Fern Creek CSA–Week 6

newsletter with photoA number of you took advantage of the New Jam U-Pick field this season, and seeing you out there picking berries has been satisfying on several levels. Mark spent some time with those of you who came out; being as he’s a rather introverted farmer, he enjoyed this foray into social engagement with you all. The berries are all but done, and we will be harvesting what remains for your crates. Mark and I have been harvesting most of the blueberries for ourselves this year (we eat a lot of blueberries in the winter), but if all goes as planned we’ll be adding blueberries to the u-pick next year.

Meanwhile, expanding rows of summer and winter squash, corn, and beans are out-competing the weeds, lightening our weeding load. The Scarlet Runner beans are in bloom, and the Yellow Wax beans are beginning to bloom, telling us beans are just around the corner. Below are comparison photos of the field from June 10th and July 1. A lot of growth happens in a short a time. It never ceases to amaze us how much food comes from a handful of seeds.

Upper Field June 10

Upper Field June 10

Upper Field, July 1

Upper Field 3 weeks later










About Herbs

You’ll see herbs rotate through the Market, and I imagine some of you could use more, and others of you aren’t quite sure what to do with them. If you are experimenters, toss them fresh into egg dishes, salads, sautees, stir-fries, and dry what you don’t use for the winter. Drying herbs is simple: hang them, or set them in a dry vase, or on a counter, and when they are totally dry, remove them from their stems and store in glass jars. Mostly that means empty out your old basil, oregano, thyme, sage, and rosemary and replace them with these freshly dried, organic herbs. For best flavor you ought to replace your herbs every year anyway, so take advantage of what I put out and do so.

The basil is starting to come into its own, and once it does you’ll see more of it available in the Market for those of you who want extra to dry or make pesto, or just because you eat a lot of it.

New from the Field
Trombocino Squashtromboncino
This is my favorite of the summer squashes, and if you’ve not had it before, once you have you might agree. (We’ll take a vote in the Market in a week or two after you’ve all had a chance to try them all. And do try them all). Trombocino is an Italian squash that ranges from light green to tan. It is  smooth and buttery in texture and works well steamed, sauteed, roasted, or raw. When grown along the ground they twist and turn in shapes that look like swans, trombones, and big C’s and S’s. We are trellising them this year, so they will likely grow a bit straighter. They can be harvested when they are tiny (and we’ll have some of those in the Market this week) or be allowed to grow to three feet (which we tend to avoid) and maintain their flavor at all sizes.

Sage is an herb I wasn’t very familiar with when I got married, but I had a bottle in the collection my mother-in-law gave me that sat there mostly unused, except occasionally I’d put a pinch in my dressing at Thanksgiving. I use it much more now, and my favorite way is to saute some sliced leaves in butter, making a sage browned butter to drizzle over pasta (like pumpkin ravioli), vegetables or fish. It’s savory, so use it whenever you want an soil-rich kind of earthy compliment to your flavors.



Featured in the Market

We’ve put some of last year’s heirloom popcorn, which is dry and ready for popping., for sale in the Market.  It takes a good 4-8 months for popcorn to dry enough to pop into good size kernels, though the process can be sped up with dehydrating the cobs for a few hours. Either remove the kernels from the ear and pop it using the traditional method with oil and salt in a pan on the top of the stove, or put an ear corn in a paper bag (tape it shut) and pop it in the microwave. Enjoy this unusual treat!


Anticipated in the Market

Shelling Sweet Peas

Shelling Sweet Peas

Red Potatoes
Red Ace & Chiggio Beets
Columba Star Blackberries
Cascade Delight Raspberries
Assorted Lettuce
Butterstick & Crookneck Squash
Patty Pan Squash
Chard or Collards
Walla Walla Onions
Chives & Sage

Pick Two
Snow & Snap Peas
Spring Onions
Radish & Kolrabi
Baby Red Potatoes
Tromboncino Squash
Extra Greens


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