September 13, 2016
What is in the VEGGIE BOX?
Squash, Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Orange Bell Peppers, Garlic, Basil, Arugula, Red Shishito Peppers and Eggplant
What is in the FRUIT BOX? Grapes, Apples and Almonds
This Week on the Farm
Well it is definitely a change in seasons; we are now in the pepper season! I hope that you like peppers as we have lots of different varieties this year and they are all looking and tasting so good. I love peppers season, especially when they turn the colors and are the sweetest! Our Shishito peppers are turning red too, we just were not able to keep up harvesting the green ones, and like all peppers they just continued to ripen and turn color, but they should not be hot and with more flavors in the red colors. I made my red pepper sweet relish last week, even did an orange batch too; I thought it might be fun to mix them up over the cream cheese. I know one CSA member always gets extra peppers to freeze, I have never done it but now is the time so I gave you directions on how to freeze them. My mom loves peppers and has a hard time when I hold fast to eating in season-so if I have the peppers in the freezer she can have them out of season!
With the season changing comes the weather cooler mornings, and this week we have had foggiish clouds in the early part of the day. Certainly makes it hard to jump up and head out in the morning, I just want to drink my tea and have a leisurely breakfast before starting the day. I did take a break last week and head out to an Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa. I went alone, found an AirB&B in Healdsburg and had an Annie Adventure. What was wonderful was to have the windows open in the Craftsman style old house on Dry Creek road- and let the fog roll right into my room. I was a bit nervous going alone-kinda strange planning a vacation by myself, but found that it was just perfect I had no one to answer to, no place that I had to go, a good book to read, and I would just lay in my bed and enjoy the smells and feel of that fog. The sounds of airplanes lazily flying over reminded me of my childhood staying at my Grandmas house in Santa Rosa. It was all so very delicious luxurious, and divine-I needed to be alone for a bit to rest up from the summer! What was great was to continue my research and exploration of the seed quest. I went to some workshops at the Heirloom Expo about Seed Saving, talked to the fellow that looks for seed growers for Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. Found out our neighbors actually grow for them and that he will be out in January and wants to come visit us to see if we can be seed growers for them too. I am sure we are not ready to do that, but I thought why not find out what it takes to grow for a seed company. The Expo also had a Dahlia exhibit along with a huge room full of all the different types, colors, shapes and varieties of veggies too-there was a display of at least 40 different types of garlic alone. But the dahlias were the attraction for me, and the Dahlia 101 workshop-as this year Ali and I grew dahlias in a big way for the very first time and they are not an easy flower to grow. You have not seen them in our bouquets as they are very touchy, I was afraid they would not take the van ride around town and hold up with their vase life only being 4 days-but oh they are soooooooo beautiful. I also visited a dahlia farm in Petaluma-one acre of only Dahlias-oh my that was interesting! I got there at the end of the day, and started asking the growers all these questions, do they spray for mites, fertilize in the water, do they put something in the water to keep them fresh??? Do they lift the tubers each year and divide them? All the while they were picking for a wedding order. It was really helpful and added to my list of what to do differently next year with the dahlias-and yes we had better dig them up and divide them. This farm said that it takes 7 people the month of November to dig up their tubers-then they put the on sale on line! Hummm
The break definitely helped me rejuvenate and not feel so end of the summer grumpy and easy to irritate-I was not doing so well before I left. Now I am having a hard time returning to the farm work, I just want to research more seed growing stuff, and look over the dahlia web site and choose new varieties and colors. I will continue to do that research, finding how to grow flowers from seed to seed has been a bit challenging, the information is not available as it is for veggies. That certainly peaks my interest when the information needs to be researched, and uncovered. I have talked to a fellow at the farmers market that I know was in the seed business before coming to Davis, and contacted a friend at the Arboretum that might have some leads for me. I think more than anything it is a new road to explore in my occupation. The source of seed is where farming begins, and these days growing your own source is defiantly good to do as the major seed companies are taking the power of source of seed and the diverse varieties out of our hands, making hybrids, creating expensive seeds or eliminating some varieties completely. So it is exciting to try to take back the power of our seeds, to learn how to continue the heirloom succession, hold on to the open pollinated varieties-it is a whole new can of worms for us-the never ending education of farming.
Have a great week! Annie