From the Farmer

2018 CSA Week 11

Big news folks – this week we have MELONS! Our watermelon are flushing and abundant and our cantaloupe are ripening right behind them. We have been joking here on the Farm that the 2018 growing season is the year of the Cucurbitaceae family, of which cucumbers, summer squash, melons, and winter squash (Butternut, Pumpkin, Delicata, etc.) are all included. It’s true that we have tended to our Cucurbits lovingly, partially because they need it! Cucurbits tend to be a bit high maintenance at the beginning of their lives – we start the plants from seed in our greenhouse and eventually transplant them into the field. They don’t particularly like to be transplanted because their delicate root system doesn’t respond well to disturbance, but they also don’t like cool spring weather and the warm greenhouse is a good climate for them to grow vigorously, so it’s a bit of trade off. They are planted in rows of plastic mulch to suppress surrounding weeds and after they are planted we immediately cover the beds with sheets of light fabric row cover to keep away cucumber beetles. Cucumber beetles can decimate all Cucurbit crops by munching on their leaves, reducing the surface area available for the plant to photosynthesize, and ultimately stunting the growth of the plant (which leads to small or nonexistent fruit). ☹ Nobody wants that. Which is why we have given extra special care to these plants to ensure they were able to produce one of the most anticipated crops of the season – melons!

During this time of year, I find myself eating an entire Watermelon for lunch on quite a regular basis. I’m not kidding. They are 92% water and filled with electrolytes – perfect for thirst quenching – and they are also incredibly sweet and flavorful. Watermelons contain high amounts of Vitamin-A and Lycopene, powerful antioxidants that help promote healthy vision and immunity, and are also filled with Potassium. There is also a very high level of Citrulline found in the white part of the Watermelon rind which turns into the amino acid Arginine in your body, which helps prevent heart disease!

Watermelon pairs well with basil, mint, parsley and feta and can make a delicious summer salad as well. I’ve listed a couple different recipes below.

  1. Tomato-Watermelon Salad with Feta and Toasted Almonds
  2. Mexican Watermelon Salad

Large Shares will notice that they have a luffa this week – these luffas started their lives as a gourd (also a part of the Cucurbitaceae family). It was grown on a vine, picked, and stored until it was completely dry. The hard, outer skin has been removed, the seeds shaken out, and what you are picking up in your share is the dried insides of the fruit. It has been disinfected and cut into sections for you, but aside from that it is in its natural form. Enjoy nature’s bath scrubbie next time you need some exfoliation!

Small Shares

  • Basil
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Melon Choice: Watermelon or Cantaloupe
  • Onions
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes

Large Shares

  • Basil
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Luffa
  • Melon Choice: Watermelon or Cantaloupe
  • Onions
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes

Thanks so much and we will see you at the Farm Stand or at the Boat House for pick up this week!

Be Great and Well,

Anya, Deb x 22 goats, Dan and Ann, Lex x 800 laying hens and x 17 hogs, James and Rocko, Nate, Christina, Kate, Amanda, Julia, Anna, Radish the feline queen

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Willowsford Conservancy

41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

Phone: 571-440-2400

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