The sun is shining …

The sun is shining — fiercely, no less. What does this mean on the farm? Here are some of the latest activities around here:

As the old adage says, time to make some hay! This is our first time having hay made (last year we had baleage made). This window of weather is just about perfect. We’re not doing the work ourselves (don’t have the specialized equipment) — we’ve hired the same folks we worked with last year.

Things are growing! Everything! The summer crops, the weeds, the pastures, the trees … We have hit the absolute peak of the growing season, when crops grow overnight. Our family went to the beach for Saturday night and were gone just about 28 hours. Things had grown. This means that the crew is busy weeding and tending to the crops, staking tomatoes and pole beans, and mowing!

We are also enjoying the continued joy of fruit season. The kids both love fruit (no surprise!), so we make regular trips out to pick — an adventure and a snack in one! Lately we’ve been visiting the raspberry patch (can you see the canes behind all that beautiful red clover?):

But, we’re also keeping our eye on the first of the plums, our Methleys — always the earliest. Usually we pick them on IPNC weekend (end of July), but this year they’re already coloring up on the first of July!

In fact, we’ve tasted a few early ones. They’re not nearly ready — these plums turn deep dark purple outside when ripe — but for us plum fans, the first sneak peek is awesome:

Speaking of plum trees, oh my how they have grown since we planted them in early 2009. Our first orchard is looking mighty est-ab-lish-ed, my friends. The crew scythed around the trees last week, making it look even more awesome. I love walking down here with the kids and remembering that it was just once part of the larger field. Now it is a place with three-dimensions and shade and spots to hide and climb and fruit to eat. Oh, how the children will love these orchards as they grow up. I already do.

Overall, things are looking pretty spiffy here on the farm, thanks to the regular efforts of the whole crew. Certainly, at the beginning of July there will always be weedier patches, but they are on our list of things to do in the coming days and weeks. But the greenhouses have been tidied, the pastures and orchards have been mowed, the raspberries weeded …

It feels like a tremendously different season than last year, when we were consistently understaffed and short on time (in part because the dry windows were few and far between). How many times can I say this? Thank you, universe for another chance at being an awesome farm. We are loving it right now. The work is good; the food is delicious; and the little ones are so happy to play in the vastness of their farm home.

We are blessed indeed — in all seasons, but especially so right now as we head into the heart of summer. Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers, Katie & Casey Kulla

~ ~ ~

Meet this week’s vegetables:

  • Cherries — This will be the last of the cherries for this year! What an early and fast season!
  • Broccoli — I am so excited to have more green vegetables back in our life. I’m sure people have favorite ways to cook broccoli, but we love roasting it. That is the first thing we did as soon as the first heads of broccoli showed up. For best results, make sure you have a single layer in the pan and use liberal amounts of oil or butter.
  • Bok choy
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Cabbage — Just in time for the Fourth of July! This is always our goal for the summer cabbage, so that we can all enjoy cole slaw at our celebratory picnics and BBQs.
  • Salad mix
  • Summer squash — Another sign of the season — the plants are pumping out squash now (although they may be temporarily set back by this intense heat!). We have both light green summer squash and dark green zucchini. You can prepare these any way you might other squash. We love to chop them and add them to summer stews or curry dishes, but they’re also great roasted, added to salads, sauteed — you name it!
  • Carrots
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