Week 4 for the CSA! A Long OVERDUE Message for all CSA Members from The Farmer’s Wife-

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We are into Week 4 of the CSA…that doesn’t mean that everyone has gotten four Shares…far from it!  But it does mean that the garden has blessed us for 4 weeks!  (The length of the CSA Season is technically 16 weeks for us, and on average 13 weeks  for the members…those that purchased the Extension tag on two more weeks!  We still have room, and could use some help filling spots in the outer reaches of the CSA.  Memberships are pro-rated from the time of start–)

Here are some of the blessings from the GARDEN:


Summer Squash–Zucchini, Yellow Squash (Slick Pick), Zephyr (yellow with a green tip), and Costa Romanesco (striped heirloom zucchini).  We also have 20 feet of Patty Pans…but they are more like a surprise package that just shows up randomly!  Summer Squash is always the first to bloom and bear, especially the zucchini, but our yield this year has not been as strong as in the past.  It seems we have about 20 feet of the 400 foot bed that is ‘barren’.  The Farmer says that section is sandy and does not hold the moisture and MAN! it’s been hot!  Still…we have had enough to share among all the members.  We will continue with the summer squash in the shares until there is no more room because of all the other great stuff.  Note: For Worland area and The Store on The Farm, we will continue to stock Zucchini and the other mixes in 2# bags.  (Health wise, Dr. Bieler in his book, Food is Your Best Medicine, ‘prescribed’ zucchini soup for his ailing patients, claiming that it helped the body to heal because the concentration of salt in zucchini is the same as the natural sodium in our blood.)

sliced cucumber on white table

Cucumbers…MAN! do we have variety…Thunder, Olympian, and Mongoose are our slicers…we over-planted.  :/  (We have been looking for a new slicer since the Sultan seed was no longer available several years back.  Still searching…Thunder is too thick skinned and can be bitter, Olympian is inconsistent in size and smaller, and Mongoose is a slow producer.) Presently we are harvesting over 100# every other day!  This insanity will come to a close, and we’ll pick our favorite and abandon the other two as the garden continues to produce new things and we have less time to harvest everything!  Our other varieties are Harmonies, Suyo, Lemon, and Striped Armenians. 

The Harmonies, which we bag for the shares in 1# bags, are a European Pickling variety, but also what is sold in stores as Snack Cucumbers.  They are full of flavor, sweet, and thin-skinned.  Kids LOVE them, including my 39 year old daughter!


Suyo Cucumbers

Suyo and Striped Armenians are the longer, larger cucumbers we grow.  Suyo is dense and prickly skinned, and a good keeper.  Striped Armenians are striped (makes sense) and sweeter. (Pretty in salads; when sliced they look like little flowers with their fluted edges.) I always say Armenians resemble the melon side of the cucurbits family.  This is a large family, commonly called the Gourd family, including squash, pumpkins, zucchini, cucumbers, melons, and luffa…yes, the sponges! 

lemon cuke

The last variety of cucumber is the heirloom Lemon Cucumber.  That’s the one I get the most text pictures from remote members after delivery of their Boxes with a simple statement:  “What is this?”  As the name suggests they are yellow and round, but that’s where the similarities end.  A wonderful cucumber, IF you don’t let it get too big…otherwise they are like softballs and in fact our son got his bat and practiced with them!  Yes, they do splatter!


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Broccoli heads, broccoli crowns, broccoli florets, and Broccolini Galion X.  The aforementioned three are the same plant just harvested in steps.  The Broccoli head in the center is harvested first…Green Magic heads (our short day Spring broccoli) are smaller ‘crown’ sized, and Gypsy (our longer day Summer broccoli) are larger at 1# average.  (Gypsy hasn’t been that good this year as the heat has affected their looks and a little of their flavor.) After the heads are harvested, then the next production (usually two to four) are the ‘crowns’.  After the ‘crowns’ are harvested you have side production, or the florets.  You can harvest these until you decide they have gotten too small to justify the hunt and search, and you have to move on to other things.


broccolini plant

The fourth Broccoli is not what you buy in the store as Broccolini (Italian for little broccoli), but a variety developed by Johnnie’s Seed in Maine by crossing the European Broccoli and the Asian Galions….thus Broccolini Galion X!  The result is a broccoli that is sweeter, more tender, and you can eat the leaves!  (This is not genetic modification, but Johnnie’s uses natural breeding methods.)  Same harvesting process holds true with the Broccolini Galion X (aka Mini Broccoli):  you harvest the main head to get the long stemmed side production that we all love and eat!

This week some of you folks will get Broccolini Crowns from the new variety of mini-broccoli called BC1611 (who in their right mind would name something a number?!).  I like these small heads steamed, but you can also chop them up and fry them in a cast iron skillet with some onion.  Leave the leaves on, and let them brown to bring all the sweetness out!  Don’t forget to season with the pink salt and some cracked pepper corns!


Last week the garden blessed us with some FRESH onionsWalla Walla and Candy! We had Washington Cherry Tomatoes for the smallest group.  AND we were able to add some nice sized (not too big and not too small) Daikon radishes, to half the Shares.  This week the other two groups will get their Daikon’s, and this week ALL the Shares are being blessed with Cauliflower!  (We had our first picking for Worland folks in Week 3, but now in Week 4 we have 140 heads to share!  Yellow Flamestar for the South route…Thermopolis, Riverton, and Lander, White Bishop for Worland and Ten Sleep.)  Other new items in varying degrees are fresh basil and maybe some other herbs, the first harvest of the sweet peppers (Romanian Antohi Frying Peppers), and some beans (either Yellow Wax or Jade Green).  More Tomatoes (Washington Cherry) as they increase in volume!

A note on the Antohi peppers….they are a true frying pepper.  They are rather bland UNTIL you cook them, fried in the cast iron is my preference, and then they are dynamite!  Cook them with your summer squash, but don’t add them to a salad, unless it is a wilted salad with spinach, mushrooms, and water chestnuts.

Enjoy your food!  Support your immune system through your food!  And live life to the fullest!!   The Best is YET to come!  The Farmer’s Wife


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