It’s sweet corn week! Some of you lucky Thursday folks got your first taste last week. There will be more to come this week and, if we’re lucky, next week too. Those corn roots stretched far and wide and pulled whatever moisture out of the soil to finish plumping up, and while many of the ears won’t be filled out to the tips we’ll happily take what we can get! If the corn earworms get prolific we’ll start cutting off the tips before we give them to you, but don’t be surprised if you find a few worms in there. It’s an inevitable part of the process with organic corn if we don’t want to inject pesticides (even organically approved ones) into each ear. As a wise farmer once said, “10,000 earworms can’t be wrong” and it’s true, they know the good stuff.
We’re giving big bunches of basil in the share now because, as the plants get less lovely with time (and are, again, stressed out by the lack of water), this is the time to put basil by for winter! With all my herbs (basil, parsley, dill, cilantro… ) I put them by the same way — blend them up with plenty of olive oil and a dash of salt, then spoon the resulting sauce/paste into an ice cube tray. The following day I run some hot water over the back of the tray, pop the herb cubes into a freezer bag, and have basil to cook with all winter long. Give it a try, and do it soon after you get your share, before the basil has time to turn black (it’ll do so more and more quickly these days!).
If you’re picking up your CSA share out of the walk-in at the farm, remember that items that shouldn’t be refrigerated (such as tomatoes, and later on winter squash and potatoes) are outside the walk-in on the table. This is also the second week of blueberries (again, the drought is making it tough on the blueberry farmers, but they think they will squeak by with enough berries for us). I will send out an email reminder to those lucky ones who made it onto the list.
For those of you who were members back in 2015, you may remember our apprentice from Nepal, Sayni Chaudhury. When Sayni returned to her rural Nepali community after her time at the farm, many CSA members made a commitment to help financially support her work for women and children. Sayni is an incredible person and she has continued to develop and expand her Nepali orphanage and women’s education center, called Sisterhome. At Sisterhome she hosts a school for both girls and boys, she advocates and provides a safe place for girls escaping servitude, she lobbies to put an end to the social ‘death’ of widowed women, she teaches women trades so they can have some level of financial independence, and she supports young women in their quest for higher education. Even though we are now six years away from Sayni’s time on the farm, we would love to continue to be able to send a donation from our CSA membership. It feels incredible to provide some support to a woman doing wildly challenging work in a far-away corner of the world. I feel truly lucky that we’re able to help to support Sayni in this small way, and what she accomplishes with our contributions is nothing short of amazing. Click here to see an album of pictures, letters of thanks and more from Sisterhome. If you wish to make a donation, you can either donate via check (made out to Reba Richardson, with Sisterhome written in memo line), Venmo (@Reba-Richardson with Sisterhome in the comments), Paypal (firstname.lastname@example.org via Friends and Family with Sisterhome in comments) or if you want it to be tax deductible, you can write it to UUR with Sisterhome in comments. Thank you!
My personal effort to summon the rain these days involves leaving all the car windows down at night. It hasn’t been particularly effective, but I’m going to keep at it — and your personal rain superstitions are certainly encouraged, too! Have a great week and enjoy your veggies!
Reba and the HCF crew
CSA Vegetables Week 10: Lettuce Mix, Parsley/Cilantro/Celery, Basil, Bell Pepper, Beets or Eggplant, Zucchini/Zephyr/Patty Pan Squash, Cucumbers, Onion, Sweet Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, Slicing Tomatoes, Garlic
Week 10 Add-ons: Cheese, Mushrooms, Oil & Vinegar, Milk, Bread, Flowers, Blueberries
This week’s recipes: Baked Cherry Tomato Sauce, Zucchini/Zephyr Rice and Cheese Gratin, Marinated Cucumber Salad in Honey-Cider Vinegar