>Summer Week 6: Fava Beans

>THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Sugar Snap Peas
Fava Beans
• Napa Cabbage
• Little Onions
• Big Lettuce

CHOICES:
• Golden Chard or Beet Greens
• Extra Napa Cabbage or Extra Lettuce

FRUIT SHARES:
“Rival” Apricots from Rama Farms in Rockport
(There really is no rival for these amazing apricots. I am so happy they could share them with us this year! They are very ripe, so be sure and plan to eat them right away!)

U-PICK:
Wednesday afternoon or Saturday afternoon are the best times for picking. Let us know if you want to come a different day/time. You don’t need to notify us if you plan on picking Wednesday afternoon or Saturday afternoon—only on other days. We will have the rows marked, and we will either be available to show you where to pick, or we will have a map describing where to find the u-pick area.
Shelling Peas (there aren’t many left, and many are drying but are fine cooked)
Sugar Snap Peas

COMING SOON:
Green and Yellow Snap Beans
Swiss Chard
Cabbage
Broccoli
Zucchini
Cherries & Apricots for Fruit Shares

Summer is here, and so is the drought. Not the “state-of-emergency” drought, but the typical lack-of-rain-for-summer drought. We are anxiously watering all day and night now. With our city water connection there is only so much we can do. Using the plastic mulch and irrigation tape helps conserve a lot of water, but we can’t plant everything that way. Many things still need to be watered with sprinklers. We have decided to put in a well next year, once the house is settled. At least we won’t have to worry about that any longer.

We are starting the fava bean harvest this week. We like to graze on them raw in the field, but most people find them tastier shelled and sautéed with garlic and olive oil or butter. There are a lot of things that can be done with them, so be sure and click on the recipe link either in the list above or at the right.

The napa cabbage can just be chopped up and sautéed. I like a little sesame oil and a touch of soy sauce on mine, ginger and garlic are good additions. Then it’s good with anything. It is starting to flower, but don’t be afraid to use the flower stalk. There’s nothing wrong with it.

This will be the end of the peas. It’s just too hot for them now. But beans are coming, and so are the zucchini. Soon we’ll have broccoli and cucumbers too. And all of our different basils. The tomatoes are going to take a long time–a combination of several late starts. When I first put the trays of seedlings in the greenhouse back in April, something ate them all—either a rat or a bird. They were all pulled out of the flats. I would think there would be better things to eat, but apparently not. So, I had to start over and put plastic domes on top just to be safe. Then it was still so cold that they grew very slowly. At any rate, we’ll have tomatoes, and lots of them, at some point in August.

Things change so much here from day to day, that it’s easy to get discouraged by what we think are failures. But aside from the everyday struggles with vegetable crops, we see a lot of small successes as well. For years a family of barn swallows has been visiting our pig barn/shack. About four years ago they actually built their mud nest and I was careful to not disturb them. But they eventually decided it wasn’t a good place and gave up. Every year the swallows return and ignore the nest. But this year, I noticed them feathering it with white feathers left from butchering chickens. Just the other day I heard peeping and saw five tiny heads poking out. (Actually their heads are as big as the adult heads, but I imagine the bodies are small.) Now we are scolded and dive-bombed every time we are near the pig barn, so I just try to get in and out as quickly as possible.

Also, after 10 years of living here, we are seeing bats at dusk. Some people freak out about bats, but I am so excited. No they don’t suck blood, and no they’re not big. They are about the size of a swallow and they are thankfully eating mosquitoes. They wheel around and are great fun to watch. So far I’ve only seen two, but I hope to put up nest boxes this winter for them.

And, dear old Katie, the 10-year old sow is successfully raising 10 babies. They are one week old and thriving, thanks to her amazing mothering skills. She was a bit sick the first day, but she is doing well now, thanks to some good raw milk in her diet, and fresh greens. Commercially sows are only kept for about four years, and then they are considered used-up. But Katie has had probably 16 litters of pigs and continues to be healthy and sound, and make lots of babies. Generally as they age, the size of the litters gets smaller, but not Katie. I have already saved one of her daughters—Lucy, due in October with her first litter—and I plan on saving one from this litter as well, since 8 are girls!

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One response to “>Summer Week 6: Fava Beans

  1. >Shelley and family, You’re doing great! All the little setbacks sure aren’t noticeable in your hard work and quality produce each week. I’m sure glad we found you–thanks for the great farm! Your dedication is inspiring! BTW, I think bats are cool too!!!

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