Thankfully, the tomatoes are coming in for real! In the next few weeks you will see more, and if you plan on making sauce or salsa, please aim for near the end of the month. We grow several varieties of red tomatoes, mostly chosen for flavor, but we also grow a couple varieties because they are firmer than the traditional, softer tomato. Interestingly enough, consumers (that’s us) have become accustomed to the hard tomatoes at the supermarket. The tomatoes at the supermarket need to be hard because they must withstand picking, massive washing/packing lines, shipping (while they are being gassed with ethylene to “ripen”), being knocked around at the warehouse then supermarket, and then the final handling and squeezing at the point of purchase. Subsequently, tomatoes have been bred to have hard, thick walls and firm centers—even before GMO. So, after years of buying these, it’s a little like dog training, we have come to accept, at the very least, the “firm” tomato, though I still have yet to hear a claim or rating other than, “they’re not bad” when it comes to taste. So, having said that, please don’t squeeze the tomatoes or the peaches, we picked them ripe, today’s squeeze is tomorrow’s bruise.
The corn has been good, but it just got better; we are now picking one of my favorite varieties, Mystique. Of course, you still HAVE TO eat it the day we picked it and the day you received it in order to maintain corn snob status :)
We will continue to have lots of eggplant and pepper varieties, and by all means, open your box at pickup to see what kind is in your box…no need to get the same type every week, unless you want to. We experienced a little gap in the lettuce, but are back in action this week.
This week: tomatoes, blueberries, corn, assorted squash, assorted cucumbers, assorted eggplant, kale or chard, green bell peppers, any number of other sweet or hot peppers, potatoes, lettuce…
Coming up: peaches, melons, onions
I have been spending more and more time thinking about finances, wondering how we will pay for our ever increasing health insurance ($630/family plan 6 years ago, $1380/family plan today), the price of fuel to heat the greenhouses we start the vegetable transplants in, the gas to transport produce to our members and markets, andphone and electricity costs…we have no control over all these expenses. With very little to cut as these are necessities to run our business. So, we cut costs on going out to dinner, trips to places that have admission fees, we shop yard sales for our household things and church rummage sales for clothes, and we make fewer donations to our favorite charities.
Thankfully, I worry about food the least. I can’t control the weather, but I have confidence that my husband will have a certain amount of growing success and we will have plenty to eat. Because I put so much food by for the winter, we have good food to eat all year. There is a huge amount of security in my food source in a time when so many other things are wrought with insecurity. I hope, as a CSA member, you feel secure in knowing we will bring a box of good food to you every week. Most of all, I hope you feel comforted in our mutual relationship—your support allows us to provide you with the produce that feeds you and me.
Eat well, Geneviève Stillman