This is the LAST week of boxes for everyone-until October.
Thanks to all of you from the crew at the farm: Donna, Miguel, Chago, Abelino, Manuel, Santa, Luis, Angelica, Charlie and Nancy. And from your delivery people: Art, Josh, Joni, Ken, Jeannie, Bob (and Susan), Madison, and Marty.
Down on the farm: As another season ends, we all want to tell you again how we appreciate your support of our farming operation-especially through the "lean" times like last fall and early winter. Thank goodness we had the great spring weather so we were able to produce good veggies for all of us. (Just like you, we miss the veggies during the summer, too.)
Many of you are lucky enough to spend the summer in other areas where you have more fresh produce to choose from than we have here even during the winter. Others of us will just make short visits to those areas. Either way, let me get on one of my favorite soapboxes: if you are buying from farmers, please don't try to get a bargain. Small farms are just barely making it, so they are charging you what they need to charge. (If you're buying from a broker/reseller at a market, that's a different story.)
Last week was a good illustration of why most farmers in this area are already done farming for the season. Everything that survived here looks rather bedraggled-and hungry. I have to get fertilizer on all of it if we want it to keep it growing for the two weeks of summer program.
I was hoping to give everyone kale this week, but that 6" of rain in one day was really hard on our baby greens. The kale that was already a couple inches tall survived but is now yellow and has some disease spots. Our last plantings of kale and arugula (for the summer program) didn't have enough root systems to hold the beds up. They are basically growing on flat ground now-if there is more rain they will be sitting in water.
A lot of mature tomatoes are spotted and/or cracked, but with this big tomato crop, we still should have enough for everyone. The new crop of cherry tomatoes is just starting to ripen, but there are also a few of the small Roma type 'Garden Gem'-we'll try to mix those for your small tomatoes.
And that crop of broccoli that I shouldn't have planted so late actually has some broccoli on it. Heads are small and uneven, but it doesn't seem to be bitter, so we'll use it. These cantaloupes are a variety called 'Tasty Bites'. It tasted remarkably good in our fall trial planting, so I did try it again this spring. I know most of them taste sweet since I see the crew eating them-even Charlie ate one! If this variety is dependably flavorful, then we can make cantaloupes a permanent crop.
Laurie from Seed to Bloom tells us that this week the flower bouquets will be mostly blue and white statice. That is the papery flower that dries easily so you can have this bouquet all summer (or longer-I've had some for a few years, but it's a little difficult to clean the dust off it after while). I was able to get another smaller shipment of peaches from Vero Beach this weekend. Since there is a small amount, we are going to just sell them all as extras. ($3/lb.-3 lb. limit) If any of you who are not getting a box this week want to buy some, you may still pick some up here. Just order from Donna as you would order for any extras. We can put them in a box with your name on it out at the pickup site.
If you want some fresh greens during the summer, it is easy to grow microgreens or even baby greens at home, as long as you have a yard or patio that gets at least a few hours of sun. If you don't even have that space, you can still grow sprouts in your kitchen. Johnny's Selected Seeds has good seed as well as instructions, and, of course, there are lots of other sources on the internet.
Seems we have had a problem with our email program not accepting certain emails for the last 2-3 weeks-it apparently decided it didn't like certain suffixes. Donna and I didn't even realize we hadn't received emails that some of you sent. A few of them resulted in some subscribers not getting extras they had asked for. It's probably too late to fix any of those now, but we're very sorry that happened. If you send us an email and don't receive an acknowledgement, please call and leave a message. Although it still is not working the way it should, Donna figured out some changes to make so we will receive those emails that we haven't been getting.
What's in your box: tomatoes few cherry tomatoes, and 'Garden Gem' Roma type cucumbers eggplant broccoli butternut squash a pepper or two-mostly red kale?? Swiss chard (large boxes only) beets (large boxes only) honeydew melon or cantaloupe (2 in large boxes)
Enjoying your veggies: Chard is one of those vegetables that we rarely put in the boxes. However, this relative of beets and spinach is a really tasty green-doesn't have the strong flavors of kale and arugula that some people don't like. Swish it around in a big bowl of water to get the sand off it. It can be used raw in a salad or even as a wrap! (You might have to steam it for half a minute to be able to wrap it without breaking it.)
