7/10 CSA week 8

In this week’s box:
Summer squash and zucchini
Fairy tale eggplant or Okra
Sweet corn
Red and green leaf lettuce

Fruit share: plums and peaches. The plums were grown by Scott Downing in Darke county. Scott Downing also sold us the peaches, but they were grown in West Virginia. The peach crop here in Ohio was decimated by the warm weather in March and a couple of cool nights in April.

Farm notes:

Earlier this week Ben and I were recalling the 2009 season when it reached 90 degrees only once. Oh, how we are longing for another such summer! The heat coupled with the dought certainly brings its challenges. We are struggling to keep the young seedlings that we plant week after week alive as it requires so much watering. And we are still waiting for a chance to direct seed crops likes carrots, beets, arugula, and turnips. The heat even disrupts our chicken’s egg production. Today we collected 1 less dozen eggs then usual. The birds just don’t lay as much when it gets really hot.

On a positive note this week, we were able to revive a suffering chicken from what we think was heat stoke or some related condition. After market on Saturday I went in to check on the chickens and saw that one was laying down and not moving as other birds scurried this way and that. I took a closer look and could tell the bird was struggling. I put her in a box with pine shavings and took her to a cool room. By this point the bird’s head and neck were completely limp and her eyes were closed, but she was still breathing. I but cold wet towels on her and gave her water with my hands. Most of the water just fell off her beak but She would occasionally perk up enough to open her eyes and actually swallow. This encouraged me to continue. I spent about 45 minutes with her trying to get water in her. She really did not seem to be doing much better but there were lots more things to get done (we have plants that need to live too!) After I got the nighttime irrigation set up I went back to check on the bird and to my surprise her head was back up and her eyes completely open. She was still laying in the same spot but this was progress! I rewet her towels, gave more water and went to bed that night feeling pretty confident.

Sunday morning her water container was nearly empty so she had been drinking on her own but she was still laying down. By Sunday evening she was standing in her box. I decided to take her back to the coop and see how she she’d do. As we got closer to the coop and could hear her squawking comrades, she visibly perked up. I put her in and she walked normally, started squawking and pecking away and seemed completely normal. I was so glad my efforts paid off! This heat really is a force to recon with and now we have a sprinkler system set up in the chicken’s yard should it hit 100 again. I guess we should set one up for us too!

Corn, cucumber, and tomato salad (use scallions in place of red onion and add fennel)

Eggplant and zucchini lasagna ( if you did not get eggplant this week, keep this recipe in mind for next week)

White bean, sausage ragout with kale and zucchini

Penne with fennel pesto (great way to use the fennel fronds)

Food Notes

Sweet Corn
Since this week’s sweet corn ears are so small (a raccoon or some such creature sneakily took two bites from all the largest ears) that I would cut the kernels off the cob and add them raw to cool summer salads. Hopefully our next planting will produce larger ears and now we know to be on the lookout for animal damage. Last year we caught a skunk!

Sweet Corn and Fennel Salad