27 Jun Share week 7: Potatoes, Basil, Flowers, oh my!
This week’s share included the first “new potatoes” of the season, as well as fresh basil, sweet onions and very sweet and tender pick-your-own green beans. New potatoes are dug in the spring, and have a thin fragile skin. Unlike fall potatoes that have been cured and stored (their skin toughened to withstand long winter storage), these tender potatoes are meant to be stored in the fridge and eaten relatively quickly and do not need their skins peeled before eating. Our new potatoes go tumbling through a potato digger and then our root washer, which furthers removes some of the skin.
Another tip for this week’s share: store your basil in a glass of water like a bouquet of flowers, on your counter, out of direct sunlight. It will keep here for a week or more (it may even start to send out roots!) and you can use the leaves as needed. Do not refrigerate basil!!
Enough about the veggies… how about those flowers! With over 50 different varieties of flowers, the pick-your-own flower patch is a patchwork of colors. Make sure you give yourself time to walk through the whole field so you can see all of what’s out there- different varieties are in different stages of bloom.
Please read the following tips for pick-your-own flowers:
- Bring your own clippers from home. If you forget, ask another CSA member to borrow theirs, ask a farmer, or come back another day. The flower patch is an especially beautiful place to be in the cooler evenings and early mornings, and is always “open” for cutting, even on the weekends.
- Please do not cut flowers from the discovery garden (where you will find the pick-your-own herbs) or walkway. These flowers are for everyone to enjoy in bloom.
- Read the poster at the farm titled ” How to Cut Flowers”. This diagram shows the best way to cut your flowers in the field. Please teach your children the best way to cut flowers.
- Bring a vessel you can fill up with water at the farm. (There is always a hose outside the distribution room in our wash area). Cut your flowers right into your vessel. TIP: For a portable vase, take a plastic gallon milk or juice container with a handle and cut a larger opening.
- There are lots of flowers in the flower field, and they are primarily for your enjoyment! Please do not be shy about cutting a generous bouquet. Most flowers do best when the blooms are continuously cut, especially prolific flowers like zinnias. If you are interested in helping to maintain the flower patch by “deadheading” or weeding, let us know!
- Re-cut your stems at an angle when you get home.
- Strip the stems. No leaves under water!!
- Make a home made preservative: Mix 1 tsp vinegar, 1 T sugar, and 1 aspirin tablet to 24 ounces of water.
- Cut stems again every other day, and change the vase water.
- Do not use public water– it may contain chlorine.
- Don’t put your vase in direct sunlight or near a bowl of fruit.
Love the flowers and want to learn more?? At Blooming Glen Farm on Thursday, July 19th at 6pm, join flower professional Lyn Hicks of Harmony Hill Gardens for “Creating with Flowers”. Lyn will offer you tips to making beautiful centerpieces for your home. A passionate GREEN spokesperson, student and educator, Lyn Hicks leads the Green Collaboration, and is Flower Expert for The Green Bride.
This fun hands-on class with Lyn will help you understand harvest and post harvest to keep your flowers longer, you’ll learn the magic of putting together your own floral piece step by step, and you will leave with a self created centerpiece and the knowledge to present your flowers in a new way throughout your summer. All flowers and containers are included. Go to the calendar of our website for more info and to pre-register.
Important reminder regarding pick-up logistics: we realize that things do happen during pick-up days that can prevent you from being able to come get your share. However, over the years we have developed the policy, as stated in the CSA Rough Guide, that once the pick-up is over, pick-up is OVER. If you are unable to pick up on Tuesday, that does not mean you can come on Thursday, or vice versa. (**We can accomodate switches with prior notice, by 7 pm Sunday of the week you want to switch.) Even if you encounter an emergency (as we all do at times), we are not able to hold food for you to pick-up at a later time or day. Please understand that we are sympathetic to your emergency, but we have found logistically it is important for our sanity to have a policy in place for missed pick-ups. At our discretion, some or all of any extra food will be donated to a local Food Pantry. Our crew is often in the fields until 6:30pm or later, and the farm family often works later then that. As you can imagine with over 150 people picking up on any given distribution day, there can be a half a dozen pleading phone calls on our answering machine every pick-up evening when we finally are able to come in for dinner. Please find an “emergency” friend or neighbor that you can call that can come pick up the share for you on your allotted pick-up day between 1 and 8pm. In the case that you are just unable to get your share or find anyone to help you, you are always welcome to come and do the pick-your-own crops before the next pick-up week begins- the information will still be on the board until the following Tuesday. Thank you for your understanding.
Photos and text by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.