I do believe that all of the critters here at Sapsucker Farms have joined together to attack all of the delightful, organic goodies all over the farm. The primary attack has taken place in my beloved hoop house. Never before, have I ever experienced such a coordinated attack by so many critters, that I am convinced that they have conspired to make it happen.
In the hoop house, there is a ground hog who has been able to get in and do a ground assault on the peppers. Meanwhile, I have had two deer… a mama and a baby… who are the first ungulates to figure out how to get inside the hoop house. And they have covered the aerial assault on the peppers, and have decimated the remaining beet crop. ARGH!.
Meanwhile….in the tomato patch, the chipmunks have indulged on all of the big, beautiful, gorgeous, delicious, gigantic, vine-ripened tomatoes. The most perfect, stunning, tomatoes, that I have been drooling over this past week, have each had one, big chomp from Alvin and his friends. I really hate chipmunks. And I hope that you too, have changed your mind about these greedy, and toothy little furry monsters.
Ok, but not all is lost. I am still able to scrounge up some pretty good things to put in your box this week. Even though it’s not what I originally planned. So here is what you’ll find.
Shiitake mushrooms – the full share members were able to indulge in these meaty, delicious shrooms, and I’m happy to say that the crop has continued to produce so that everyone will get a taste of them this week. If you’re not familiar with shiitakes, you can google it to learn more. Otherwise, here are some easy recipes for you to enjoy.
Eggplant or Kale – I have lots of eggplant in the field this year, and so far nothing has tried to devour it. However, I only have a small amount of eggplant that is large enough for putting into boxes this week. So the folks in St. Cloud and Vital Images will get the eggplant this week. The rest of you will find kale instead. However, the roles will be reversed in a couple weeks, when the eggplant crop gets bigger, and is ready to be picked. Unless, of course, the field gets attacked by a flock of pterodactyls, which is entirely possible. Personally, I LOVE eggplant. It is such a versatile veggie with so many ways to prepare it. And here are some recipes for you to try.
Artichokes – actually, I should say “artichoke.” There are plenty of artichokes to have one in each box this week, but many more are on the way. Artichokes are easy to prepare. Here are some easy recipes to try, but be sure to google more ideas. I like to just boil them to tender, then pluck each pedal and dip in mayonnaise.
Potatoes – four different colors of spuds: red, blue, yellow, and white. Living in the Midwest, the land of meat and potatoes, I know you already know what to do with them. However, I should warn you, that the potatoes are very dirty…on purpose. Keeping them dirty will allow them to store for awhile longer. If I were to clean them up, I would also need to dry them out, and once they are cleaned and dried, they start to deteriorate. You’ll be seeing a lot more potatoes in the future, so just plan on some dirty, but delicious bags of spuds.
Mini onions – The crop of onions this year ended up being very small. Small in terms of size, not small in terms of what was planted. I don’t know why the onions were so small this year, I did ask the onions what was up with it… but I quickly learned that onions don’t speak English. Whatever. At any rate, even though the onions are small, they are still tender and delicious. So just pretend that they are shallots an you will be very happy with the results.
Basil – I am so impressed with my basil crop this year. Even though it is growing in the hoophouse, so far, there have been no critters – furry or multi-legged insects that have attacked them. That means you will have another batch of pesto to enjoy.
Peppers – mostly hot peppers. As mentioned, the ground hogs and the deer have decimated my pepper crop. However, they seem to not like hot peppers. The Jalapenos, Hot Wax, and other hot peppers have been spared. I hope that at one point the deer and ground hogs took a nice big bite of a jalapeno, and fire blew out of their nostrils. Is that bad? Oh well. I have found a few sweet peppers too, so you might find some of those too. The good news is that there are lots of baby peppers on the plants, so if I can keep them out of the hoophouse, we may get some more yet this season.
Vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes. Sorting through the rubble of the chipmunk attack, the good news is that there are plenty more green tomatoes on the vines. Unfortunately, this week the harvest is going to be significantly less than what you’re used to. My heart sinks as I think of the damage they have done. But I remain hopeful that there will be plenty more big beauties for you in future boxes…with the help of [an organic] bb gun…
Meanwhile… other news from the farm… On Saturday, August 20th, we participated in the St. Cloud Cider Fest. And we won the “People’s Choice” award for best cider! There were about 175 other beverages at this event, and the discerning consumers at this event voted that Yellow Belly was their favorite! We want to thank everyone for all of your support. And if you would like to give our cider a try, you can find some near you right here.
Wishing you a delightful, fun, and safe Labor Day weekend. And be sure to enjoy some Yellow Belly as well.