From the Farmer

2018 CSA Week 16

Dear CSA Members,

As we close the month of August we have been blessed with a week of beautiful weather and sunshine. This past week we have planted a field filled with Spinach, Lettuce, Pac Choi, Kohlrabi, Cabbage, and Broccoli, and we can’t wait until these green leafy plants size up enough to share with you. Summer months bring us lots of fruiting vegetables (Tomatoes, Peppers, Zucchini, Melons) but the heat makes it hard to grow leafy greens and I’ve personally been missing these farm-fresh items from my diet. Part of eating local means eating what’s in season and while that can certainly be a challenge, it also forces me to be creative in the kitchen and allows me to really appreciate different fruits and veggies while they are around!

As we say farewell to the summer of 2018 we are also saying goodbye to one of the most important and wonderful humans of Willowsford Farm. As I’m sure most of you know Farmer Deb is leaving us to move onto the greener pastures, filled with goats as far as the eye can see. We are already missing her terribly here at the Farm even though she hasn’t left us yet. It is an understatement to say that her beautiful energy, love for farming, passion for community building, and profound ability to care for all creatures of the earth big and small will be sorely missed. This week we cheers to her, for the best of luck on her next great adventure, and thank her so deeply for everything she has given to this project. This Farm and community would not be what it is today without her incredible spirit.

The cantaloupe you’ll find in your shares this week may not look like the cantaloupe you find in the grocery store – their rinds are not as uniform in color or texture – but the flesh of these melons will knock your socks off. One of the hardest parts of growing cantaloupe is knowing when they are fully ripe. Grocery store melons are often picked too early so that they can store and ship better, but the flavor is underwhelming. A sure-fire way to tell if a cantaloupe is ready is by bringing the melon to your nose and smelling it! A ripe melon will give off a lovely floral scent while an unripe melon may smell like nothing at all. The window of opportunity to harvest melons at their most delicious stage of ripeness is very small, so when growing melons, we are out in the field every day, checking to see if they are ready to eat. We, of course, have to cut a couple open here and there just to be sure… 😉

Melons have been a big part of the summer for us this year and we have found many creative ways to eat them. James, one of my crew members, brought his juicer to the Farm and served us carrot + cantaloupe juice for lunch which was unbelievably sweet and refreshing. After work one day we all whipped up a fantastic smoothie with the Van Leeuwen vegan pistachio ice cream sold at the Farm Stand! Who would have thought – Cantaloupe and Pistachio?! It was truly delicious. Below I’ve listed several other recipes that showcase cantaloupe to give you some more ideas on how to fill these last days of August with the sweet taste of summer.

  1. Crazy for Cantaloupe? Try These 15 Creative Melon Recipes
  2. Cantaloupe Recipes

Small Shares

  • Basil
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Leeks
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

Large Shares

  • Basil
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Leeks
  • “Nate’s Mix” Super Greens
  • Okra
  • Peppers
  • Red Onions
  • Sauerkraut
  • 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, Ashley x Penny the lazy farm dog, Deb x 22 goats & 1 fabulous Alpaca, Anna Official Ice Cream Sales Rep, Dan and Ann, Lex x 800 happy hens and x 10 happy hogs, James and Rocko, Nate, Christina, Kate, Amanda, Michelle (newest and most tolerant retail assistant), and Her Royal Highness Radish The Feline Queen

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Willowsford Conservancy

41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

Phone: 571-440-2400

info@willowsfordconservancy.org

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23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

Phone: 571-297-6900

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