Droughty Times

8:17 PM derek 0 Comments

Greetings all!  We're holding our own during this record-breaking drought.  Yep- the worst drought in four decades.  We've been struck by heat advisory after heat advisory.  It's pretty brutal out there for us farmers, but at the very least it seems that we got just enough rain in the times before the drought to pull us through...and looking at our conventional corn-farming neighbors, our last rain of about an inch (about three weeks ago) was enough to make their corn look way taller and heftier than corn in places that haven't gotten rain in months. 

Fortunately, most of our veggies are mature enough not to need too much help, getting ample amounts of water daily with our routine watering shifts.  Our Sungold cherry tomato harvest is really kicking in.  We've picked loads off our plants out here in the country as well as Derek's house on Ginter Ave.  Our green beans have been slow to flower and bud, but are now yielding the first wave that our CSA members will receive! Peppers and eggplants are coming on, though there aren't enough ripe fruits to pick for CSA shares quite yet.  We have yet to see our first big heirloom slicer tomatoes.  They've managed to produce plump green fruits that now only need to get that blush of ripeness from the sun.  Basil plants get bushier and bushier.  Our first patch of broccoli is toward the end of its first production but our second patch is only just starting to head up!  So there will be plenty more broccoli to come, although there may be a bit of a lull in between phases.  As usual, we have tons of kale.  We hope you're not sick of it yet!  Despite some maladies we faced, our kale is looking more big and beautiful than ever.  We are most stoked about our lacinato variety which we have never seen do so well!  Those Japanese beetles love the stuff so much to the point of leaving a row of kale skeletons in their wake.  None for us.

Speaking of Japanese beetles, we have heard from many farmers in the state that they are particularly bad this year!  We have been using consistent sprays of Pyganic and Oxidate (both organic-certifier approved!) on our beleaguered crops with much success, probably one of the reasons why our Lacinato kale (also called dinosaur kale) looks so good.  We have also had hard times with squash and cucumber bugs, and....moles!  Every day, our squash plants look worse and worse because there are moles in our greenhouse that are slowly taking them out!  Yes it seems for a while we may not have any squash for you folks, but on the plus side we've got a phase of cucumbers on the way, as well as an entire acre of several winter squash varieties planted.

We are beginning to prep our new seeds for fall!  It is about that time.  Flats of lettuce, mei choi (a kind of bok choy), and beets will be started for the end of the summer.  We also hope to see more broccoli, kale, and celery (!) get sown at the end of summer for the cooler weather.

This week for CSA we're featuring a couple of interesting culinary herbs lent to us from our neighboring organic farm friends over at Hue Hill.   They might seem a bit esoteric to some of you (tarragon may be familiar, perhaps hyssop not so much) but we will be happily providing you with some recipes to try them out.  For those of you interested in herbal medicine, hyssop tends to be a popular additive to herbal cough syrups used for colds and upper respiratory maladies.  Tarragon is an herb very frequently employed in French cuisine.

Well, that's all we got goin' on with us.  Stay cool, and stay hydrated!  See you next week!

On the table this week:
  • Kale
  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Potatoes
  • Hyssop
  • Tarragon
  • Green Beans


Hyssop Cranberry Bean Salad (www.gardencentre.com) 


  • 20 oz. canned cranberry beans, drained
  • 8 oz. French beans, cut into 1 inch sticks
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 sprigs fresh hyssop, finely chopped
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 1 Tsp. black pepper
  • 14 oz. precooked tender Thai rice, drained
  • 4 oz. Boursin cheese, cubed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 8 iceberg lettuce, shredded


Combine cilantro, sunflower oil and lemon juice. Toss lettuce in dressing and arrange on a salad platter.

In another bowl, combine cranberry beans, French beans, garlic, lemon juice, hyssop, salt, black pepper, Thai rice and Boursin cheese. Spoon bean mixture on top of the lettuce salad. Serve cold with a light green salad and buttered sourdough bread.

Bacon Fried Green Beans (foodnetwork.com)



In a skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat, when hot add bacon and pepper and cook the bacon until crisp, 5 minutes. Add beans to bacon and cook about 3 to 5, tossing. Season with vinegar and sugar prior to serving.

Dijon-Tarragon Cream Chicken (allrecipes.com)


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon


  1. Melt the butter and heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and place in the skillet. Brown on both sides. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and continue cooking 15 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. Stir cream into the pan, scraping up brown bits. Mix in mustard and tarragon. Cook and stir 5 minutes, or until thickened. Return chicken to skillet to coat with sauce. Drizzle chicken with remaining sauce to serve.


    Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

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