Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer CSA Week 5 and Roasted String Beans

It's official.
It is a tough year in the garden-or fields as it were.
For me, on my clay based soil in the wilds of Wellandport it is anyways.
It's hard, as I drive around Niagara to figure how other people are fairing. Some fields look great, some truly pathetic. A mixed bag for sure. Certainly if you have a sandy soil you must be happy. Ah yes....last year I was. Dry is good as I can always water. But aside from growing in greenhouses, there is no solution for too much rain.

Somebody got this weird zucchini
So here is the official crop run down. Garlic looks very good and I planted lots and lots of wonderful varieties. There should be lots of peppers, tomatoes and eggplants. Basil and the other herbs are looking very well indeed.  I think the cukes and zukes will come along okay and there should be some potatoes and onions. Tomatillos, ground cherries and Cape Gooseberries are good, as are the Szechuan Buttons, if you wish them. I have tons...really..tons of kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and collards planted and there are definite problems there. Ditto chard, beets and carrots, although there will be some and I have kept planting too. Beans are coming along although I am going to cut my losses and not plant anywhere close to the number of varieties I usually do.
Can you blame me? There's lots of rain in the forecast tomorrow and it certainly seems to be a pattern that keeps repeating this year.
The wonderful thing is that the fruit looks absolutely terrific. I had a loaded cherry tree and the apples and pears are amazing too. Can't wait.
It seems to be the same way every year. You can despair over the failure of crops, but then when you look again something unexpected comes on strong and well....it gives you a feeling of optimism.

This year though has me wondering if I am in the midst of a middle age crisis. I absolutely know that because of changes in my personal life, I need to modify my business substantially next year. Why?
It's too much work and some things don't work that well in terms of supporting me and my family.
Although I began my business by selling vegetables some 16 years ago, that is no longer the piece of my business that earns me much income. I guess realistically if I think about it, it never has. That is the nature of growing food on a small scale.
It has been a whole lot of work for very little reward and the rains this year just amplify that. Perhaps my age amplifies it too.
I don't want to seem negative because I am not feeling that way at all. I love growing food and always will. But my farm business will be much more streamlined and efficient next year because that is the way it has to be.
Yes, it's true. I've realized it. My girls and friends will breathe a sigh of relief. I can't do it all...you were right all along. So please, stay tuned for changes. Your support through this journey means more than you can ever imagine.
Okay. I got weepy there and now I'll move on.

Today's baskets left me feeling pretty good and I hope you enjoy them too. Contents included lettuce, celery, kale or sorrel, beans (!), sweet peppers, tomatoes (!), zucchini or eggplants, some lovely basil varieties, sage, stevia. Also a little basket of berries, including gooseberries, black currants and raspberries. (There might be something else, but I can't remember what it is.)
My darling Mollie helped me with them and I'm so glad to have her here with me now that school is out. She chats me up and is fun to be with. She also loves the gelato that I promise her at the end of the day from Gelato Village in Fonthill. Bribing the help always works!

This recipe is from the very worthwhile "The Garden Fresh Cookbook" by Andrea Chesman. It is a great book to have if you are a member of a CSA or have a big garden.

Roasted (Green) Beans

Beans, topped and tailed.
Olive oil
Sea or kosher salt

Heat oven to 450 F.
Lightly grease a baking sheet with oil and lay beans in a single layer on it.
Drizzle them with oil until they are evenly coated.
Cook for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking.
When roasted, remove from oven and sprinkle with salt.

This, my friends, is summer goodness.

1 comment:

Shannon Baker said...
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