To cook it, fold the leaves in half at the midrib and cut along this rib so the leaf is off the stalk. Chop the stalks and cook with the leaves. I like to put the chopped stalks in a few minutes before the leaves. Lay the leaves in a pile and cut crosswise. Small leaves are more tender and can be used without removing the midrib. Sauté chard in olive oil with onions, garlic-whatever you like. I like to serve it with some kind of vinegar-or even with chopped dried fruits and nuts. Of course, there are also lots of recipes for using it in soups, beans, with pasta, or for a frittata or quiche.
A little housekeeping: Another reminder: please send Donna (firstname.lastname@example.org) an email to let her know whether or not you plan to continue with us next season. (This is just to hold your place-payments aren't due until Sept.)
If you owe us for "extras", Donna will send you an invoice after your final box. If you have a credit on your account, she will ask if you want to "roll it over" to next season, or we'll send you a refund-just let her know.
Weekly extras: The best way to order extras is to email Donna at email@example.com 2 PM the day before you get your box. If you are ordering later than that, please call 561-638-2755 and leave the message on the machine, since we don't always have time to check email in the mornings. (Those ordering for Monday boxes should call and leave a message, since you don't receive this list in time to order by email.)
Flowers require earlier orders since we have to order them from other farms. For more information, please check the "Weekly Extras" section on the subscriber pages of our website.
Locally grown Flowers (for Tuesday boxes, order by noon on the Friday before your box; for Thursday and Friday, order by noon on Wednesday). For information about these flower growers and some pictures of their flowers, check the Subscriber Business Links on our Subscriber section
Seed to Bloom, Loxahatchee: colorful mixed bouquets-whatever is in season $10.00 each (Sorry-not available for Monday boxes.) Caribbean Exotics, Delray Beach: long- stemmed (most are at least 3') Heliconia-large, impressive "ginger" flowers $15
McCoy's Honey-raw, unfiltered, locally produced http://www.mccoysfloridahoney.com/ 1 lb. glass jar $5.00 each (wildflower, palmetto, or orange blossom) 3 lb. plastic jug $14.00 each (wildflower or palmetto) 8 oz. bee pollen $12
Herbs (some are from our farm, some from Pontano Farms) $3/bunch Dandelion greens (one of the bitter greens!) Basil dill apple mint mint (This generic mint is actually spearmint.) oregano rosemary sage tarragon thyme
Baby Greens $2.50/bag 'Red russian' kale Microgreens, sandwich bag (mix may contain radishes, arugula, kale, and/or purple kohlrabi leaves) Larger greens $3/bag (large bunch) curly red kale??? Swiss chard-young leaves, white, red, or mix Collard greens-leaves are still small
From other farms: Vero Beach peaches $3/lb. (limit 3 lbs/customer)
Other Veggies and fruit from our farm Honeydew melons-yellow or white rind $3 each 'Sun Jewel' Asian/Korean melon $2 each (oblong, yellow rind and crispy white flesh) Cabbage $.50/lb. (most are very small heads, so order by the pound) Okra $3/lb. (limit 1 lb/order) Tomatoes: most are 'Skyway' (red slicers) $2/lb. Green tomatoes $2/lb. Sauce tomatoes -about 20 lbs. of tomatoes that are smaller or have sunburn, more cracks or other blemishes than the other tomatoes we sell. These are available at this price ONLY by the full half bushel box-not in smaller quantities. $15 Eggplants $2.00/lb. You may choose varieties, or we can put in whatever is available. This week we have Charming, Dancer, Nubia, Rosa Bianca, and Beatrice. For pictures and descriptions of these varieties, go to: http://www.johnnyseeds.com/assets/information/eggplant-varieties-comparison-chart.pdf Tomatillos -these are large ones-it only takes 7-8 to make a pound $3/lb. Green chiles (long New Mexico type) $4/lb. Jalapenos $.50 each or $3/lb.