The exciting news this week is ripe tomatoes! We know you have all been waiting and waiting, and this is really just a small bit of the very first, still nothing to write home about; nevertheless, as some of you saw at this weekend’s open farm, the tomato planting is massive this year, so there will be no shortage of everyone’s favorite garden vegetable. Since things are just getting started, we will be picking off the cherry tomatoes for the next couple of weeks. After that, all of our farm pick-up members can pick from these every week at pick-up if they desire. Likewise, the cut-flower bed, a project idea that barely came together this year, is flowering nicely, albeit only a handful of varieties. Feel free to ask for help cutting some flowers to take home if you’d like, or ask our expert bouquet man, our oldest son Olorin, to pick one for you. Olorin has brought a small amount of cut flower bouquets to each and every farmer’s market this year, a business he has enjoyed and is considering expanding next year! Maybe with his help we will have a wider selection of flowers for the u- pick flower patch next year!  And it is almost canning time; once the tomatoes hit full speed, we will let all of you know about extra picking for winter preservation.

Our main winter preparedness goals lie in the fields. We have been working overtime to be well prepared for our second season of continued harvesting through the winter. There have been bumps in the road these last few weeks. The potatoes that had looked so good this year are now showing signs of distress. We imagine that yields will still be good, but his high cost start up crop is always leaving us wanting more. The parsnips planting we tried everything we knew to get started still hasn’t germinated, four weeks later. Notoriously hard to start, we can only try again in the cooler weather, with
hopes of smaller parsnips in early spring.

But, the planting and planning is still more positive than not, especially for us, eaters who have come to relish the flavors of these coming crops probably more than even the ubiquitous fresh tomato. Not to say these summer flavors aren’t just right for this time of year. Simple, vegetable laden dishes are fast and filling on busy summer farm days, and being able to snack on so much, from cucumbers to tomatoes, simply out of hand in the fields is a blessing. And being in the midst of abundance does wonders for the soul. Zucchinis and cucumbers and tomatoes up to our ears, a sign of the graciousness of the earth to bear fruit, and reminder to be thankful for all that we do have.

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