From the Farmer

Week 6 – 7/11/2012
Greetings, 
 
I’m glad to announce more pie and more fruit this week at the Farm Stand to go along with yogurt, eggs, vegetables, and other baked goods. Last week’s blackberry peach pie was excellent and I’m looking forward to trying Kate’s peach pie this week!
 
In your box this week…
… no beets, no Swiss chard! They deserve a break, and surely you do too. New veggies you’ll see this week include onions, potatoes, eggplant, and slicing and cherry tomatoes – a sure sign we’ve entered the mid-summer growing season. Hot peppers will be in limited quantities and “on the side” for you to take if you like. The onions are sweet and fresh for eating, so put them in the fridge if you don’t use them tonight. They are an Italian variety- Red Long of Tropea. I love these onions; they have nice flavor for use raw or cooked, and their torpedo shape means each slice fits on a fork. Eggplant and tomatoes are just starting to produce, so quantities will be limited, but you will see more soon.
 
More on tomatoes in future weeks, but as we kick off the tomato season let me say that they are one of the few crops that will ripen just as well off the vine as they will on the vine, as long as it has turned orange first (“vine-ripened tomatoes” is good marketing, but doesn’t tell you the whole story about a tomato’s wholesomeness). We harvest and give you tomatoes at two stages – ripe and just before ripe. This gives you fruit that is ready to eat right away and tomatoes to last through the week. This week, if you get a tomato that is still orange, rather than red, put it on a window sill or in a paper bag, so it can continue to ripen and will ripen fully. Cherry tomatoes, on the other hand, want to be orange – most of ours are a deep orange when ripe; so if you see an orange cherry, eat it!
 
Meet Your Farmers
 
As a member of the CSA, you’re invested in the farm in a way that you may not be invested in the other professions in your life, but just as you have a doctor, a dentist, and a librarian, you have a farmer, too. Several, actually: the Willowsford Farm crew includes Katharyn, Jennifer, Nick, Deb, and myself.
 
Meet your farmers over the next several weeks, both here in the newsletter, and at the farm and farm stand. This week, allow me to introduce our new assistant farm manager, Nick Maliska. After graduating from Middlebury College, Nick first spent some time in Ecuador teaching English before he decided to get his hands dirty and start farming. He spent his first season at Mountain View Farm, an hour north of Willowsford, working with both vegetables and animals. Nick then migrated south for the winter growing season in Florida, where he apprenticed on a 150 acre CSA farm. Interestingly, vegetables grow best from October to May in Southern Florida, the opposite of here! After the season ended in Florida, Nick joined us here just in time for the little heat wave last week. Some of you may have already met Nick, who was doling out last week’s harvest at the Tenant House.
 
Have a good week and be great,
 
Mike
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Willowsford Conservancy

41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

Phone: 571-440-2400

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23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

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