, beets, fresh garlic, cucumbers
U-Pick Herbs and Extras: sage, mint, basil, oregano, thyme, green beans, dill
And of course the flowers. I grow flowers at home too, but don't get all of the full sun so mine are always later. I love that the CSA we belong to has row after row of flowers to pick from right in front of the barn. THis week I was drawn to the lovely golds and oranges and whites. SO beautiful!
What is in season in your area?
Our summer schedule revolves around our CSA. We get a lot of produce from our CSA and the day must be open to rinse, package, steam, freeze, make, bake, preserve, and process each week. All meals are planned around the freshness schedule. While I grow a lot in our small urban garden it is to supplement with all of the things we don't find locally (unusual varieties, tea/culinary/medicinal herbs), is expensive locally (currants, raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb), or that we love so much we need MORE of it (celeriac, peas, beets) . Summer is marked by CSA week number. By what is in season. Strawberry time. Tomato season. I love being able to share organic gardening and visiting farms with my boys. They easily identify herbs and vegetables and fruits and wildflowers. They know when things are ripe, need pinching, and which is just the best one out of the bunch. I hope when they grow up these are the memories that stick. Warm sun, fingers that smell of basil, how to pick a borage flower without tearing it, where to cut herbs so the plant keeps growing, how to twist just right to pop that squash right off, the heady aroma of sun warmed raspberries, the sound of buzzing bees, the first gush of water out of the garden rainbarrel after a storm, and driving along country roads to the farm with windows down and music blaring. (We'll leave swarming mosquitoes out of the nostalgic memory list)
I'm doing a catch up on my CSA's this week after my cinema display monitor decided to spend last week throwing a hissy fit. It is back to behaving after much cajoling and begging.
CSA Week 5 (above)
In our share: summer crisp lettuce, sugar snap peas, napa cabbage, broccoli, cilantro, summer squash, pearl onions, frisee, beets, garlic scapes, cucumbers strawberries.
U-Pick: dill, mint, oregano, parsley, thyme, sage, basil
Bought some extra: strawberries
CSA Week 4
In Our Share: dill, peas, lettuce, mesclun mix, kale, swiss chard, cabbage, romaine, pearl onions, baby bok choi, garlic scapes, cauliflower, cucumbers, squash
U-Pick: parsley, oregano, thyme, basil, dill, sage, mint, flowers
What is in your CSA box or farm share this week? Or, what is in season where you live?
We are getting into the groove of our weekly CSA again. It feels good to chat with the people in line - the question is always WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS? Give a few ideas, chit chat. G is the boss of the CSA line. He selects each item out of every bin to be sure he has the exact one he wants - I only get to be the bag holder - while A visits the chicken coop. We then grab scissors from the rack and walk out to the herb field. Later in the season we will have veggies to pick too, but this time of year we pick some chives, oregano, sage, thyme, basil, dill, mint. I grow a lot of variety in my garden, but with such a small space that isn't full sun, many of the more mediterranean heat loving herbs don't do so well, so having a CSA which has fields to pick from is wonderful. That saves my pot real estate for unusual varieties that I cannot find anywhere else - like my holy basil or pineapple sage. After filling our bag with what we will use this week, we wander back to the car and the short but beautiful rural drive home. Having a CSA makes us conscious of our time every Wednesday. It will take awhile to process everything - rinse, cut, bag, store. What to make for dinner now, what to put away for the rest of the week. What can go right into the dehydrator. Love it.
in our share this week: summer crisp lettuce, sugar snap peas, kale, broccoli, cilantro, summer squash, scallions, hakurai turnips, salad mix, garlic scapes, spinach. u-pick mint, dill, basil, oregano, thyme, chives, sage.
What is in your farm share this week, or in season locally where you live?
I know! I missed week 1! In all our decade+ of having CSA shares this was the first pickup we have ever missed. When we had to choose between CSA pickup and time away for that whirlwind 50 hour Minneapolis trip...the choice was easy. We have only a few short months in summer when my husband has a somewhat normal work schedule and when September gets here he will burrow away and we won't see him much until the holiday break! So, we missed our pickup. Our CSA farm donated our share last week to the local food pantry, so I feel better knowing someone got some organic goodness last week. So this week we were particularly enthusiastic about going to get our weekly share.
For those of you outside of the US, CSA means Community Supported Agriculture, and it is basically where you buy a "share" of a whole growing season of produce from a local farm. This means that each week we get our "share" of produce. Some CSA models have urban dropoff locations - places to get your box right in town from someone who hosts a pick up spot. We have always preferred on farm pick up, and living at the edge of the city makes that convenient for us. My boys get to visit a farm each week, we get to know our farmer, and we have freshly picked organic produce from June to November. The CSA farm we have now is wonderful, and we have been with them for several years. When I say I love our CSA, I am not exaggerating! Seriously. Love.
So today was comfort and routine and everything good about summer. Both boys were so happy to carry the bags, load up one of this, one of this, 10 of this, 2 of this. They chatted with people. They visited the chickens. We went to the u-pick herb field area to pick some fresh herbs for use throughout the week. Everything was green and smelled of mud.
If you have followed my previous blogs or instagram feed you know that I love to post my CSA share each week for the whole season. I also love to post in season recipes from what is in season and that is most likely in your box or market stand. I also would love to hear what you have in season in your area if you have a CSA share, farm box, or buy from local farm stands or markets!
CSA Box 2: head lettuces, green curly kale, spinach, sugar snap peas, radishes, pea shoots, scallions, hakurai turnips, salad mix, garlic scapes (garlic scape pesto or lacto-fermented garlic scapes), honey
U-Pick: mint, thyme, dill, sage, chives
This is when I start to feel that hum - when the CSA and garden are going strong and spare moments are spent picking or weeding or preserving. Thank you, June.
Do you have a CSA share/farm box? What is in season in your area right now?
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, permaculture designer, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two young adults in south central Wisconsin.
©2007-23 Denise Cusack, all photos and text. Feel free to share my posts on FB or Twitter or online media or pin on Pinterest (thank you!), but please keep the links back to my website intact (meaning please do not take or copy my images off of this website and share them unattributed or without linking back here or use them without permission). Thank you! :)
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