This week has been the defining week between spring and summer. We had our last frost on Friday night; the temperature dropped to 29 degrees in our valley. We knew it was coming so we held back on transplanting many of our summer crops that do not take kindly to frost. This week we hit the ground running. Planting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, summer squash, winter squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumbers. Miles and miles of plants. Transplanting has been keeping 6-7 people busy every day this week. After most of these crops are transplanted they need to be row covered to protect them from insect damage. So then another crew goes out to lay the row cover. In addition, we harvested all of the delicious food for our last Spring Share. The tomatoes that have been coexisting with the greens in the hoophouse and colossal now have lots of space to grow big and tall. Both houses are getting cleaned up and weeded. We are removing the sprinklers we used to irrigate the spring greens and replacing them with drip irrigation that lays close to the base of each tomato plant. And so the week has gone. It’s summer.

Barb

Transplanting eggplant. David drives the tractor, 2 people ride behind the tractor on the ‘water wheel transplanter’ and lay the plants near the wet hole that the water wheel made. Five people crawl behind and tuck the plants into the hole.

Transplanting eggplant. David drives the tractor, 2 people ride behind the tractor on the ‘water wheel transplanter’ and lay the plants near the wet hole that the water wheel made. Five people crawl behind and tuck the plants into the hole.

Transplanting tomatoes. It’s the same process as eggplant, only one person rides the transplanter. You can see Elisabeth laying out the tomato plants. The straw mulch is there to keep the weeds away.

Transplanting tomatoes. It’s the same process as eggplant, only one person rides the transplanter. You can see Elisabeth laying out the tomato plants. The straw mulch is there to keep the weeds away.

Laying row cover over zucchini plants. Sid and Ohn walk with the roll of row cover while Eric, Brian and Dee follow behind putting plastic pins in the ground to hold it down. We will also row cover eggplant, cucumbers, melon and winter squash. It’s a big job laying all of that row cover, miles and miles of it get walked out. And then of course we have to remove it in about a month. It’s summer!

Laying row cover over zucchini plants. Sid and Ohn walk with the roll of row cover while Eric, Brian and Dee follow behind putting plastic pins in the ground to hold it down. We will also row cover eggplant, cucumbers, melon and winter squash. It’s a big job laying all of that row cover, miles and miles of it get walked out. And then of course we have to remove it in about a month. It’s summer!

 

Simple & Seasonal

Weekly Recipes Written by the Farm Cook

Escarole_White Beans_Vermont Valley Community Farm CSA_

Escarole, White Bean and Bacon Salad

6 strips thick cut bacon

1 large onion

1 large head escarole

1 can white beans, cannellini or great northern (or 1/2 cup dried beans, soaked and cooked)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

In a large skillet, over medium heat, fry 6 strips bacon until crisp. Flip the bacon several times to prevent burning. Lay on paper towel to absorb grease and set aside. Dice onion and add to hot bacon grease. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until onion is translucent.

With a large knife cut off base of escarole and discard. Cut leaves into 2 inch pieces. Submerge cut leaves into cold water and swirl to remove any dirt. Pull handfuls of escarole out of water and give them a good shake but allow leaves to stay damp. Add damp leaves to onions and cover for 5-8 minutes, until escarole is wilted. Add beans and black pepper, stir and cook for several more minutes.

Transfer escarole mixture to a bowl. Chop bacon into small pieces and add. Add tamari or soy sauce. Stir well and serve warm or at room temperature.

Farm Cook, Becky Perkins is a Certified Health Coach, visit her blog at

www.therealfoodmama.com