Fern Creek CSA–Week 10

newsletter with photoWarning: This is all about growing up Emma in the way she should go, so skip it if you don’t get or like dogs overly much (or at all).

Emma at 4 months

Emma at 4 months

I’ve been working with Emma–and playing, massaging, affirming–all the things good pup owners are supposed to do to grow a dog up right. I use the word “work” because “train” sounds less arduous, and “work” fits better the task at hand. We are trying to learn to communicate, she and I. At this point she knows what I want her to do when I say, come, leave it, stay, sit, down, gentle, and my personal favorite “are you going to bring it back to me?” Emma is a great retriever, but she likes me to ask that before she comes bounding back with the ball, which is an example of me learning what Emma wants, which I’m learning is also important.

That’s actually the trickier part–learning that she’s trying to communicate, too. I’ve found myself endlessly frustrated when she continues to jump on me when she knows that I don’t want her to. Or not coming when I call because the chicken poop she’s chomping down is more satisfying than the treat she may or may not get from me if she comes, no matter how playful I sound. I don’t like that she knows to be gentle with her mouth, but still likes to grab my hand with her teeth (gently enough 95% of the time, but still not acceptable). I don’t like that when I’m weeding she wants to grab my tools, gloves, bucket and pants leg and run away with them–except the pants leg–which (surely) is simply a call to come away and play.

Yesterday was a bad Emma day. Those little teeth are falling out, and bigger ones are on the way, which means she is becoming less fearful, and with her newfound courage she tests the limits of what she can do, of what is permissible if she pushes hard enough. I’ve been told that the roughest patch in puppy-hood is between 4-9 months as pups seemingly forget all you’ve taught them as they try on their more dependent selves. She was 16 weeks old yesterday.

Most days are good ones. Emma is a sweet puppy that has learned to leave the irrigation lines alone (after chewing through a good number in her first month with us), as well as sheets blowing gently on the clothesline (still, I’m anticipating the day she yanks them off). She doesn’t whine when we leave her, doesn’t jump on Airbnb guests and only jumps on CSA members who have been friendly with her (argggg). At four months she’s learned to be pretty gentle with children, licking rather than biting, and not jumping on them. She is curious, entertaining, mostly obedient, and eager to learn.

Anyway, this morning I wanted to start the day better.  I know Emma needs to learn I’m the Voice she needs to heed, but I remembered that she’s trying to communicate with me, too. Sometimes all she wants is five minutes of play and her tugging insistence is her way of letting me know she really really wants that. Five minutes of undivided attention when I’m excited to be with her.  So I started the day sitting down beside her in her corner of the garage and chatting. I rubbed her tummy and neck and we started the day fresh.

Emma and her log

Emma and her log

Sprinkled throughout this are metaphors or straight up comparisons to other pieces of life–like growing up children. Or how might I be the pup needing to learn the language of God, to hear and heed the Voice of my provider and protector? How might I better learn who God is by rediscovering the yearning in my soul to be in the presence of God the way Emma seems to yearn to be in mine?

Meanwhile, so as to connect this in some way to Emma the Farm Dog, we’ve yet to train her to pick beans, although she will eat them, or to haul zucchini out of the field. She is getting good at chasing away the birds that nibble the lettuce, and we’re noticing fewer squirrels chomping down lettuce, kale, and cabbage leaves. And that’s something, after all.

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New from the Field

Cucumbers
We grow three varieties and you will see them all. We have the most National Pickling Cucumbers. This multi-purpose cucumber can be used both for pickling (and after the Preservation Shareholders each get their bag we’ll take order for others of you who want some) and for eating as snacks, in salads, for use in relishes, or however you would use the others. We also grow Marketmore Cucumbers, the long slender cucumber you often in grocery stores and Farmers Markets. Finally, we grow a variety called Green Finger, similar to the Diva’s we’ve grown in the past. These smooth skinned cucumbers have tender skins that I don’t bother peeling. Occasionally you’ll also see a Lemon Cucumber in the Market, a round yellow cucumber that one can eat like an apple or slice and use as you would any other. We have a couple of those plants growing among the rest.

Cucumber Water

Cucumber Water

One of my favorite things to do during cucumber season is to keep a pitcher of cold cucumber water in the fridge. Add slices of cucumber to a pitcher of water and let it steep for several hours before drinking. You can keep adding water for several days, and then change up the cucumbers for fresh ones. If you want even more complex flavors also add mint or basil.

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Anticipated in the Market

Kale & Fortex Beans

Kale & Fortex Beans

Cucumbers (a variety)
Romano Gold (Yellow) Beans
Blue Lake Pole Beans
Walla Walla Onions
Red Wing Onions
Red Potatoes
Salvius Lettuce
Red Plums
Nante and Danver Carrots
Crookneck Squash
Tromboncino & Patty Pan
Zucchini Squash
Kale
Chard or Collards
Chives & Thyme

Pick Two

Assorted Cherry Tomatoes

Assorted Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes (a variety of Matt’s Wild, Indigo, Pear, & Snow White)
Fennel
Cabbage
Fortex & Rattlesnake Beans
Spinach
Extra Greens

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Recipe of the Week

Since you have had various greens every single week, I’m re-posting a recipe I particularly enjoy serving with fresh or sauteed cherry tomatoes. This Roulade can be made with spinach, chard or kale, though the milder spinach and chard are my first choices.

Chard Rouladechard-roll

 

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